CHOOSING YOUR TRADE SCHOOL IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF A SUCCESSFUL CAREER.
Unsure what to do after high school? Trade school is an awesome option. You will get the specialized skills that make you valuable in a growing field. And faster than you would in a four-year program. Not to mention, trade school costs less than regular college. Heck, you could even find a trade that matches your interests.
But how to do you find the right one? Consider the following factors as you look for the right trade school for you…
ARE THE FACILITIES UP-TO-DATE?
Visit the school and check out their facilities. Are the tools and equipment used in training the same ones you would use in the job field? You want to know that you’re learning the most current skills on the most advanced machinery. Because you want employers to be fighting over you when you finish your program.
When you graduate, you won’t have lots of work experience to beef up your resume. But if you’re trained on the most advanced tools and techniques, you’ll have an edge on other job seekers. So look for a school with cutting edge techniques. This way you’ll leave the program with the most current training.
Unsure what trade you want to pursue? Try an online test. Once you know what trade you like, learn about the technology in that field and compare it to what you find at the schools you visit.
HOW BIG ARE THE CLASSES?
Trade school is different from high school or regular college. While there may be some class time where you’re at a desk for a tutorial, most of your training will take place in a shop, lab, or worksite. This is hands-on work. You’re going to want direct attention and training from your professors to learn the right skills, the right way.
If this one-on-one instruction is important to you, look for a school with small class sizes. Especially for the classes where you’ll be in the shop or on a worksite. You want to be able to ask as many questions as needed and get plenty of time with the instructor. If you’re in a large class, that may not be possible.
IS THE SCHOOL ACCREDITED?
Make sure that the school you’re considering is accredited. What does that mean? This means that the school has been reviewed and meets a high level of academic standards. If your program has a great reputation, employers will want to hire you. On the other hand, you aren’t going to get the time of day if you’re training isn’t respected
There are loads of schools popping up these days—especially online. Some of these degrees don’t meet recognized standards. You don’t want to pay for a degree and then find that your skills don’t meet employer requirements. So don’t get played by an institution that doesn’t respect your time and money. Check out the following resources to check whether your school is accredited.
- Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, posted by the U.S. Department of Education
- Council for Higher Accreditation database
DO THEY HELP YOU FIND A JOB?
Getting your degree is a big accomplishment! But the real reason you opted for trade school was to get the right job that will be worth the time and money of training.
So before you commit to a school, visit their job placement office or career services. Will they help you get co-ops and internships while you’re in school? Do they have relationships with local employers? Have their graduates had successful careers? These are all important questions to answer.
A career in the trades is a great path. But you have to choose the right school to launch it. Take your time and do your due diligence. A degree from a well-respected school is the best first step in a rewarding career.
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