The cultural expectation in America seems to be that after high school, you’ll apply and enroll in a four-year institution, get your degree, and join the workforce. However, that’s not the only option and truly isn’t the right option for some people, who are more interested in technical fields and need specialized hands-on training for those jobs. Why spend four years entrenched in academia and spending tens of thousands of dollars for information you may never use again? If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, chef, medical assistant, or medical coder, for example, attending a technical school might make far more sense than going to a traditional four-year college.
What are the Benefits of Attending a Trade School?
Spend Less Time In School
Instead of spending four years in college for a degree, you could spend one to two years intensively studying and working in your field. This also means you graduate with plenty of experience, which is crucial in these fields, and ready to hit the workforce with employable skills.
Because you’re spending less time in school, you’ll also wind up spending less money. Trade school tuition also tends to be generally less expensive than an institution that offers bachelor’s degrees. A bachelor’s degree costs an average of $127,000, whereas the average trade school degree is just over $30,000. You can save almost $100,000 by attending a trade school!
Generally speaking, the vocations that one goes to trade school for are always in high demand. Everyone will need a plumber, pharmacy technician, or a medical assistant at some point in their life. You’ll also be aware of what the placement rates are like in the course of study you’re interested in, and can make your decisions of enrollment based on that.
Jump Right In
Unlike four-year schools, which have specific start and end dates, trade schools tend to accept applicants on a rolling basis, which means you can apply and start! You don’t have to wait until the fall or winter to roll around to start your education.
What Can a Pharmacy Technician Do?
As a pharmacy technician, you’ll be handling prescription requests, filling medications, package and labeling prescriptions, creating and keeping tabs on patient records, in charge of inventory, and processing insurance claims as well as payment. You can work anywhere from hospitals to drug stores or grocery stores. Any place that fills prescriptions will have need of your services.
A vocational school is a great way to start your career in this field with educational and hands-on training provided. You’ll also have a diploma to show when you start job hunting and your education will be incredibly focused and intensive in this field, to best prepare you for the job.
The training may also help familiarize you with the different settings you may find yourself in as a pharmacy tech, providing greater versatility to your work experience.
How Do I Know Which Trade School is Right For Me?
Some vocational schools may not offer the right course of study that you’re looking to pursue. Check out class size and how the program is structured. Are they more lecture-hall based or do they skew in favor of hands-on experience? Is it a mix of both?
You also want to see what their statistics look like. Do they have a good retention rate? What’s their job placement rate like? Is your school accredited? Make sure you take a tour of the school and its facilities. Seeing what kind of equipment and facilities they have is important — you don’t want to be practicing on outdated technology or equipment, which could leave you floundering in your new job.
And of course, checking out the total cost is important, in order to figure out your budget and how you’re going to pay for your education. Though the cost is lower than attending a more traditional four-year school, it’s still a significant amount of money.
Prepare yourself for the workforce with a trade school that gives you the precise, necessary skills you need to start successfully.