Thursday, October 31, 2013
Three Advantages of Going to a Technical College Instead of a University
If you're wondering what kind of studies to pursue in an uncertain world full of rapid change there are at least three advantages technical colleges have over universities.They're cheaper and easier to get into than universitiesTechnical colleges are cheaper than universities. Tuition at a technical college can vary from $3,000-$5,000 for each school year, depending on the type of program. Tuition at universities, however, could range from about $7,000 a year for a state university in the U.S. (or a Canadian university), to $30,000 a year for an ivy-league university.The tuition bill at a university will also be larger than a vocational college because the programs are longer. Undergraduate degree programs at universities generally last four years. Many vocational college programs typically last 1 to 3 years.Technical colleges are also easier to get into than universities. A good U.S. university requires high grades and high SAT scores. Technical colleges, however, place less emphasis on marks and SAT scores. They may assess aptitude and skill instead. Graphic arts students at the college I work at have to bring a portfolio when applying for a space, while advertising students have to write an entrance exam assessing their communication aptitude.Practical job-related trainingTechnical colleges offer practical, hands-on training. At the college I teach at (I teach communications to different departments), I see students who are learning to program computers, create dentures, clean teeth, design jewelery, make pastries, design websites or even new gadgets. Many of them get jobs shortly after graduating.Some even continue on to a university a few years later since some college courses can bridge into university degree programs.Smaller ClassesAt technical college, classes are smaller than those at a university. Students might attend labs in their various fields (there are always limited spaces) and work learning hands-on skills, as an instructor, usually an expert in the field, gives timely and individualized feedback. In a university, students could find themselves in a large lecture theatre full of hundreds of students with the professor as a tiny spec at the front of the class delivering information. Having attended such a class at a large Canadian university, I can tell you it is very alienating and not terribly conducive to learning.So, consider your options carefully as you make important decisions about your post secondary education. You might be pleasantly surprised by what a technical college has to offer.