Huffpost College
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Uloop Headshot

Vocation, Vocation, Vocation: How Do You Feel?

Posted: Updated:

College or university isn't for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that. Life experience is like the best hands-on education.

A traditional four-year university is usually the next step for a lot of students and it makes sense because today you need at least a bachelor's degree to get that job you want.

You need at least a bachelor's degree to make a decent income. You need at least a bachelor's degree to be taken seriously, or rather, seen professionally in society. God.

University is good for taking all kinds of classes to explore options as you figure out what profession is right for you.

What about those of us who know what we want to do after high school? What about those of us who are dead-set on a career and have a plan B and so forth towards our aspirations?

This is where a vocational, or trade, school comes into play. These schools focus on providing students with marketable skills and have a curriculum tailored to that. Art schools can fall under this category -- and yeah they happen to be pretty costly. Drats!

Going back to the curriculum; if you're going to school for a particular career your courses revolve around that at a vocational school. Like welding for instance, you won't take a bunch of courses just on welding. You'll learn the math and science and all the good stuff that'll be useful for that career path and beyond, while getting a hands-on experience.

Whereas at a traditional university, depending on your degree, you'll likely have to take excess courses that are "core" and required before getting to the meat of what you really want to do. Often times these core requirements are courses you could actually live without.

They're good to have, but is it necessary to pay and take a course on say sociology compared to the actual life experience and knowledge you'd gain elsewhere for less time and money?

Students lose interest rather quickly. And then grades and GPA possibly get affected. Especially if you have to take a course that isn't your strongpoint anyway. This is a potential problem that maybe aids to the drop-out rate of college students, besides the tremendous finances.

Personally, I'd choose going right into what I want as a career. I chose to go to school for training and the opportunities internships bring. I didn't wholeheartedly sign up to take a bunch of subjects I could truly go without -- like advanced mathematics and two science labs.

Other common examples of trade schools include culinary schools, automotive repair training programs, and training for medical technicians. After graduating from a trade school, an individual will be able to immediately enter the job market with his or her skills, and be able to receive a high rate of compensation.

Should there be more vocational and trade schools for kids to hone a skill and master the trade?

By Jehill, University of Alabama