Trade Schools: Higher Education's Underdog

Trade Schools: Higher Education's Underdog

An education from a traditional college or university is something many consider valuable and worth the financial cost to attend. But, if you are a high-school student looking for a different opportunity or an individual looking to make a career change, consider trade school. With a shorter program duration and a more affordable price (with opportunities to make it even more affordable, especially with Mia Share), these alternatives could be the right fit for you. 

What is trade school?

Trade schools offer educational programs designed to train students for a specific job in a skilled trade. Students of trade school receive hard skills training for careers in varying industries, so whatever your interest, it’s likely to be covered. Trade schools do not usually provide general education or electives because the programs are created to prepare students to enter the workforce once they graduate. Here’s how trade school can help you:

Price of Education

The cost to start trade school is usually lower than that of a college. The average in-state student attending a public, 4-year college program spends $25,487 per year according to EducationData, not including room and board and books required for classes. Now, compare that to the average cost to attend trade school: $14,500, which can vary depending on the industry and school included. 

Even at a lower cost than traditional college, Mia Share helps make it even more accessible to receive a valuable education through trade, or technical, schools. Through tuition solutions like Income Share Agreements and Payment Plans, students can complete their courses at a portion to no cost! 

An income Share Agreement, or ISA, is an agreement to pay a percentage of income after graduation. Students make payments after they graduate and earn above the minimum salary threshold. A Payment Plan is an interest-free agreement where students pay their tuition over a set number of payments.

Length of Program

Trade schools offer condensed programs that can save time and money. Not only does a shorter program allow you to earn money sooner, but it also feels less intimidating to an individual unsure of a 4-year program. 

The length of a traditional four-year college can lead to burnout. According to a study by EducationData, more than 40% of undergraduates drop out of college, and 30% of those students drop out before sophomore year. Trade schools allow students to combat this fatigue and stay engaged.

Salary Expectations:

According to a US Bureau of Labor Statistics study, many trade school graduates earn above-average salaries. Occupations like dental hygienists and welding can make between $50,000 to $80,000 annually. In the manufacturing industry, the fastest-growing jobs are first-line supervisors, inspectors, team assemblers, industrial machinery mechanics, maintenance, and repair workers. 

Job Security

Trade school graduates also benefit from strong job security. Trade school programs oftentimes include apprenticeships and internships in the curriculum. Students graduate with experience and a potential job opportunity. 

Partners of Mia Share also benefit from job placement assistance. From resumes to interviews, our career advisors and student success team are fully available to assist graduates with their job search, and increase their chances of job opportunities!

Also, careers like plumbing and radiation therapists typically survive recessions and weak economies. Graduates of trade school often perform essential services that are necessary to society, therefore, suffer less from job instability.

If you haven’t considered trade schools as a viable option for higher education, I hope this article gave you some insight into the benefits, like higher job security and lower tuition, and informed you of a possible alternative. Make sure to do more research on specific institutions to understand tuition and fee information before you finalize your decision!

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