Trade School vs. No School – Who’s the Winner?

October 24, 2018

Is trade school worth it?

Why attend a trade school versus directly entering the workforce? Let’s compare two options once you graduate high school.

  1. You get a job and directly enter the workforce.
  2. You get additional education at a trade school for a specific career path.

We’re going to look at six categories: earning potential, initial debt, networking opportunities, job demand, quality of education, and job stability. We’ll pick a winner in each category and tally our results at the end.

Your Earning Potential

According to College Scorecard, 62% of our graduates earn more than the average high school graduate. Our graduates’ median earnings equal $37,000 a year. That number goes up depending on which training program you pick. For example, an industrial machinery maintenance worker’s 2017 median pay is $50,440 a year.

Attending a trade school not only immediately increases your starting pay, but you will also have a higher earning potential over your entire career.

Winner: Trade School

Initial Debt

Going directly into the workforce has one major benefit – no student loans! As the cost of college increases, it’s good to consider how much you’ll owe after you graduate. Our students average about $11,275 in federal student loans after graduation. It’s important to weigh the upfront cost against your total earnings potential.

Winner: Workforce

Networking Opportunities

It’s difficult to land a job with no experience. When you try to enter a field without formal education, many employers will be reluctant to hire you. Going to school allows you to gain that experience while networking with potential employers. Most schools also offer career services, like a job board you can keep an eye on.

Winner: Trade School

Growing Job Demand

Two of our current medical programs, medical assisting and phlebotomy, are currently on the state’s High Priority Occupation (HPO) list! Other types of skilled labor, like construction or CDL, aren’t just growing. Their aging workforce is retiring, and there’s no one to take their place. This is creating a high demand for skilled labor across the country. This is an ideal time to train for skilled labor career paths!

It is our great pleasure to announce that we have been named to Forbes Magazine’s top 30 technical and career colleges for the second consecutive year, placing 5th nationally.

Winner: Trade School

Well-Rounded Education

We firmly believe in a hands-on education. However, if you go directly into the workforce, that is likely all you will receive. Going to trade school will not only provide hands-on learning but also other valuable education. You won’t just know how to do something, you’ll learn the reasons why you’re doing it.

This well-rounded education teaches you skills and marketable knowledge. Not to mention vital soft skills like communication and time management!

Winner: Trade School

Job Stability

The amount of education you receive has a large impact on your job stability. This chart shows that the unemployment rate drops by .6% between high school graduates and those with some college under their belt. It drops an additional .6% with an associate degree.

trade school

Winner: Trade School

Who’s the Winner?

Getting an education through a trade school beat out directly entering the workforce in 5 out of 6 categories. If factors like earning potential, job demand, and job stability are important to you – then attending trade school is definitely worth it!

Explore Your Potential Career Paths

We offer courses and degree programs for all types of careers. Whether you’re interested in medicine or machinery, you’ll find all of the benefits of the technical education we listed above and more. Request information about the programs that excite you today!

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