How Long Does It Take To Complete an Online Trade School Program?


Time is money. Savvy entrepreneurs build successful careers on that realization. Basically, every second that passes is an opportunity to make money either directly or indirectly by advancing your career. This principle doesn’t just apply to hours spent on the job, however, it has a lot to do with what kind of choices you make about your future.

As you decide your goals and identify the steps required to reach them, don’t forget the importance of how long it takes you to get there. The amount of time you’ll have to invest often depends on which road you choose to take: a traditional college course or an online trade school program. What’s the difference?

University Programs Versus Trade School Programs

First of all, what is a trade school, vocational school or technical college? These are all institutions that provide specialized career training. While college programs cover a huge range of subjects, trade schools focus completely on your chosen field, be it healthcare or computer programming.

Traditional university education means a minimum investment of four years or more before you receive a bachelor’s degree and begin looking for a job.

How Long Do Trade Courses Last?

The answer to that question depends on the type of program you select. Course length is related to the field of study and the type of diploma you’re after.

  • Career diplomas: Designed to give you a complete background in your chosen field, these courses typically last from 10 to 18 months.
  • Pre-apprenticeship diplomas: Depending on your career choice, these specialized introductory courses last from one to three years and prepare you to get started in your apprenticeship almost immediately.
  • Career continuation certification: These short courses last a few weeks or months and amplify your existing skillsets, such as with advanced digital marketing or business management techniques.
  • Associate degrees: Choosing to pursue an associate degree from a trade school means a minimum of two years of education. Afterward, graduates can be professionally certified in a number of careers.

It’s easy to see that the majority of trade school programs represent huge time savings compared to traditional college education: approximately two years compared to four, six or eight years of formal education.
Advantages of a Shorter Class Schedule

Opting for fewer years of total education, but in a more concentrated and practical package, doesn’t get in the way of your financial future. If anything, it opens up doors you may not have thought possible. Here’s why:

Hands-on Experience

One huge advantage of vocational schools is their increased focus on practical work experience. You don’t just learn the theoretical principles of how aircraft maintenance works; you take a jet engine apart piece by piece while your course instructor explains why.

This hands-on training benefits your career because potential employers often value experience highly. It’s true that a bachelor’s degree looks impressive on your resume, but many companies give priority to candidates who have performed actual work in the field. They know you can hit the ground running the moment they hire you.

Apprenticeship Opportunities

If you decide to pursue apprenticeship – as an HVAC technician, for example – your education is immediately supplemented with paying work for an actual company. Why is this important? First, an apprenticeship can be your “in” for highly competitive fields, such as computer technology. You’ve already proven your skills on the job, so you’re more likely to be entrusted with higher-paying positions. Also, accrued work experience looks great on your resume from the start, since you’re immediately ahead of the completion.

Immediate Salary

With a two-year program, not only do you avoid the educational expenses and loan interest of two or more years of university courses, you can also begin working at least two years earlier than the rest of your peers. Assuming you make from $20,000–$35,000 a year, that’s $70,000 in your bank account to help launch your dream business.

Freedom With Online Trade School Programs

If you decide to study online, you can receive additional time- and money-saving benefits from not having to worry about campus-related costs, such as housing, transportation, utility payments, and meals. You can study wherever you want from home.
Does a Shorter Course Mean Missing Vital Experience?

Some people may worry that by not going after a bachelor’s degree in a traditional university, they’re somehow missing out on key education. But as long as you pursue an online technical course that is properly accredited, you get access to the finest career education possible.

In fact, many university classes that you’re required to take have absolutely nothing to do with your chosen field. If you want to become an engineer, having to review curious tidbits about geography, philosophy, art and other subjects doesn’t really benefit your professional career in any way.

Online trade school courses provide in-depth, expert instruction on the subjects that really matter, like delicious, no-frills espresso compared to a triple-mocha latte with extra foam and vanilla flavoring.
What Are Some High-Demand Jobs Offered?

In order for education to be valuable to your goals, it needs to provide access to well-paying jobs that feel rewarding and that are in constant demand. Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Computer-aided manufacturing
  • HVAC installation
  • Aircraft repair
  • Electrical systems installation
  • Automotive design
  • Industrial engineering
  • Home inspection

With the right blend of mechanical know-how and technological talent, you can be a highly sought-after industry professional or entrepreneur, all while your classmates haven’t even graduated yet.
Perform Additional Research

Of course, if you feel like a college bachelor’s program or even a master’s degree, is the way you want to proceed, there’s nothing wrong with that decision. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of becoming a doctor, or you want to focus on that philosophy major.

At the same time, trade school courses are a viable and desirable option for getting into the workforce faster and securing your job future and economic security. By doing additional research using the helpful tools at Online Campus Colleges, you can locate programs that fit your personal aspirations and goal timeline closely. If you’re interested in technological fields, make it a point to investigate our online trade school program options.

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