Friday, July 30, 2004

 

The Advantages of Attending a Career College.


There are many educational choices for this year’s crop of graduating seniors. Traditional colleges, both four-year colleges and community colleges, are becoming less and less of a “fit” for students. Long times to graduate, waiting lists for popular programs, or outdated curriculum for modern careers are all compelling reasons to seek other sources of education. Indeed, only 30% of students who enter a four year college actually graduate. Of those who do graduate, large portions don’t even find work in their chosen field.

On the other hand, career colleges offer specific training for some of the “hottest” jobs available like nursing, dental hygiene and a wide range of technical and computer jobs. Let’s look at three perceived disadvantages a career college has over traditional schools.

Prestige

With such a current emphasis on college attendance and the competitive lengths some high school students are willing take to get into top schools, some recent graduates may consider choosing to attend a career college as settling. This is not necessarily the case. Why are you going to college? Usually the answer is to get an education, learn a profession and be able to provide for you future. A career college does all these things, in less time than traditional schools. Most career college graduates actually make a higher starting wage as well, depending on their degree. When you look at the choice pragmatically, one may ask the question, “Why don’t more high school graduates choose a career college?” One thing to make sure of before you enter any school, is whether or not it is accredited by the national governing body, especially if your profession requires licensing…like nursing or dental hygiene.

Expense

When you compare tuition prices with a community college or junior college with that of a career college, you may wonder how you can justify the wide discrepancy. Once you consider the limited availability of spaces in top in demand programs, it becomes easier to justify the cost. For instance, nursing schools, dental hygiene schools and other “hot” careers have long wait times to even gain entry. While these wait times often shorten up, it still may be years before you get into the program. Meanwhile, career colleges have much shorter wait times, or no wait times at all. If you consider the lost earnings of a dental hygienist during the three year wait period, it becomes much easier to justify the higher tuition. Indeed it would cost more over the long run to attend the community college!

Social Life

One of the big reasons graduating seniors go to college is because it allows them some freedom and independence for the first time in their lives. There are few things that compare to the feeling of living on a college campus your freshman year. While career colleges don’t typically offer that experience, they do offer many social activities other colleges do like political and professional associations. People have a tendency to make friendships and form bonds no matter what the environment is. If you really want to “spread your wings” and get away from home, move out of your parent’s house and get some roommates. If you need distance, attend a career college in a different city or state.

The bottom line is career colleges offer many distinct advantages over traditional schools. Relevant education, reduced wait times for enrollment and shorter time to graduation are all great benefits. Don’t let the perceived disadvantages of a career college derail you from a bright future.

Comments:
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