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What’s the Difference Between Technical College and Community College?

Technical colleges and community colleges are similar in nature, but there are a few big differences between the two, some of which include cost, length of programs, and skills acquired. Community colleges also focus more on general education while technical colleges, such as NYADI The College of Transportation Technology in Jamaica, NY, focus on specific careers.

What Is Technical College?

Technical college, also known as a tech school or trade school, is a type of college people go to in order to learn a specific trade. Most programs can be completed in two years or less, but some programs can take up to four years to finish. The most popular programs in a tech school include medical coding and billing, cosmetology, automotive technology, and electrical work. A technical college will prepare you to go straight into the workforce after finishing school, but you can choose to transfer your credits to another school afterward if you want to earn a bachelor’s degree.

What Is Community College?

Community college is a type of two-year college that people often attend right out of high school. The majors offered at these schools are often more general than the ones you’d find at a four-year university. It’s a great option for those who aren’t sure what career path they want to pursue yet, or those who just want to have a college degree. The degree programs are not set with a specific career in mind. They’re simply a course of study meant to prepare one for work or university.

Cost Differences

The cost will differ depending on the school you attend, but technical college is usually more expensive than community college for a few reasons. The technical college focuses on a specific career path, meaning the classes taken are more in-depth than they would be at another two-year school. You get more hands-on learning by going to a trade school too, and unnecessary classes aren’t a requirement to graduate. On average, a technical college costs $33,000 altogether, while a community college can cost upwards of $10,000 per year.

Program Lengths

The program lengths at technical colleges are shorter than those at community colleges. Although both typically take two years, the programs or degrees offered can take a different amount of time to finish. For associate degrees from a community college, there are a certain number of credits you need to graduate that are finished in four semesters, which is equal to two years if you don’t attend summer classes. When it comes to a degree or certificate from a technical college, the credits needed to graduate can be completed in as little as three months, depending on the course of study taken.

Skills Acquired

Since technical college is more in-depth than community college, the skills acquired are going to be more specific to your chosen career. For example, if you choose to go to a trade school for automotive studies, you may learn things such as how to fix a transmission, how to change oil, and how to diagnose an issue in a motor vehicle. If you went to a community college for an associate degree in science, fixing a vehicle likely wouldn’t be on your list of things to learn at all.

Which Type of School is Better?

Community college isn’t necessarily better than technical college, and vice versa. It all depends on why you’re going to school. If you’re not sure what you want to study or the career you want to pursue isn’t part of a trade, then community college may be the better choice for you. However, if you do know what you want to study and your career choice is considered a trade, you may want to explore academic programs at a technical college.

No matter which school you go to, nothing is set in stone. If you get a degree in something like automotive technology, you can always change your mind and go to a community college or university later. When it comes to trades though, technical college is typically the better choice of school. You can get your degree earlier and get a head start, or a new start, in the real world.

Choose NYADI as Your Technical College

When starting on the path toward a career in automotive technology, NYADI The College of Transportation Technology in Jamaica, NY, should be your go-to technical college. Transfer credits from another school, earn your associate degree in 16 months, and earn industry certifications from leading manufacturers all in one place. NYADI can also help you get a GED before starting classes. Apply for NYADI today if you’re interested.