Is trade school considered college? A trade school is not the same as a college. However, it may provide students with the education they need to perform specific jobs, often in the trade fields. For some people, the goal of going to college may be a bit different than others. Some may not wish to spend four or more years in college learning a wide range of insights before making a decision to move towards a career path. A trade school could be an alternative for some. Before making a decision, the are a few things to know about these schools and how they typically work. What Is Trade School? A trade school, sometimes called a vocational school or technical school, provides postsecondary education designed to teach students specific skills for a trade career. Typically, this type of school provides hands-on educational opportunities to help students gain the necessary skills to work in a specific field they select. Much of the work they do in that trade school focuses on doing that job. Students in a trade school typically do not finish a large amount of general coursework. Rather, they gain certifications, in some cases, and skills for a specific focus area. There are many examples of trade schools. For example, some people enroll in a trade school to learn cosmetology, which means their education focuses on topics such as hair design, cutting, and care. Another person may wish to be a welder. In this case, they may learn how to weld in various ways and do various jobs as a welder in professional life. Does Trade School Count as College? Since no is the answer to the question – is trade school considered college, a trade school is not the same as college, though the two educational paths have similar goals to help a student prepare for an end job or career path. A trade school is different from a traditional college setting. Students take part in highly focused educational programs that prepare them to finish skilled trades. A student does not earn a specific degree program, though they may earn certifications in some situations. Is trade school considered college? – No. For that reason, a trade school and college are two different types of educational paths. However, many trade schools are postsecondary avenues for learning. A student may graduate from high school and then enroll in the program. Keep in mind, too, that some vocational schools like this prepare students while they are in high school, often beginning work in a trade program in their 11th and 12th grades of education. This is another way that these schools differ from the traditional college setting. A person that earns a certification from a trade school may be able to go on and start a career in that field. In that way, it is much like a college that aims to prepare a student to do work in a specific field. The two paths to getting there are different, and that is why there is a big distinction between the two. In short, a trade school is a viable path for many people to pursue the education they need to work in some fields. A 4-year college could be a path like this too, but it is not the only option for those who are leaving high school. How Does Trade School Differ from College? A trade school differs from a college in a number of ways, including the cost, the time it takes to work through it, the type of coursework you do during it, and even things like the availability of jobs upon graduation. Here are a few things to consider in that way. Timelines One factor to think about is the amount of time it takes to work through an educational path in either area. A college degree program is typically four years, though you may be able to earn an associate’s that takes between 1 and 2 years. Keep in mind that to earn a bachelor’s, many students spend four years studying and working through a list of schools. This could include classes, lectures, internships, and labs, depending on your educational goals. This is different in a trade school. You have a more focused educational path that eliminates many of the courses you may not need to directly gain the skills needed for the work you plan to do. Rather, some trade schools take six weeks to a year to finish. Others take two years. This difference is significant. Less time in school often translates into lower costs, too. For those who want to gain just specific skills for the work they want to do, going to college often takes much longer than enrolling in a trade school. Coursework Another difference between trade school and college is the type of coursework you take within each program. In a traditional college experience, you are likely to spend time taking many different classes. That may mean taking math courses, science courses, and English courses, even if those courses are not teaching you the specific skills needed for a job. For many people, this approach works well and leads to the type of outcome they desire. In a trade school, the coursework is solely based on the things you need to know how to do in order to do the job itself. This may include learning everything you may about HVAC or plumbing, for example, if those are your preferred educational paths. You typically do not take classes that are outside this scope, though you could in some situations. Job availability Also, think about job availability in this type of program. You may do some basic research using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine which specific demands exist for the job you plan to do. That may give you some insight into what to expect when you finish your education. It is possible to research both trade school and college career paths in this way. Some students may find that in a trade school program, they know which specific job they want to take and are ready for after they graduate. With a four-year college, you may have a lot of choices in the field, but the demand for those positions may differ significantly. Do Trade School Credits Transfer? In some situations, trade school credits transfer to a college degree program, but that depends on the type of education learned and the admitting school’s policies. One thing to keep in mind is that courses only transfer, in many cases, if there is an equivalent topic at the new school. For example, if a student in a trade school is learning HVAC work, they are not likely to take English courses or math courses. Only those courses they take that are the same at the college may transfer. If you are considering this path, be sure to inquire about the transfer options at your college of choice. This may range widely from one school to the next. Is It Better to Go to College or Trade School? Making the decision to enroll in a college or trade school is really dependent on your future goals. Consider the type of work you plan to do when you start on your career path and determine what type of education is necessary for that field to make that decision. Consider the pros and cons of both options based on your individual needs and goals. For those who are looking for job-specific skills, there may be opportunities for you in trade school. That is especially true when you consider the typically much lower cost associated with trade school. On the other hand, trade schools typically do not provide an education that is as deep or comprehensive as a college plan may offer. You may also find that a college offers more versatility to allow you to choose electives and courses that interest you rather than a very specific, step-by-step plan to follow. It is a personal decision, one you need to make based on the type of work you plan to do. This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.