Students facing decisions about post-secondary education have many alternatives today. One of the growing areas of interest is in trade schools and programs. While trade programs aren’t new, there has been a renewed focus on these for a number of reasons. Similarly, adults considering returning to school find that a trade school can be an attractive option. There are several advantages in considering a trade-based education.
One of the most important benefits in a trade education setting is the focus on hands-on practice and learning. One of the least-addressed learning styles in traditional classrooms and programs is that of tactile learners. The student who learns by doing and handling is often left behind in a public school setting, and options for post-secondary study are intimidating when more of the same is to be expected.
In a trade school, however, a student is immersed in the activity related to the field being pursued. Students who are tactile learners can thrive in such an environment. Some will pursue culinary interests, while others pursue fashion design. Still others will find highly technical skilled trades options, like HVAC training or welding training, to be engaging and exciting.
Whereas a university or college requires a large focus on core curriculum classes, a trade school centers only on those courses relevant to the area studied. An HVAC student really doesn’t need to take humanities classes like anthropology, sociology and music history to be successful. Rather, an HVAC technician school focuses on relevant content and skills required to understand and service heating and cooling equipment. Trade schools don’t waste a student’s time on unrelated material.
The idea of spending more time in school can be disheartening for some students, especially when considering four-year university programs. Technical programs will vary according to the course of study and the institution. However, many skilled trade programs are geared toward training students as quickly as possible to move people from the classroom to the workplace in a reasonable amount of time.
Time factors are also significant for students returning to school. Many don’t feel that they have the ability to commit to a four-year degree, especially if they attempt to study while continuing to work. With a trade school, these returning students have the opportunity to complete a program in a manageable span of time.
Trade programs often provide students with the opportunity to learn from experts in the field. Real situations are simulated in a lab, and practical approaches to issues are taught and practiced. There is a great deal of value in being able to learn directly from an experienced professional in a trade.