Career Colleges vs. Community Colleges for Skilled Trades Training

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Technical training and education is vital to a career in the skilled trades. Two of the main institutions that people seek out for technical training are career colleges and community colleges. However, the training programs at these schools are not created equal. Trade schools and career colleges focus specifically on career training instead of offering a mix of general education and lab courses like in community colleges with vocational programs. Career colleges also offer a range of other distinct advantages to students who want to pursue a career in the skilled trades.

Professionally Experienced Instructors
Career colleges are highly selective in their staffing. Students who attend career colleges are more likely to be taught by instructors who have years of professional experience in their industry. Students can then benefit from teachers who haven’t just studied technical skills but have mastered their application in real work settings with imperfect conditions. They can also talk to students about the challenges and rewards of working in the field first-hand.

Market-Calibrated Programs
Whether you are a novice to the field or seasoned worker without formal training, career colleges can offer in-depth skills training to benefit students of a variety of skill levels. Career colleges work with industry leaders and businesses to develop program curricula suited for changing markets. The programs are designed to follow a cohesive format that builds off of previous classes and skills training. Unlike in community colleges where students will have to shape their own programs through a mix of electives and core classes, students in technical schools are led through a streamlined, purpose-made curriculum that seamlessly expands on the skills learned earlier in the program. Technical programs are also periodically reviewed to incorporate new skills training and industry technologies into the courses. These adjustments help prepare students for entering the current job market, ensuring that the skills they’ve learned are relevant to employers.

Specialized Training Facilities
Trade schools make sure to prepare their students on the equipment that they’ll be using later in the field by setting them to work on professional training apparatuses that simulate the real application so students gain experience working with tools and understanding what results to look for. Because community colleges have to divide their focus between so many programs with few resources, they may not be able to update their equipment or programs as frequently to keep pace with industry standards as they change.

Advanced Career Services
Job placement is a strong priority for students coming into career programs, so career colleges also put extensive work into their career services. Technical schools provide resume review, interview strategies, and job fairs so that students can connect with local employers in their industry. While community colleges typically have similar services, technical schools are able to tailor their offerings very specifically to the skilled trades and better support the entire student body.

Have You Considered a Career in the Skilled Trades?

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Students seeking formal training in the skilled trades should tour the schools they’re considering to get to know the facilities, the equipment they’ll be practicing on, the qualifications of the instructors, and what career assistance programs are available to students and graduates. For more information about Oklahoma and Florida trade schools for welder, HVAC, pipefitting, and shipfitting vocational training, contact a Tulsa Welding School representative.

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