What is a Technical School?

When I was a high school student preparing to look into colleges I had two options: going to community college or to a four year university. At the time, I hadn’t even thought of attending a technical school.

What is a Technical School?

A technical school (also known as trade school or vocational school) is an educational institution that trains and prepares students for work in very specific career paths. The programs range in length from a possible two weeks to two years.

These schools only focus on teaching the needed skills for the particular career and often offer the license or certification students need to work in their chosen field.

Another aspect that makes technical school different than a university is the learning atmosphere. Instead of in classroom instruction, technical schools oftentimes offer on the job training in a real work environment. You will learn the skills you need to succeed through hands on training.

There are many career types that would direct a student toward this option. Below is a list of just a few of the careers you may find training for at a technical school!

  • Cosmetology
  • Plumbing
  • Dental Assistant
  • Culinary Arts
  • Carpentry
  • Mechanics
  • Agriculture
  • Electrician
  • Welding
  • Information Technology
  • Massage Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Design
  • Restaurant Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Electronics
  • Construction
  • Barbary
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Military
  • Air Force
  • and more!

Reasons You May Want to Consider Attending a Technical School

  • You know which career path you wish to go down. 

This is a wonderful feeling! Some students who are in high school know exactly which career is right for them. If this is the case, it would be smart for them to look into technical schools. Do you want to be a chef or a mechanic? Are you interested in going into dental assistance or message therapy?

By attending a technical school you will have the opportunity to gain on the job experience right away!

  • You don’t totally know which career path you wish to go down.

Although this is the complete opposite of the above point, this is true too. When many students don’t know what they want to do, they may attend community college to try and figure it out. Many community colleges offer technical school classes. Sometimes the only way to truly know what you want to become is to explore the options first hand.

You may start at a technical school, discover your calling and then possibly move on to a larger university. It’s all up to you. The point is, technical schools offer a cheaper and possibly more effective way to explore your interests.

  • You’re having money troubles.

Vocational school is cheaper on many levels. First and foremost, the time you spend in technical school is much less than a regular university, cutting the costs down significantly.

Plus technical schools are already much cheaper to begin with. Going to a technical school will place you into your career path much quicker, and will ultimately lead you to a job much quicker. Since time and money commitment are much less dominating forces, technical schools are great choices for people who have a lot of things going on in their personal lives.

  • You need a job faster.

For whatever reason (probably related to the above points) you may just need to start your path to a career as quick as possible. The chances of this happening when attending a technical school are much higher than when attending a university.

This is because at a technical school, you will be learning the skills you need for the career only. You won’t need to spend the time worrying about academics and because of this you will be in school for a much shorter time.

The beauty of many technical schools is that they have job placement right when you graduate. Depending on the school and career, you may find yourself with a full time job right out of training.

  • You want to save up for a more expensive or different school.

Many students will attend community college so they can work more and save money to attend the school of their dreams. The same can apply to technical schools.

You may have an interest in cutting hair, but aren’t interested in doing only that. You may attend a technical school to be trained in cosmetology with the hopes of getting a good job so you can save money and explore other schools and careers.

The best thing any student can have is options. No one should feel pigeonholed into one particular type of college. Whether you are having issues with what you want to become or have money or family troubles, no one should have to put their dreams on the sideline.

One student might be set in attending a university, while a technical school might be well suited for someone else. Others may wish to attend school online. It doesn’t matter!

Do what works for you.

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Molly Stallman

Molly Stallman

Molly Stallman is a senior at DePaul University working toward an English degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing. She also has a minor in Digital Cinema. Molly especially enjoys spending time with loved ones, listening to music, watching movies/television and playing with her dogs. She also has a passion for antiques, crafts, animals, photography and the great outdoors.