Technical Colleges: The Alternative for 'Hands-On' People

 By: Susan Slobac
If you are someone who has difficulty stringing two words together to form a coherent sentence and doesn't know much about history or geography - but you can disassemble and rebuilt a modern automobile engine blindfolded - technical colleges may be just the thing for you. Not everyone is suited to sitting in a cubicle in sterile corporate office wearing a white button-down shirt and tie; some prefer to work with their hands, with machinery, with wood and concrete and stone. That is what vocational schools are all about - and more.

In fact, if you are considering career colleges such as a vocational technical school, you're probably ahead of the game already. Many people who choose trade schools already know what their aptitudes are and have a clear career path in mind. This is not always the case for those who choose traditional colleges and universities over technical colleges.

This pretty well dispels the myth that people who go to technical colleges are there because they couldn't "cut it" academically. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Today's technical school is every bit as demanding as a four-year university. The reason that career colleges such as trade schools have not enjoyed the same status is because our society and culture has traditionally focused on linguistic intelligence rather than tactile and bodily-kinesthetic and spatial reasoning aptitudes that are important in building and mechanical trades. Nonetheless, according to Dr. Howard Gardner, these types of intelligence are just as important as any other of the eight that his research identified back in the 1980s.

It is true that most such trade schools offer two-year degree programs rather than four-year ones, but you can be sure that those two years will be challenging and will keep you thoroughly engaged. Career colleges are no different than other institutions; you will have to provide a high school transcript or evidence of having successfully completed a GED program.

Another prevalent myth is that employers are not as impressed with a certificate from a technical school as they are with a degree from a traditional university. It's true that a machinist certification is not likely to get you a job as a financier with AIG or Goldman-Sachs (and why would you even want to work for them anyway?), but rest assured, those in industry will be highly impressed with evidence of such training.

Technical schools are for those who are craftspeople at heart, who enjoy working with their hands and take pride in a job well done. Yo owe it to yourself to check out the opportunities that technical colleges have to offer today!
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