Graduating from high school, students must make the decision whether to continue their education or join the workforce. Attending a community college or university has many obvious benefits, including greater employment opportunities, although this comes at the cost of several more years in school and often a large debt upon graduation. For those who want to enter a career quickly, but want to avoid low-paying, entry-level jobs, vocational school may be a better option.
1. Program Length
Community college is typically two years long, meaning that if you’re going to graduate, you need to be committed. Vocational school programs are much shorter: typically several weeks. For many students, this can mean the difference between dropping out and staying in school until the end.
2. Subject Matter
Another defining difference comes with the courses available. Although more limited than the majors at a four-year university, community colleges tend to offer reasonably wide range of academic subjects, from art and drama to environment science and sociology. At a vocational school, however, you will study for a career. Courses may include pharmacy technician, business accounting specialist, HVAC technician, and medical assistant.
At San Antonio community college, you are required to take a number of classes, many of which are unrelated to your major. You learn about topics of interest and improve your reading, writing, and math abilities. Community college gives you the chance to grow as a person rather than to gain marketable skills.
Compare this to vocational school where, along with specifics for the job, you will learn the essentials for any career, such as communication, professionalism, and computer skills. You will use same equipment and partake in the same tasks as you can expect to encounter throughout your career.
4. Job Prospects
You have likely heard that many college grads are struggling to find work. The exact opposite is true for vocational school graduates, who finish their education prepared to work in a field where the number of jobs is on the rise. There is also much greater security in trade school careers, both due to the high demand for workers and the physical impossibility of sending jobs to another country where labor is cheaper.
Continuing your education can lead to a better job, but community college in San Antonio is unlikely to help you reach your goals. If you want to enter a new career immediately and start gaining experience, vocational school may be right for you. Community college is best left for the students who want to ease into a four-year university.