"Vocational schools can be a really great career path particularly if you want to be in the 'STEM' discipline," said Lauren Griffin, senior vice president of Adecco Staffing in a January interview. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.
But whether you are just graduating high school or looking for a new career, there are pros and cons to attending a vocational school. Here are some to consider before signing up for classes:
Length of Schooling:
For starters, getting certified from trade schools takes significantly less time. "Typically, it takes two years," said Griffin, and that means "you enter the workforce sooner and therefore start earning income sooner."
For instance, programs for pharmacy technicians usually include at least 600 hours of instruction over a 15-week period. Cosmetology school typically takes five to six months and a certified automotive mechanic takes eight months to just under two years.
Everyone learns a different way, but some people are more visual learners. In that case, a vocational school might be a great option.
At the New York Automotive & Diesel Institute, an automotive mechanic trade school in Queens, students have classroom sessions but the majority of the instruction takes place in workshops, which helps for a smooth transition to being on the job.
Price of education:
The eight-month program there costs about $16,000, whereas the average cost of tuition and fees at four-year public schools for the 2015-2016 school year was $9,410 a year, according to theCollege Board. That makes a difference when it comes to loans, too. Think "$30,000 on average with college loans, versus the average trade loan of $10,000," Griffin said.