If you’re looking for a career that has degree or certification requirements, it can be difficult to know the best option for education. Between traditional universities, online programs, and vocational schools, there are a lot of choices. Here are some of the things you’ll want to consider with each.
If you want to expand your knowledge and receive a well-rounded background in many subjects, a traditional university is a great option. If you haven’t chosen a specific career, this could be your opportunity to learn a little about a lot of things in order to make a more informed decision. You’re also likely to meet a lot of people with a variety of interests.
If you’ve chosen a specific career, you might be better off pursuing trade-specific education. Culinary arts, automotive careers, and medical training are all career fields that benefit from hands-on technical training. Vocational schools allow you to meld your training and education into one experience and also eliminate the requirement of extraneous courses. This results in often shorter programs and offers with an environment full of people interested in the same career field as you. For those who know what direction they want their career to go, trade school provides a focused, driven environment that values practical knowledge rather than theoretical.
If you’re a solitary learner and need to fit your education into a busy schedule, then online learning is a viable option. A lot of online programs have worked out the kinks of distance learning. You’ll have to be very self-motivated and be okay with a less social learning experience. That being said, some online programs still have a large amount of interpersonal interaction so be sure to do your research and base your decision on facts about the specific program, not your assumptions about online education.
All three options can be right for certain people. The effectiveness of the program depends on both your learning style and your career. In general, traditional university is better for a well-rounded education, trade school is best for those with a definite career path, and online learning is good for the self-learner and in fields with a lot of coursework rather than practical application.
Are you on the hunt for an education? What are your feelings about these three different educational options?