Specialty Schools

Specialty schools, including trade and proprietary schools, include private, for-profit institutions where students enroll to learn a practical skill required for entry into the workforce. Some of these schools even offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Characteristics

As institutions that focus on teaching a specific workforce-related skill, specialty schools seem similar to community and technical colleges. They don’t offer much, if anything, in the way of student activities, residence halls, or athletics. Class sizes are usually quite small, even smaller than liberal arts colleges. As private, for-profit schools, however, tuition usually runs much higher than community and technical colleges, and most of these institutions do not offer federal financial aid such as Pell Grants or Stafford Loans. You will also find it more difficult to transfer your credits to another school if you decide you want to earn a bachelor’s degree elsewhere. However, if you have decided that you want to go directly into the workforce, these schools might be right for you.

Selectivity

As for-profit institutions, specialty schools rarely turn students away. Essentially, if you have the money to pay for tuition, you can attend the specialty school of your choosing.

Proprietary Schools

Proprietary schools tend to follow workforce trends and quickly put together educational programs to match, with current hot topics including biotechnology and e-commerce. The larger schools have over 100 campuses in cities across the country.

Trade Schools

Trade schools tend to focus on one specific field and offer training that’s usually hands-on. Good examples of trade schools include schools of culinary arts, flight schools, and cosmetology schools. These schools usually offer certificates or licenses as opposed to degrees. Each state has very specific licensor requirements for members of certain trades, such as plumbers or electricians. If you feel a trade school is right for you, you will want to talk with the appropriate state licensing agency to make sure the school you choose offers a legitimate education.

 
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