Pennsylvania Career Colleges and Schools: 2013 Key Outcome Statistics
April 2015 Update
*PAPSA Board Elections
*HR 970 and SB 559
*Competency-Based Education Workshop
There are no workshops scheduled at this time.
PAPSA Regional Meetings
There are no regional meetings scheduled at this time.
2015 PAPSA Awards
Making the Choice Between a Career School and a Traditional College Is Difficult
Changes in today's job market make careers schools more attractive
There are pros and cons to both career schools and traditional colleges. On one hand, a traditional college education provides students with a broader knowledge base. On the other hand, a four year degree typically does not involve a lot of hands on, practical education, focusing instead on the theory of subjects. Because of this, graduates often find themselves unemployed after school because jobs are going to those who already have experience and specific training.
The fact that a career school offers both job experience and a good education is a major benefit of receiving your degree from a career college or school. Another is the much lower cost. Students can often find a career school in their area that offers classes in the fields they are considering working in. Because of this, the exorbitant costs of room and board often associated with traditional universities can be avoided. Additionally, admission is usually much more open in a career school. This means that those who could not get into a traditional school can still have access to a good education and the tools that are necessary to land a fulfilling and successful career.
At a PA Career school, the curricula are usually focused on a specific field and as students get further along in the process, classes focus on the actual duties they will perform when they begin working in the real world. This removes the scary disconnect that often exists between what a student at a four year school is trained to do and what they are actually expected to do when they hit the ground at a new job, assuming they can get one right out of college.
Another benefit of a focused education is the fact that students graduate and can join the workforce far faster than they would be able to manage at a four year school. That means that they have more time in their professional life to establish themselves as experts in their fields.
Many would argue that the starting salaries for graduates of career colleges are less than what a graduate with a bachelor's degree might expect. While this is true in some cases, in other cases such as in technical industries, this could not be further from the truth.
In short, there are benefits and drawbacks to both kinds of education, and a students choice usually reflects their overall life goals and ambitions. An associate's degree from a good career college or school is an asset and a good investment. PAPSA wants to insure that the quality of education offered by Pennsylvania career colleges and schools is every bit as good as that offered by traditional four year universities. By joining the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators, PA Career Schools indicate their willingness to uphold the highest standards of educational quality.