High-paying trades jobs are sitting empty, as many high school seniors prepare to go off to college. The truth is - the traditional college classroom setting is not for everyone. Trade certifications are proven to be equivalent to college degrees from the best universities. If you feel like college might not be the best fit for you, you should consider attending a trade school instead.

You will get career-specific training and hands-on experience.

One of the most common complaints from students at a traditional 4-year college is that so much of their time was spent learning things that would not apply to their future careers. At a trade school, you’ll have the opportunity to enroll in a program where you will spend the entire time learning things about your specific career path and having hands-on experiences to practice what you’ve learned.

Whenever you apply to a new job, employers are always looking for at least one of two things - education and experience. At some point, we’ve all asked ourselves, “How will I ever get experience if no one ever hires me?” Even if someone attends the most prestigious college as a full-time student, in order to get industry-specific experience, they have to spend time searching for internships outside of their schools. At a trade school, you will get both the education and hands-on experience you need to start your career.

Classes are small and personal.

Trade school classes typically have a small number of students. You will find that your classmates also generally have the same interests as you. With these smaller classes, you will have the opportunity to interact with your instructor and classmates regularly, and your instructor will be able to cater to your individual needs and learning style.

You will earn your degree in a short amount of time.

As opposed to many careers that require anywhere between 4-10 years of schooling, some trade school programs get you out into the workforce within a matter of months. Depending on how quickly you want to complete your program, you can typically finish trade school in under 2 years. This short time frame helps to motivate students, and these programs have higher graduation rates than traditional colleges and universities.

Trade school is cheaper than a traditional university.

Student loans can take decades to pay off. With some 4-year colleges costing upwards of $100,000, trade school tuition costs a fraction of that. Attending a trade school is a less costly option that gives you the ability to enter the workforce sooner, making it possible for you to pay off any student loan debt faster, if you have any at all.

You will enjoy job security.

As aging workers retire, many trade jobs are being left vacant. The current trend pushing high school students to attend a traditional college is leaving trade jobs in high demand. Upon receiving your degree or certification, you can expect to find little difficulty finding a job and keeping it. Many trade schools offer career services that help students find work, write resumes, and prepare for job interviews.

Trade school is a higher education option that is often overlooked. Trade school graduates can go on to earn as much money as someone with a college degree, and sometimes even more - not to mention, reaching your goal quicker and for a much cheaper cost. If you prefer hands-on learning, and are eager to start working after high school, a trade school may be the right choice for you.