Whether or not to pursue a higher education, is perhaps the biggest decision an individual is faced with (next to marriage of course!). Often times a high school graduate at the age of 17 has no clue what he/she wants to study. There are very few who have it all figured out. Even then, they still have to decide which colleges they want to apply to, which scholarships they are eligible for and whether or not they can apply for financial aid. This is an awful lot of decision making for one confused little 17 year-old.
After all this has been sorted out, there is still the matter of what exactly your scholarship and/or financial aid covers. Surely not the whole tuition! Whatever is not covered often has to be dealt with by maybe taking out a second mortgage on the house. A mortgage you will have to spend your entire life trying to pay off. All in all, it is not an ideal situation.
Finances aside, for those who are certain of what field they wish to continue their education in, colleges of their choice will always require them to take one year of “general stuff,” or some completely unrelated classes just for the sake of college credits.
True story – A friend of mine, who is doing a double major in Special Education and Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence, had to take math for four semesters until she was finally allowed to drop it. Can you imagine? Math! And not just any math, it was advanced calculus if I am not mistaken. How will that ever come in handy while writing a short story or teaching life skills to a child with special needs? I don’t know.
Not only are these classes entirely unnecessary, they take up too much of your time. And if you were given the option of not taking them (yeah right), it would bring your college experience down to 2 years and end up saving you an awful lot of money.
The worst part of all is the uncertainty of landing a job after going through all that stress. If you were at least guaranteed a job at the end of it all, it would be worth the trouble, maybe.
That’s the great thing about vocational school.It is specifically designed to train you exactly in the field you choose. You don’t have to take any mandatory unrelated classes. Which means you can finish your entire course in 1 to 2 years depending on what you choose to study.
Now since trade schools are extremely specific in what they teach, you get a detailed, in-depth knowledge of your subject. You are able to focus completely on what you love without having to suffer through a bunch of other things for college credit. This focused attention will pay off when it comes to actually applying what you have learnt. The best part is that most vocational schools offer placements to their students at the end of their course. So you have a guaranteed job as well. If you ask me, it is a win-win situation.
As it so happens, since they are not fully fledged colleges vocational schools charge a significantly lower fee which is usually for the entire course as opposed to an annual fee. A survey conducted by the New York BBB shows that the average cost to complete an entire program at a vocational school is $4,700. 1 It goes without saying that this is a major jump from the $40,000 you would pay annually for regular college.
So to sum up, you can finish an entire course learning to do what you love in as little as one year, without having to take unrelated classes, have a guaranteed job and come out of it literally debt free.