What is the difference between trade school and college?


Quick Answer

Trade schools offer a streamlined approach to education, teaching students job-specific skills, while colleges provide an opportunity to explore different subjects and career paths. Colleges generally have higher tuition fees and a larger class size than those offered at trade schools.

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Full Answer

The Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University projects the creation of 47 million jobs by 2018, with less than one-third of them requiring a college degree. During a 2012 study, it found that 39 percent of men with an educational certificate from a trade school earn more than men who have an associate degree, and 24 percent earn more than men who have a bachelor's degree, suggesting that what a student studies matters more than how long he studies it. Though colleges tend to have more rigorous admission requirements than trade schools, earning a bachelor's degree from a college tends to take longer than earning a diploma from a trade school.

Trade schools have smaller classes, so students tend to get more one-on-one time with their teachers than students at colleges do. Students with college degrees may need more education, such as a graduate degree, or on-the-job training. Trade schools provide students with hands-on training, meaning graduates are immediately ready to enter the job market in their chosen field. This hands-on training may appeal to students who don't enjoy traditional learning in a classroom environment.

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