Infographics

Trade School vs. College: Which Is Right for You? (Infographic)

Figuring out your future isn't easy. Here are some things to consider.
Trade School vs. College: Which Is Right for You? (Infographic)
Image credit: JGI/Tom Grill | Getty Images
2 min read

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to school. Before jumping into what could be thousands of dollars of debt and a useless major, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of going to a four-year college, trade school or community college.

Related: Are College-Dropout Billionaire Entrepreneurs Really That Common?

Many students go to a four-year school because they believe it’s the normal thing to do. According to research by Degree Query, 30 percent of students worldwide only go to a four-year college because they think it’s the natural progression after high school, and 23 percent only go because they think it’s what's expected from them.

Going to a four-year college is perfect for people who have a chosen career path that requires a bachelor’s degree, who want to pursue a master’s or professional degree later on or who want and can afford the college experience. But what about everyone else? There are a number of alternatives to getting a bachelor’s degree, including an associate’s degree from a two-year community college or a diploma, apprenticeship or certificate from a specialized trade or vocational school.

Related: Do Your Kids Really Need College?

If you want to avoid running up crazy student debt, community college can be a good place to start. On average, the yearly tuition at a public community college is approximately $3,500. At a public four-year school, it’s around $10,000, about 82 percent higher than that of a community college. So, is it worth the money? Not necessarily. If you can learn all of the skills you need to succeed at a community college or trade school, then a traditional bachelor’s degree could be a waste of time and money. In fact, 45 percent of recent college grads in 2015 were working jobs that didn’t require college degrees.

To learn more, check out Degree Query’s infographic below.

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