Finding the Right School

Knowing what to look for can save you a lot of grief

The right post-secondary school for one person may not be the best for another. Some people thrive in educational institutions that focus on theory and instruction, while others learn best when they get hands-on experience and are trained in skills that can be applied in one or more jobs in a certain industry.

If a student knows what profession they want to enter, they may be able to cut out the extras involved in a four-year college degree and learn skills related directly to the job they want to perform. Others might not have the money for a college education and want to enter the workforce quickly with the chance to complete a degree later on.

Some students want the well-rounded college experience and the often higher starting paychecks that come with earning a bachelors or master's degree.

Questions to consider:

  • Is the program or school accredited? Accreditation that's offered by a reputable agency assures students that a school offers quality education that will be recognized.
  • Where is the school located? Students have to travel or move to attend some schools and should decide well in advance if it's an attractive possibility. Some schools will also offer some or all of their training online.
  • Can credits be transferred? If you want the option to upgrade to a higher level of education, you'll benefit from enrolling in a school whose credits will transfer to other institutions.
  • Will the program lead to the job you want? Some jobs require professionals with certain education levels or experience. Make sure the school you enroll in offers the necessary training and skills development.

Types of schools Most of the following kinds of schools include private and public institutions. Private schools can be non-profit or for-profit. Aside from the usual classifications, educational institutions may also refer to themselves as institutes, academies, unions, conservatories or simply as schools. It's the type of education they offer that should fit them into one of the following school types.

  • Career colleges, vocational schools, trade schools, technical institutes - These terms are often used to describe similar schools. They generally offer courses focused on technical and practical job-specific training, but in recent years many have been striving to educate students to higher standards. Some of these schools can even grant associates or bachelor's degrees. Many are private, for-profit schools and charge higher than average tuition. Accreditation is especially important for these educational institutions.
  • Community colleges - These public post-secondary schools grant certificates and two year associate's degrees. The term community college is often used interchangeably with junior college and technical college. People without the requirements to get into a four-year college or university can often get accepted into junior colleges. Those who want to save money may earn a two-year community college degree first and transfer to a four-year college to complete the remaining two years of a bachelor's degree.
  • Colleges - Some colleges may award master's degrees, but most stick to four-year undergraduate degrees in arts and sciences.
  • Universities - Bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees are available at these institutions. The main difference between universities and colleges is that universities offer graduate degrees. Some universities still use the term college in their names for historical reasons.

Let Trade School World be the one to help you find a good trade school.