Education: Trade or Traditional?

Hey guys! How are you?? The summer is flying by!😥 Like seriously, where did the time go. Yesterday, we were making summer plans, trying to get a beach bod to be prancing around Ocean City all cute and we blinked, and folks are making plans for Thanksgiving! 😂

As the last few weeks of summer began to wind down, most people, especially parents, are preparing themselves and their children for school. Yep, it’s that time again! Buses, and teachers, and homework and lunches and school shopping and meetings and man oh man, I’m tired just thinking about it! 😮 But ready or not, here it comes.

Paying for an education is just as important for working adults as it is for high school seniors ready to embark on the next season of life. Across the board, people are realizing that the key to more financial freedom and a higher quality of life includes a career path that requires secondary education.

Let’s face it, it’s very difficult to earn a sustainable wage to support a family without a skill set. Does that mean you cannot get a job? No, it does not. But there is a distinct difference between a job and a career. You can have a job that pays an hourly wage and yes, you will earn an income. However, to be able to adequately provide for a family, you need to earn an income that takes into consideration the actual cost of living.

You need to consider housing, electricity, food, transportation, maintenance, health care, etc. Granted, you can support yourself and a child or even children from a job, however, you will work much harder, have less time for your children and a disproportionate amount of your income will be snatched up by basic needs. In simple English, your dollars will be spent to keep your head above water before you ever get them in! And that’s just real talk! Believe me, I’ve been there.

I started this blog with the intentional purpose of providing information that would be an asset to those who are willing to read this blog. Regardless of the current narrative, you will make more money, enjoy a better quality of life, and have more time to spend with those you love if you are willing to invest some time in either trade school or traditional university before you start accumulating other debt. Today, I want to take a few moments to highlight the differences between trade schools and the traditional college experience.

Trade school is hands-on technical education. Entirely focused on teaching you a skill set in a limited amount of time, there aren’t any general education courses that do not pertain to that particular skill set. There are many advantages to opting for a trade school also known as vocational training:
1. Financial- a fraction of the cost of traditional college
2. Quicker entrance into the job market
3. Smaller classroom size
4. Flexible learning options

The overall look of what we generally think of as the traditional college experience has evolved from a few decades ago with the emergence of the cyber classroom however, there still remains many advantages to the typical college experience:
1. Better career opportunities (maybe)
2. More job security and satisfaction
3. Personal development
4. Networking

I don’t believe it’s as simple as which is better, trade or traditional. What really matters is where your interests lie and what are your reasons for seeking a secondary education. If you really want to zero in on a specific trade like driving a rig, or welding, or certain areas of the medical field or a whole host of other specific trades, then a vocational education would more than serve your needs, save you money and cost much less. However, if you aren’t mentally or emotionally equipped to handle the adult demands of actual work, and supporting yourself, yet you want to invest your time and money into developing your abilities, then traditional college would be the route to go. Both avenues require commitment in order to be successful. Both avenues give you a better starting point than not having any form of secondary education.

The key to choosing the right option for you and your loved ones is researching all the available information. That’s why I feel it’s extremely important for parents to allow their children to try different things when they’re school age. It gives the parents and child an opportunity to see what fits. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to education. Some children learn best with a more hands-on approach, some children excel when given time to develop and explore different options.

Apprenticeship, which seems to be unheard of in today’s economy, allows an inexperienced person to learn from someone with experience. I think people are turned off by the thought of it because we are raised with the notion that we should be paid money for any and everything that we do. If you aren’t paid in terms of money for even showing up, some people believe they are being taken advantage of. However, an apprentice is actually earning something far more valuable than money, experience. Learning anything new will cost you, whether a resource of money or time, but it will have a cost. The old adage of “my time is valuable” only carries weight if you are able to offer something with that time.

Please, join me Sunday evening at 7 pm on the official Koach Phee’s Playbook Facebook Live page as I discuss the pros and cons of both and share a bit of my own personal journey with education, what worked for me, what I wished I had done differently and the lessons I learned to prepare Zion for thinking about later down the line when he enters adulthood! It’s never too early to start planting seeds!!! See you guys Sunday evening!!

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Koach Phee

Koach Phee is the licensed owner and operator of Koach Phee Life Koaching. When she's not busy helping her student achieve their greatest potential, you'll find her spending time and making beautiful memories with her son, Zion.

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