Trade Schools vs. Career-Focused Colleges

Trade Schools

Both trade schools and career-focused colleges are great options for students interested in pursuing higher education. Understanding the difference between these two educational paths is an important first step in determining which school type is best for you.

Trade Schools

Trade schools, also known as technical or vocational schools, focus on career and technical training related to specialized careers. Unlike other schools, trade schools do not offer generalized education courses but instead provide coursework related to a specific job.

Programs typically offered at trade schools include automotive training, HVAC training, culinary arts, computer technology, and healthcare.

Trade schools only offer diplomas and certificates, and credits earned in these programs may not transfer to other academic programs in the future.

Career-Focused Colleges

Career-focused colleges, like Goodwin University, provide a comprehensive educational experience that combines general studies with specialized classes. Students at career-focused colleges also benefit from hands-on experience, in-field training, and career placement services.

Like trade schools, career-focused colleges teach industry-specific skills that employers are looking for. Unlike trade schools however, career-focused colleges also teach students critical thinking, ethics, and other skills that make them valuable employees.

Career-focused colleges offer many program types and levels. At Goodwin University, you can earn a certificate, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and even a master’s degree depending on your chosen field of study.

Our degree and certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you to complete your coursework on your own terms:

  • Classes are offered online, on-campus, and in a hybrid format
  • Evening and weekend classes are available to accommodate working students
  • Faster degree completion with three academic sessions each year — full-time students have the potential to earn a bachelor’s degree in as few as three years

Additionally, there are many types of financial aid you can receive from a career-focused college. For example, Goodwin University offers scholarships, grants, federal loans, work study jobs, and veteran’s educational benefits.

Learn more about our flexible career-focused degree and certificate programs.

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