How to Choose Between a Community College and a Technical College
Once you know that, you can weigh the pros and cons of each and figure out which one is going to fit your lifestyle the best.
Lucky for you we’ve already done the research and laid out the benefits of both community colleges and technical colleges. We started by asking ourselves 3 basic questions for each type of college, and this is what we came up with.
- Who will do well in Community College vs. will do well in Technical College?
- What are the Community College pros and Technical College pros?
- What are the Community College cons and Technical College cons?
Who will do well in community college vs. will do well in a technical college?
Community college is a great option for students who want to further their education close to home, while saving money on tuition, room and board and exploring possible, future 4 year college opportunities.
A student who did not like, or do well in high school, will likely do better in a technical college where they will be put straight into a real-world environment, learning hands-on skills and maintaining an interest in interactive school work.
Community College Pros
There are a lot of benefits to attending a community college. From convenience to affordability, community colleges are great for students who want a more traditional process of learning and the option to further their education.
- Convenient two-year programs that will earn you an associate’s or liberal arts degree.
- A lower tuition due to public tax dollars at the local, state and federal levels.
- Ability to transfer of credits to a four-year college or university and save money in the process.
- More programs to choose from.
- Time to explore different career fields before choosing a major.
- The chance to improve your GPA enough to meet minimum admissions requirements for a 4 year college.
- An open-door admissions process. All students, regardless of past academic performance, will be accepted.
- Often located right in the middle of the city, allowing for easy access to public transportation and urban amenities.
- A schedule to fit the unique lifestyles of working students and students with families.
Technical College Pros
Attending a technical college has many advantages, especially if you have already identified your ideal career and are eager to start. From saving time to getting hands-on training and real-world experience, this could be the place for you.
- Immediate hands-on training, real world experiences and career placement assistance.
- Specialized programs that prepare students for a specific trade or industry.
- Tuition includes everything a student will need throughout the length of the program, like books, miscellaneous fees, lab tools and any other necessary supplies.
- Can be completed in less than two years.
- Most technical colleges go year around allowing you to complete your training more quickly, coupled with the fact that you take minimal general education classes.
- Most technical colleges start classes more frequently than community colleges, which have traditional starting times: January, summer, fall.
- Technical schools are typically located in the center of town. Live at home and save money on room and board.
- Smaller class sizes and limited enrollment allow for one-on-one attention from instructors.
- Offers unique and flexible opportunities for working students and students with families.
- Training in a specific field allows a student to bypass taking multiple general education classes.
- Instructors are usually highly skilled, experienced and connected in the fields they teach, offering a wealth of knowledge.
- Usually, career service advisors are on staff at technical schools to assist students in searching for employment after graduation.
- Externships are often included in the technical college programs, which offer valuable, real-world experience to students.
- Students can be prepared to sit for the industry certifications in their specific field of study.
Community College Cons
- Though Community college tuition tends to be cheaper than technical colleges, it usually only includes tuition and fees, requiring students to pay for books and all other required supplies out-of-pocket every semester.
- The curriculum is equal parts lecture and hands-on training.
- At a community college a student will have to spend time and money on lectures and general education courses, whether they want to or not.
Technical College Cons
- While most technical colleges are accredited, not many of them allow the credits you earn to be transferred to other technical, community or four-year colleges.
- Tuition at a technical school is usually more expensive than the tuition at a community college.
- If you really want those general education courses and the option for a more advanced degree, you are kind of out of luck at a technical college.
Now that you have weighed the pros and cons of community colleges and technical colleges, you can make an educated decision about where you need to be. Once the decision is made, waste no time in finding and enrolling in the school of your choice. You could be on your way to training for a new career by the end of the week!