College or a Trade School? Which is better for me?


Ellie Branson

Terence Addrison works on fixing a problem with a motor.

Laura Bassette, Editor

I believe that going to college is something important that everyone should have the chance to experience. But college is not for everyone, if you feel that sitting in class and doing bookwork and studying is not for you then you should absolutely try attending a vocational school or something that suits your style of learning. 

While going to college is a popular opinion, there are many options that anyone could choose from, such as vocational schooling, jumping into the workforce or even starting your own business. It’s true that earning a higher education degree can lead to a better paying job. But sometimes there are hurdles to get into college.  These may be options for students who feel that the classroom is not for them.  

Vocational schooling is a type of school that offers hands-on learning as an alternative to going to college. It allows students that instead of sitting and reading books about what they are going to do it allows them to actually do the task and learn about it by doing it.

One of the first reasons that people can’t attend college is because of the cost. Out-of-state students going to a public college pay an average of about $23,000 dollars annually, while in-state students pay about $9,000. For private colleges, students pay an average of about $32,410. However, for Ivy League colleges, students pay an average amount of about $52,414. These numbers don’t apply to every college. For example, Harvard students this year had to pay a total amount of about $69,607. 

According to Maurie Beckham for the Motley Fool in the CNN Money section, now even wealthier families can’t afford college.  

“Even families earning over $100,000 a year can’t afford nearly 60 percent of U.S. colleges,” says Beckham. 

This number is frightening because this means that if some upper-class people can’t afford college then there is almost no hope for lower-class people that aspire to do something with their lives. They might have to apply for scholarships and scholarships can’t be given out to everyone, right? Hence the reason that going to this type of school is starting to become quite a popular choice when it comes to earning a college education without the actual “college” part.

Vocational schooling is different from going to college because mostly in vocational schooling you do hands-on work while in a college you usually sit down and study. Vocational schooling is usually more expensive than a college and has more students.

Another reason that students can’t attend college is that they aren’t suited for college. Some students won’t attend college because they prefer to work with their hands. Some colleges, however, do not cater to those who prefer to learn through hands-on experience 

For example, Sheridan Technical School is a technical school where students can receive hands-on learning. They offer a program where you can train for your career in a year. It was ranked No. 1 in the state for Industry Certification awards.   

Schools like Sheridan train students for jobs that require rigorous training and skill, such as a plumber or electrician. This would help them in the long-run because they would be able to charge a premium for their services.  

For example, plumbers earn an average of about $22-$66,000 annually. 

Another reason students choose not to attend college is that they could use the money they would’ve used to pay for college, to start a business.  

If you take the time to think about it, a four-year degree at a public university costs an average of about $34,000 dollars. You could use that money AND take out a loan so that you could start your own hair salon. Business classes are also available at community colleges for an affordable price.  

It is in times like this that it would seem to be a better choice to attend a college where you would be able to learn the correct way to manage a business and be able to look after it physically and financially. 

Going to a formal college is not something that’s for everyone. Not everyone has the patience and capacity to sit for an hour and thirty minutes straight and listen to a professor drone on and on about the most boring topic you’ve ever heard about. It’s not for everyone. The point is that you should be following your heart and what you think is better for you.