Opinion: Shaming trade schools

The stigma against trade schools in high school is harmful to many


Bailey Musnicki

After 10 years, someone who has a 1-year certificate from trade school only makes $1,000 less than someone with a 4-year degree—so why do high schools channel so many of its students to college?

Oliver Simpson, Staff Writer

From the first day of high school, teachers and staff members are constantly bringing up college, whether it’s about colleges that are visiting, how to apply, or why students should go. However, little do these staff members talk about the benefits of going to a trade school. Even when they do, it’s usually as a last resort, or for kids who aren’t the best students. A trade school is a school designed to prepare someone for a specific occupation. While it is often looked down upon if you choose to go to a trade school over college, society would be greatly affected if we didn’t have people who were trained to do those jobs. Trade school is just as valid an option as college. 

According to Webster Dictionary, trade school is defined as “A secondary school teaching the skilled trades.” This means that it’s an option for students after high school who aren’t interested in going to college. You can get a degree in fields such as information technology, nursing, and health sciences, automotive technician training, and many more. 

There are many reasons that trade school is important and equal to attending college. One reason is that not everyone is interested in college in the first place, and they shouldn’t be shamed for thinking that way. Not everyone has to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree to be successful and happy in life. People who go to trade school over college spend 82% less than someone who attends a college to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Many people could be missing out on jobs they are very interested in from this shame pressed by teachers about trade school. According to Entreprenuer.com, 30% of people who attend college, only do because they think it’s the natural progression after high school which leads back to the lack of discussion of trade school in their previous years of high school. It also states that 23% attend college because they think it’s what they’re expected to do not because they want to.  

It’s been proven that on average after 10 years, someone who has a 1-year certificate from trade school only makes $1,000 less than someone with a 4-year degree. Therefore, there is no credible reasoning for why trade school should be looked down upon as an invalid option to further your education. Trade schools are important to students and without people educated from trade school, society would not function.