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

Figuring out your future isn't easy. Here are some things to consider.

learn more about Rose Leadem

By Rose Leadem

JGI/Tom Grill | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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.

Rose Leadem
Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com. 

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

This 61-Year-Old Grandma Who Made $35,000 in the Medical Field Now Earns 7 Figures in Retirement
A 'Quiet Promotion' Will Cost You a Lot — Use This Expert's 4-Step Strategy to Avoid It
3 Red Flags on Your LinkedIn Profile That Scare Clients Away
'Everyone Is Freaking Out.' What's Going On With Silicon Valley Bank? Federal Government Takes Control.
Leadership

How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.

Diversity

The Odds Are Still Stacked Against Women in Business. Here's How Young Women Can Defy Them.

As a woman running a seven-figure fintech consultancy, my success hasn't come without its fair share of challenges. Here are some key strategies to jump over the obstacles women face in the corporate world.

Marketing

After Getting Turned Down By Multiple Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She did It.

Author Karen Inglis breaks down the strategies and tactics you need to generate awareness and sales for your self-published book.