Education in the United States has never been considered inexpensive but back in the mid-80s college education was more than four times cheaper on average than it is now.

As students are unable to pay for college education these days without getting into debt, and the costs of tuition go up, more high school graduates are looking for new ways of acquiring the education they need to enter the labor market.

According to financial experts, a very viable option is choosing an education alternative such as trade school. So, what are the pros and cons of each of these options? Let’s take a look at what finance experts have to say about trade school and college. 

Analyzing The #1 Reason to Choose Trade School Over College: The Cost

One of the biggest downfalls of college education is the amount of debt that students get into for attending school. According to Education Data, most college students build up an average debt of $36,406, whether they graduated or not.

The difference in debt between students who attended college or trade school is astonishing. Regardless of the field of study, the average cost of obtaining a degree from a trade school is $33,000 in contrast with an average of $132,000 for a bachelor’s degree, including tuition fees.

According to Trent Hamm, Founder of The Simple Dollar, students who attend trade school graduate with an average of $10,000 of debt, while students who attend college collect an average student debt of $36,327, after interest.

What about time investment?

No one said it better than Benjamin Franklin – time is money.

In comparison with a four-year college degree, trade schools allow students to finish their study courses within one to two years. The length of the course varies according to the program, but ultimately, students are able to enter the labor market right after school, something that’s not necessarily the same for college students with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees who need to invest at least 3-4 years of their life into finishing.

Oftentimes, college students must still go through internships after their college degrees are over in order to kickstart their careers, while trade school students receive all of their practice integrated into the course, eliminating the need for an internship and even being able to start working in their preferred field before they finish their programs.

Salary Expectation

Another frequent reason to choose college over trade school is income expectation. There is no question about it; a bachelor’s degree accounts for 16,900 USD in additional income per year according to the National Center For Educational Statistics.

However, because of the amount of debt that students incur after finishing a college degree, more and more people are finding trade school to be a more convenient path. Trade school graduates have an entry-level average yearly salary of over 35,000 USD depending on the program.

When we add this to the fact that soon there will be a shortage of skilled laborers, people are finding the idea of attending trade school more appealing as it presents a positive picture in terms of job security.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are considering continuing your education at a trade school or a four-year college, it’s important to analyze the weight of the costs of tuition and which type of institution offers you the flexibility you need according to loans, scholarships and payment plans to create less of a financial hardship upon you, and ultimately, of course, a more fulfilling life.