Not Now. Always! Reasons Technical Colleges Make Sense

Samuel Michael is a Wisconsin Technical College student and an intern for the Statewide Marketing Consortium.

In a recent blog post by Jeffery King, an education blogger and social media expert for OPPapers.com, Mr. King explained the “5 Reasons Community Colleges Make Sense Right Now.” Those five reasons include:

  1. An easy transition from high school
  2. Great savings
  3. Advantages to living at home
  4. More time to think about your career path
  5. Boost your confidence

Now, I would agree with Mr. King on most of these points, but I would add that they aren’t reasons that community colleges make sense now; they are reasons that community colleges make sense. Period.

Graduate in cap and gown. Photo courtesy Fox Valley Technical College

Secondly, let’s talk money. Everyone is concerned with money and savings; now more than ever. Technical colleges can grant you the same education and provide the general courses you need at a fraction of the cost of a four-year university; public or private. If you are set on a four-year degree, you can take your first two years of general education credits at a tech college and save thousands and thousands of dollars on tuition. Then, if you like, you can transfer your credits to a four-year university and you are right on track for your four-year degree. If you are looking for specialized training and hands-on education, you can complete a degree program at a technical college, be well versed in your area of expertise, and have gained all this knowledge and experience at an excellent price. Anyway you crunch the numbers; technical colleges are the smart choice.

Next, we look at the advantages of living at home. This one is hard for students to stomach, because in the end, we are 17, 18 and 19 year old kids chomping at the bit to leave home and experience freedom from the rule of our parents. I went to a four-year university right out of school, and I lived close enough that I could have lived at home instead of the dorms. I was, however, unrelenting to the fact that the outrageous price for the closet I would share with another person I didn’t know was worth the experience. Looking back, I am a little bummed I spent so much money on “dorm life” and to top it off, I didn’t have the happy-go-lucky relationship with my roommate you most often see in movies and on TV. While it may not seem as fun or exciting to live at home, it will save you a ton of money and you will still have fun. Besides, you meet most of your friends through the organizations you get involved with and the events that you attend. In the end, if you are still set on living the dorm life, some technical colleges have residence halls so that students attending a tech college can experience that aspect of college life while still saving money and getting an outstanding education.

Number four – there’s more time to think about your career path – seems a little confusing to me. No matter what school you choose to go to after high school, whether it be a four-year college or a technical college, you have time to think about your career path. The idea isn’t so much about time as it is about what you do with your time. There are a ton of options at technical colleges to help you find your passion, options to foster that passion, and even options to help you start your career. Where you might get lost in the shuffle at a four-year university, with its 300+ class sizes and one advisor for every 600 students, at the technical colleges, you’ll be taken care of and given whatever assistance you need to succeed; which will help you make smart, important decisions regarding your career path.

Finally, we have the confidence aspect. This concept is one that I agree with, but must disagree with Mr. King’s explanation about it. Students do tend to do well at community colleges, but that has nothing to do with the level of work they are given. Students do better at technical colleges because they have better access to their professors, to classmates, to groups and to resources. You will learn how to socialize and build relationships with fellow students and staff and it will help you navigate your options and opportunities. You will be responsible to put in the work and effort, but you will have the support you need along the way to make it possible.

There are many, many more reasons that technical colleges are a great choice for students to consider as they leave high school and move on to the next phase of their educational careers. From the scheduling of courses to how those courses are administered (classroom, online, hybrid, fast track, etc.), to instructors that are field experts and veterans, there are many benefits to a technical education. As you think about your next move, be sure to check out all the benefits and options a tech college near you has to offer. You can check out all the different colleges and their offerings through our website at www.witechcolleges.org.