Is Trade School Right For You?

With all the excitement of senior year, you may be overwhelmed by the daunting task of choosing the right school for your post-secondary studies. How will you know if a school is a good fit? Is attending a four year college necessary in achieving your career goals? What will your parents think if you opt out of a traditional institution? What if you don’t make the right decision?

My advice? Silence the noise. Easier said than done, I know! It is important to consider your career path and what you really want. As a graduate of a traditional university (University of Central Florida – Go Knights!), I will be the first to admit the traditional route is not always the best route. What is right (or a “good fit”) for some is not always equally beneficial to others.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, diagnostic medical sonographers, occupational therapy assistants, skincare specialists, electricians, and medical administration assistants are among the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. This is determined by the expected growth in employment between 2012 and 2022. See the full list here.

What do the occupations listed here have in common? They don’t require a traditional four year degree to get started! In fact, all require an associate’s degree or less. Knowing your career goals will aid tremendously in making the right decision for you. For those embarking on a career path that doesn’t require a four year degree, trade school has its benefits:

  • Focused Career Training. No prerequisites required! You’ll be focused on training for your career without general academics.
  • Smaller Class Sizes. Get the attention you need to master your skills with a smaller teacher-to-student ratio.
  • Hands-On Training. Prepare for your career by obtaining invaluable hands-on experience. Go beyond theory.
  • Get Started Sooner. Be on the path to your new and exciting career in less time than a traditional university.
  • Save money. Spend a fraction of the cost of four year institutions.


My intent is not to discourage any one from opting for a four year degree. It is instead to let you know that a four year degree is not your only option for higher education. You can’t make the best decision without considering your options! Find out more information on career options by utilizing Americolleges’ free college search. You can also find additional information on popular trade programs by navigating to Search Degrees.