Why Technical College Is Better Than A 4-Year Degree

Aug 11, 2021

Everyone’s interested in improving their potential and learning new things, and higher education is a great way to do that. However, the thought of going to a four-year college can be overwhelming! Whether you’re not in a position to take on the class load of a four-year schedule or you’re worried about the potential debt that comes with many four-year colleges, you might feel as though your education options are limited. Not true! Going to a technical college can give you access to many of the same benefits of a four-year university, without the drawbacks.

Maximize your time

If you’re in a stage of your life where committing to school for four (or more!) years just isn’t feasible, technical college might be the answer. On average, technical college lasts two years, meaning you’ll spend half as much time in the classroom as a four-year student before getting certified in your field of choice.

You’ll maximize your time in other ways, too: in a four-year college, you’ll almost always be required to take general education classes. Even if your only interest is in English, you’ll be required to take some math classes. If you want to major in engineering, you may have to take history classes, whether or not you want to.

In technical college, you’ll only take classes that directly apply to your field. You won’t be required to spend any of your time passing classes that don’t interest you or won’t help you in the future. As a result, you’ll finish school and gain the qualifications you need faster. You can get out of school and into your dream job much more quickly through a technical college.

Gain hands-on experience

Most of the bachelor’s degrees you can receive through a four-year university are centered on theory and methods. Many degrees are designed to qualify students to become professors themselves. But this kind of theory-based, hands-off approach isn’t right for everyone. If taking notes in a classroom sounds painful to you, consider a technical college.

Technical colleges offer a huge range of classes—everything from baking to dental hygiene and beyond—and many of these classes are centered on practical experience. You’ll be able to practice your field of study right in the classroom, which can make going back to school much more appealing for many people.

Save money and stay debt-free

Going to a four-year college is a huge cost. On average, graduating with a four-year degree will cost $127,000, and 70% of four-year graduates leave school with a significant amount of debt. Graduating from a technical college, on the other hand, costs around $33,000. This is still a significant amount of money, but it’s a fraction of the cost of a four-year degree and is much less likely to leave you with mountains of debt as a post-school souvenir.

Technical college graduates are also able to transition smoothly into the workforce, which means you’ll start making that money back in no time. Lastly, remember that plenty of technical colleges offer scholarships or waived tuition for potential students! If you want to start off your career without worrying about debt, consider technical college.

Start fresh

If high school wasn’t a particularly productive period of your life, you aren’t alone. Bad grades in high school or a lack of a GRE can intimidate some people into feeling as though they aren’t qualified for higher education. It’s true that many four-year colleges will turn students away for poor grades, but technical colleges offer a fresh start.

Most technical colleges are forgiving in terms of grades or GREs, so you can take the time you need after high school to figure out your goals and move on to higher education and better opportunities. A technical college is also a great stepping stone if you decide you are interested in a four-year university but want to start gradually, or want to test the waters with a shorter school commitment.

Creative opportunities

Graduating from a technical college offers more opportunities than you might expect. While many four-year degrees restrict graduates to fields in academia, the abilities and certifications that graduates pick up in technical colleges can generally be used across the US and even abroad. At face value, technical college skills often lend themselves to a specific job, but there’s plenty of room for flexibility.

A cosmetology graduate, for example, might work as a makeup artist, in a spa, or make the leap to starting their own nail salon. No matter what you study in a technical college, you’ll find that your graduate qualifications are flexible. Getting hands-on experience can help propel you to all kinds of different jobs when you’re willing to think creatively!


Looking to start your journey to a technical college? Learn more about Chattanooga College’s technical degree programs here.