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Weighing the Pros and Cons of Training Programs vs. Community College

Education is not one-size-fits-all. When considering what comes after high school, you may think that your only options are a traditional four-year college or immediately entering the workforce. In reality, college is not for everyone. If you want to build a future you can be proud of, you may instead want to weigh the pros and cons of a vocational or technical training school and community college. Keep in mind that each offers unique value depending on where you want to put your focus, the development of relevant skills, and the potential for long-term debt and compensation.


Community colleges are an ideal option for students who are unsure of their future career. These schools support a wide range of program options, giving students a more well-rounded education , including general education coursework like math, science, and English that are geared toward a typical business career. These courses focus on theories and lectures and are intended to help students prepare for transferring to a University to complete a four-year degree.

Technical or vocational training schools, on the other hand, carry a much smaller portfolio. Because they are focused on specific career choices, they dive right into the relevant coursework and practical applications of skills. Students will spend most of their time learning critical skills that they will need in the field and developing a strong knowledge base to help ensure success in their chosen career. Many career-training programs also offer students as part of the training program to complete an externship or internship to get hands-on practice in their area of expertise.


The decision between community college and a training school is often a very fundamental one: do you prefer working with your hands or sitting at a desk? Community college is a realistic option for many students, but may not be the right path for students who are very clear about the area they want to specialize in, and who are prepared to jump right into learning.

Specialized training programs provide education and the hands-on practice needed to pursue specific career paths such as automotive technicianbusiness office administratorHVAC technician , or medical assistant. Rather than satisfying a series of general education requirements, students focus on and develop the skills they will need in the field.

Length of Education

One crucial element in deciding which is the correct path for you, is considering the length of time it requires for you to complete your training through a community college. At community colleges, you must complete general education courses before choosing a specific career adding additional time to your education.

At vocational trade schools, because of the specific programs available you focus on just the core subject matter and gain hands on experience in the process. Programs can be completed in as little as 11 months!


A variety of career training programs are offered at all of our UEI College campuses. UEI’s programs are designed to help students prepare for a new career through real-life experience and hands-on training.

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