Palo Alto College or SCI in San Antonio

palo alto college
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Weigh Your Options: Comparing Palo Alto College

Palo Alto College may be a great school to quickly begin a profitable career, but there are other choices. Click here to weigh your options. You want to continue your education, but you don’t want to spend too much time in school. You want to begin a new career straight after you graduate, but you don’t want to run up a large amount of debt. There is one obvious option: Palo Alto College; however, other schools may be even better for your needs. Weigh the pros and cons before coming to your final decision.

Courses on Offer
At Palo Alto College, you can enroll in a program leading to an associate degree or AAS Certificate. All associate degrees require you to take a variety of courses, including a number that will be unrelated to your major. If you study an Associate of Applied Science, you will be prepared to work for a specific job, such as computer programmer, aircraft dispatcher, or oil and gas production technician. Similarly, an Associate of Arts in Teaching usually leads straight to employment.

Most of the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees, on the other hand, involve a broader area of study, meaning it may be less clear as to what career the program leads. Examples including political science, drama, dance, geology, and agriculture. Certificate programs at Palo Alto College are like those you find at vocational schools. Options at the college include warehouse management, floral design technician, Cisco certified network associate, and data entry technician. Southern Careers Institute also offers certification courses. At SCI, you can study a program to become an administrative assistant, business accounting specialist, cosmetologist, HVAC technician, medical assistant, medical billing and coding specialist, medical office specialist, pharmacy technician, or welder, all careers for which workers are in high demand.

Course Lengths
An associate degree at Palo Alto College requires at least two years to complete if you study full time and even longer if you take evening or weekend classes. At both community college and SCI, most certification programs last just 40 hours.

Palo Alto College is least expensive for in-district students, who pay anywhere between $504 (for one to six semester hours) to $1,418 (for 21 semester hours). Out-of-district students pay up to $3,962, but non-residents and international students may pay up to $7,407. As this excludes books, materials, and other expenses, it can be costly to take an associate degree, as you’ll be in school for two whole years without the chance for full-time employment. Tuition at SCI ranges from $13,020 to $19,945, including registration, a set of books, two sets of uniforms, a certification exam, and an official transcript.

Plus, there are a range of financial options available, including grants, loans, scholarships, and military benefits, meaning many students pay far less than the full cost. Neither Palo Alto College nor SCI is the clear winner. The better option for you will depend on what you want to study, how long you want to spend in school, and your overall career goals. Visit campuses, talk to faculty and students, and research both choices fully before making up your mind to ensure you choose the right school for you.

Want to learn more about how National Certifications might help you in today’s job market?

What SCI Students Are Saying

“I made a complete career change when I started my training at Southern Careers Institute. I needed a stable career to continue providing for my growing family. SCI provided me with the medical terminology and know how that I needed to understand and acquire a career in the medical field. SCI taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now; you always have room to advance and learn.”


Denise S.
Medical Assistant

“I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received from SCI’s Career Services team. I enjoy where I work and what I do. SCI has helped me succeed in life by getting me the necessary education and by making me a stronger and more confident person.”


Raquel S.

“Once I graduated from SCI, I had a sense of accomplishment that helped me through the job search process. SCI provided me with the opportunity to brush up on my skills, extend my accounting knowledge, and they boosted my self-confidence. I went to work two days after my last day of school.”


Annette D.
Business Accounting

“When my youngest child graduated from high school, I told my husband that it was my time. I went back to school to change careers after spending 37 years in the business field. At SCI, the instructors are professional, and they care about what they are teaching you, as well as expect you to give 100% in return. I had problems understanding how to draw in syringes and give injections. I requested extra help from a knowledgeable instructor, and I was able to receive one-on-one training. Today, I draw injections for approximately 100 patients each week. I am very confident in what I’ve learned. SCI has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do. Thank you for my education. I am doing wonderful.”


Bonnie M
Medical Assistant

“I am now a certified Lab Tech. SCI helped me get an externship, and I came out with a job. After my little sister had cancer, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field that allowed me to help others. I am happy about what I do.”


Sidney B
Medical Assistant

“The best place ever!! Ms.Tonia rocks she is the best teacher… I love going to school my time there is amazing.”


Andrea Garcia

“Southern Careers went beyond my expectations. Very impressed. The assistance I got from Career Services is truly amazing. They really went out of their way to get me placed. They really care and I am grateful to all of them.”


Olga C.

“Southern Careers Institute totally surpassed my expectations. Once I finished school, the Career Services team helped me find a job. I would tell anyone thinking about starting career training that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I wish I would have started my training sooner.”


Valerie D.

“I am very happy with where I am and where I’m going. Through high school, I struggled with math. When I came to SCI, I enrolled in the Business Accounting Specialist program to see if I could do it. SCI provided me with the accounting skills I needed to help me find a career. Now, I have an amazing career and room to grow in the company.”


Crystal H.
Business Accounting

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Call 1.833.SCI.TEXAS

Our mission is to ensure the long-term success of our students by delivering employer-tailored programs that result in an increasing demand for Southern Careers Institute graduates.

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