Now that you are done with high school, it’s time to dream big and pursue a career through community colleges, adult schools, or vocational colleges! And today’s world offers so many choices, in both career and education, that you could feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing an option both in career and education.

The career you wish to choose should depend on what you want to achieve, not your current financial status. For example, would you want a stable career, or to be self-employed? If you want a stable career, you might want to choose a job that can’t be outsourced. Investing your time and money into a career that could be outsourced would make no sense. Choose a stable and growing industry, and you will be set for the long term. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right college for you:

  • Admission: This factor determines the time it will take for you to get into the classes of your choice. While community colleges and adult schools are often low tuition, the waiting list can be long. It could mean waiting for admission from a period of six months to two years. Also, once you get in, it could take years to achieve your diploma. Delaying your career could mean losing an average monthly salary of $3769 according to Waiting six months would cost you $22,614, and waiting a year would cost you $45228.Although tuition is higher at private vocational colleges, it could be worth it to get to your chosen career faster.
  • Program length: The program length is yet another factor to be considered. Usually vocational colleges and trade schools offer courses that can be completed in less than a year. A bachelor’s degree however, requires four years full-time. This could mean starting your career two years later and missing on a significant amount of salary. Additionally, if you go to school for just a year, you would only be paying one years’ tuition, instead of four years. This could also save you money.
  • Career Goal: You should choose a course that matches with the career you want. Remember, education doesn’t have to stop. Do you want to get started in the career you want as soon as possible? If so, you can choose a short, career-focused diploma from a vocational college, trade school, community college, or adult school. While you are working, you can go to school part-time for a higher degree.  A career focused college might have better personal connections with employers, which is very important to get started on the right track.

Considering all the above factors, the decision to choose a college or school is up to you. No matter which college you choose, it should make you feel comfortable. It should allow you to do what you love, and take the interest in what you learn.

Besides the above, you should take a look at the facilities and services offered. You should ask for a campus tour right away. Is the staff friendly and knowledgeable? Are the facilities and classrooms up to date? Do they offer personalized career services? Do they help you to find quality internships and work experience? In conclusion, your enthusiasm for learning at the school, and how fast the school can help you accomplish your goals, should determine your choice.