Considering going to school to open up the door to more career opportunities? While you may be exploring earning a bachelor’s degree at a traditional four-year college, there’s another option. Career colleges offer an alternative route to new career paths in high-demand fields such as healthcare, skilled trades, and computer information technology.
Here are six reasons to consider enrolling in a career college instead of a traditional four-year college or university.
Focus on Fast-Growing Career Fields
Traditional universities often have a dual focus: teaching and research. Their programs will span broad areas of knowledge and many disciplines—not necessarily ones linked to fast-growing occupations.
Career colleges, as their name suggests, focus on providing career training to students and filling workforce needs for their communities. At Altierus, we aim to offer programs that reflect regional employment trends. If your main reason for pursuing a qualification is to get on the path toward in-demand career opportunities, a career college like ours could be a good choice.
Targeted Course Content
Coursework for bachelor’s degree programs at traditional universities can be as broad as their program areas. If you enroll in a four-year degree program, you’re likely to take survey classes in general education, and may also have the option to take electives in subjects that aren’t related to your major. These courses can be interesting, fun, and enlightening, but they’re also not directly relevant to starting a career.
In a career college, coursework focuses on what you need to know to perform in the field. The type of critical thinking skills general education courses are meant to foster will be included in your program, but they’ll be taught within the context of your career field. Every minute of your classes at a career college like Altierus is designed to prepare you to pursue the job you’re training for.
Faster Completion Times
Bachelor’s degree programs are designed to take four years of full-time study to complete, although most students don’t complete in that amount of time: according to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 40.6% of first-time college students who began their bachelor’s degrees in 2010 had finished by 2014.[i] About 60% had finished by 2016, but still—that’s more than half a decade spent outside the workforce accruing debt rather than gaining experience and earning a salary.
Because career colleges offer career-focused programs, they can also offer shorter completion times. At Altierus, our programs range in length from eight months to two years. That means you could be ready to enter the job market—and begin earning money—faster.
Traditional colleges and universities operate on a semester basis with set start and end dates. Although online program options are becoming more common, most colleges and universities still have fully on-campus class meeting times, with little flexibility for students who need to work or care for family members. That’s because many traditional colleges and universities are aimed at students right out of high school who plan to study full time.
Career colleges tend to offer more options for a more diverse group of students, including those who may be older and have multiple responsibilities outside of school. At Altierus, we have monthly start dates throughout the year, so you don’t have to wait until September or January to start training for a career. We also arrange several of our programs so that you attend class on campus three times a week and complete some coursework online.
Potential for Lower Debt Load
Because career college programs take less time to complete than four-year degree programs, students are often able to take on less debt. At Altierus, we can offer federal financial aid, including military benefits, to those who qualify. We also offer numerous scholarship opportunities.
Career Search Support
Finally, a career college like Altierus is focused on helping you pursue career opportunities, not just train for them. In addition to offering hands-on programs, we provide career search support and professional development from day one of your program. You can participate in mock interviews and get help writing your resume or finding job opportunities to apply to.
While traditional colleges and universities have career services departments, students often need to seek them out in their spare time. At Altierus, career search support is integral to our mission—and your program.