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Reasons to Consider a Trade School Over College

Sep 1, 2022 | News, trade school

Enrolling in a four-year university used to be the best way to find a career, but times have changed.

More and more people are exploring their secondary education options, like enrolling in a trade school. Also known as vocational schools, trade schools offer students a clear, focused path to developing technical skills that can be applied to various careers.

Whether you want to be a welder, electrician, or HVAC/R technician—a trade school is a great place to start. Read on to learn more reasons why you should consider this path.

Trade School vs. Colleges

Traditional universities and trade schools alike have seen increases in enrollment in the 21st century. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, four-year college enrollment rose from 13.2 million students in 2000 to 16.9 million in 2016, and trade school enrollment went from 9.6 million in 1999 to 16 million in 2014. Those figures indicate that while students are still interested in traditional routes, trade schools are becoming an increasingly relevant option.

One of the stark differences between the traditional route and a trade school is how long it takes to graduate. As implied by the name, four-year universities often take four years (sometimes more, sometimes less) to complete. Meanwhile, most trade school programs can be completed in half that time (or less). And not only do you graduate faster, but you’re also typically better prepared for a specialized career.

Enroll in Trade Programs at EIT!

Benefits of Choosing Trade School

Thinking about enrolling in a trade school? Join the millions of others who’ve made a career out of their trade school education. Here are some of the benefits of a trade school program.

1. Enter The Workforce Faster

Depending on the type of trade program you enroll in, you could be finished and on your way to starting a new career in two years or less. The sooner you start your education, the sooner you can use those skills to earn decent money.

2. Gain Real-World Experience

One of the biggest draws for trade school is the marriage of hands-on practical experience with in-class learning. It’s much easier to learn how to be an electrician, HVAC technician, or welder when you’ve already experienced the daily tasks you’ll be doing.

3. Be Prepared for In-Demand Careers

Think about how often we need HVAC/R specialists, electricians, and other contractors to fix various things in our homes and communities. That need isn’t going anywhere. You can take advantage of it by enrolling in a trade program and learning the skills you need to build a successful career in an in-demand field.

4. Graduate With Little-to-No Debt

According to the Federal Student Aid Office, there are about 43 million federal student loan borrowers who’ve accumulated over 1.6 trillion dollars of debt. Much of this debt is held by students who chose the four-year route. But since trade school typically costs less and students graduate faster, they have little to no debt to worry about.


How Much Does It Cost To Go to a Trade School?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average trade school tuition costs anywhere from $3,674 to $15,923. The biggest factors affecting the cost include the program you choose, its length, and where you enroll.

That amount of money is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but when compared to traditional college (where the average tuition cost can well exceed $100,000), the difference becomes clear.

You should also keep in mind that many trade schools offer financial aid and scholarships as well. Always explore your financial options before enrolling in any program.

Enroll in a Technical School Near You

If you live in or around the Erie, PA area, then you’re already conveniently located near a technical school. Erie Institute of Technology is dedicated to developing your technical skills so that you can experience success in an in-demand career. We offer skilled trade programs for Electricians, HVAC/R Technicians, and Welders.

Picture yourself gaining hands-on training at a facility staffed with instructors who are dedicated to your success. That’s exactly what you’ll get from an EIT program. We’ll even help you find a job upon graduating. Learn more about our programs, and enroll in your trade of choice.


Ross Aresco


Ross Aresco is the CFO of Erie Institute of Technology. Erie Institute of Technology (EIT) is an Erie Pennsylvania technical/trade school providing training programs for medical, computer, electronics, manufacturing, and technology careers. EIT offers programs in many different areas to suit your interests and talents.

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