5 Things You Should Consider When Choosing a Trade School

Choosing the place where you will be investing your time and money for an education is not one to take lightly. We all want the best education we can find, because ultimately employers will be seeking out applicants with the knowledge and accreditation that stands out from the others. Consider the following tips for making your decision:

1. School success rate
First and foremost, it’s important to think about the school’s reputation, both as a whole and within your program. Do most students get job placements right out of the program? How good are those placements? Does the school have a high completion rate? There are plenty of digital resources, like web forums or databases, that provide ratings and testimonies to students’ experiences. Some you may have to take with a grain of salt, as everyone’s experience is different. However, it’s usually very clear when a school has a poor reputation, and that information is often readily available. Bad reviews, high dropout rates, and low job placement rates are definitely some red flags to look out for.

2. Costs
Tuition is obviously a big consideration for choosing a school, but there are always financial aid options available, as well as grants and scholarships. You should also look into what additional costs may be required, such as textbooks or equipment. A school that provides materials along with its tuition is the ideal choice, but just consider what is feasible for you financially, and what feels like a worthwhile investment of your money in the long term.

3. Accreditation
A school that is accredited has been reviewed and meets a certain level of academic standards. Some jobs and fields are very particular about their requirements, so it’s important to find an accredited school/program. The Accrediting Commission of Careers Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) is a good resource for checking these standards.

4. Classroom/Teacher Experience
Smaller class sizes are often a favorable choice in educational settings because it allows you to have more of a personalized experience where you get the time and attention you need to learn thoroughly. You also will want to consider the instructors’ qualifications -- not only will a highly experienced instructor give you good instruction, but they may also be able to provide professional connections and opportunities later down the line.

5. Facilities/Up-to-date Technology
The technical field is one that is constantly evolving, so you will want to ensure your school offers an up-to-date program to keep up with these changes. Especially when it comes to tools and machinery, you will want to have access to ones that are used in your industry. Staying up-to-date with knowledge of the latest technologies and equipment being used is a huge advantage when it comes to hireability out of trade school.


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