Not all online trade school and technical college programs are created equal. There are a few things a student should consider while researching online programs like the school’s reputation, accreditation, program lengths and costs.
Considerations When Choosing an Online Trade School
When considering applying for an online trade school program it’s important to remember that many skilled trade programs like electrician, welding, and HVAC do not commonly have all-online options. That isn’t to say that there are no all online programs like these, they are just much less common.
When deciding on an online trade school, consider the following 5 points.
- Reputation – Do extra research on schools that are strictly online; example: check reviews on Google. Colleges with a real-world location to go along with their online learning options will often times have better reputations.
- Accreditation – Accreditation is extremely important. If you spend a lot of time and money on a program from an unaccredited school, especially in fields like healthcare, job opportunities will be very difficult to come by.
- Staff Accessibility – Is meaningful contact with professors, counselors, and administration easy? This answer must be YES in my opinion.
- Length of Program – If a “quick route to a bachelor’s degree” is a top selling point of the school you’re researching, be suspicious. There is no quick route through “two” or “four years” of credits unless you have a time machine. You may complete a 4 year course in under 4 years but the work you need to complete isn’t going to change. You’ll just bust your butt harder for 3 or 3 and a half years instead.
- Cost of Program – Though online programs may be less expensive at times, that isn’t always the case. Be sure to research the cost of the program at the school you’re looking into and compare that cost to other local or online options.
Common Online Trade School Programs
Here’s a list of some of the more common online programs offered by trade schools and technical colleges.
- Criminal Justice
- Liberal Arts
- Healthcare Administration
- Medical Assisting
- Information Technology
- Fire Science
When it comes to learning and self improvement, the “easy” way is rarely the best one. So to cap off this short post; check online reviews of the schools you research, check the accreditation of the trade schools you’re interested in, contact a few different school departments with your questions, and don’t rush!