If you’ve just graduated high school, are taking a gap year before deciding on what to do next or are an adult learner looking to increase your value in the workforce, you may be wondering which higher educational pathway is best for you. Should you choose a career college or traditional, four-year college?

Since we all have different needs and different goals, this is not a simple question answer. However, SchoolMatchPro.com is here to assist you in making the correct choice that best fits your objectives. You see, SchoolMatchPro.com has developed a system that uses your preferences, your educational goals and your post-graduation needs to help you better determine which path is right for you.

With our technology, we can connect you directly with a career college, trade school, certificate or licensing program, or four-year degree program that could be a great match for you.

Before we show you how to use our free technology, let’s discuss some of the “surface” pros and cons of each one: career college vs. four-year college.

First, let’s begin with cost. The average annual cost of pursuing a four-year degree, including books, supplies and living expenses is about $36,436. That’s per year. And this cost has more than doubled since the year 2000.[1]

Career-based educations, like trade school for example, cost on average between $3,000 to $15,000 per year, depending on the school and program of study.[2]

A four-year degree will take you about 4 years to complete, depending on your course load and lifestyle, while vocational schools generally take two years or less to graduate.

The average starting salary for a person with a bachelor’s degree is around $55,260.[3]Graduates of career-based colleges and trade schools have a very wide salary range, but average about $35,720 in their first year.[4]

Pros and cons of cost and salary: Four-year degree earners generally make more money out of school than career-based school grads. However, four-year degrees take at least twice as long to complete, and can cost upwards of $100,000 or more to obtain, while some vocational degrees may cost as little as $5,000.

Now, clearly there is a big time and cost difference here, and it’s one you should seriously consider before making a choice. Now, after graduation, there can be a big lifestyle difference too.

For example, many four-year grads hold jobs in an office environment, while many vocational school grads can work in the field and are generally more hands-on in their careers. Before choosing an educational path, you should consider whether you’re an “in-office” type of person, or you’re better off in “the field.”

Both pathways can lead you to career success, and both pathways can lead you to eventually owning your own business. A major difference between them is this: what do you want your career to be, and when do you want to start it?

Of course, these are just some “surface” questions you’ll need to answer before choosing the right school for you. In order to better understand your choices, you should consider using the free technology at SchoolMatchPro.com.

Here’s how: simply visit SchoolMatchPro.com and click on the “Access Free Resources Now” button on the homepage. From there, you’ll gain access to everything you need to help you make a more informed, more customized decision about your education. 

[1] Average Cost of College [2023]: Yearly Tuition + Expenses (educationdata.org)

[2] How Much Trade School Costs and How to Pay for It | SoFi

[3] Average College Graduate Salaries | Bankrate

[4] Community College vs. Trade School (communitycollegereview.com)