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Ingrid Mondragon
Professor Rosenfeld
English 113B
5 May 2015
The Fantasy of a College Education
College serves as an opening to better opportunities, at least that is what almost every
high school student is told when they are approaching their senior year. But how true is this
statement? Is College really a gateway to better opportunities? According to Charles Murrays
article, Whats Wrong with Vocational School, it is safe to say that College may have its
benefits such as developing analytical skills, and acquiring resources easily. However,
students are often being pushed academically to succeed and attend college, but many of the
times they end up dropping out or pursuing a technical career. As a result, parents end up being
disappointed, losing money, and students waste their time. Although many students are enforced
to go to a four-year college by their parents and teachers, some students should consider going to
Vocational School rather than College because they proposition a more hands on experience, lead
more directly to a job, and less amount of money and time is spent.
Critics point out that college is necessary to become successful. They point to college
graduates who have acquired degrees in engineering, and in the medical field. Those who oppose
a college education, explain that acquiring a college education is costly and may lead one into
debt. However, being able to use analytical skills and grasping complex arguments thoroughly is
not an ability that everyone has. Supporters say a college education allows for better networking,
and they make a distinction between college and trade school. They define college as an
educational institution where students are encouraged to think, ask questions, and explore new

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ideas, which allows for additional growth and development (McGuire, Importance of College
Education). On the other hand, vocational school is defined as an educational institution that
teaches skills and focusing on one trait while incorporating a hands on experience that is related
to a specific job. Supporters maintain that simply because a college education is costly and
challenging, it should not retain one from having the opportunity to expand their knowledge in
all aspects and achieving success. Regardless of what path one decides to take, the step for
expanding ones education is being taken, increasing ones advantage in any industry.
Nonetheless, it is undeniable that obtaining a college degree is not as beneficial as it
seems. One of the benefits of a Vocational school is that they offer a more hands on experience.
As the DeHart Technical School states, Our unique combination of classrooms plus hands-on
experience enhances your learning process by increasing your knowledge and understanding of
how HVAC(Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration) systems work. This
implies that while most colleges stick to the traditional ways of teaching their students, the
Dehart Technical Trade School incorporates a unique learning experience and comprehending
such material by offering active participation. In addition, engaging in a vocational school that
encourages their students to actively participate in the courses allows one to become
knowledgeable and more familiar with their field of interest. On the contrary, colleges require
that their students partake in General Education classes in order to proceed into classes for their
major. Colleges requiring students to take general education classes before taking classes for
their major should not be necessary for the reasons that these students will most likely never use
the material taught in the future when they have achieved their degree. This being said, it is clear
that a vocational school is more appealing than a college because they offer a more hands on
experience.

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Opponents of a trade school may argue that a college degree is a gateway to more job
opportunities but it is broad as to which job one may apply for; vocational schools lead more
directly to a job. The process of acquiring a bachelor's degree may take up four to five years
depending on ones major, trade schools take up to two years in order to acquire a technical
career. While most students in college will go onto their third year, trade school students will be
working in their field much sooner than a college student. In the article from the Daily Sundial,
Trade School: more attractive than ever, Sarah Smith agrees that, In order to receive my
degree in four years I have had to generalize my field and drop my intended emphasis in public
relations. Its not as though I have to graduate this year, and while another year would allow me
to hone my skills, it would increase my debt and delay my getting a job. Not only will students
who earned a technical career in a trade school be working much sooner, but most importantly
they will be lead more directly to a job. Since a trade school allows students to focus and master
on one specific trait, it gives the students the advantage of being able to obtain a job much easier
because they also have engaged in active participation. Opposed to a trade school, a college
degree may be a gateway to more job opportunities but it is broad as to which job they may
apply for. For instance, somebody with a technical career such as an electrician or software
developer already specializes in what they have earned their vocational degree in; these people
will already know what kind of job to look for and where to find them. It is important to mention
that going to a vocational school and earning degree will lead more directly to a job than that of a
college degree.
In addition to vocational schools offering a more hands on experience, and leading one
more directly to a job, they also have the benefit of spending less time and money. The reason
that many may believe that getting a college degree is much more beneficial than a vocational

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degree is because society influences people into thinking that a college degree is superior to a
vocational degree in which certifies one of specializing in a certain field; the country needs to
stop selling so-called higher education as something superior to alternative education, such as
trade schools that teach specific skills (Rowe, Is Trade School a Better Investment than
College?). Enrollment at trade schools in California have increased tremendously over the past
years. As some people may face the tragedy of losing their job, they seek for additional training
or consider switching fields they are working in. However, paying for college tuition may scare
them away, drawing those with less amount of money to turn to two-year technical programs at a
trade school.
It is important to reiterate that students should be given the option to consider going to a
trade school rather than college because they proposition a more hands on experience, lead more
directly to a job, and less amount of money and time is spent. College is not always the best
option for everyone and many times people are simply just not cut out for college. There comes a
point as to which a student has given their greatest efforts to succeed academically until they
have reached their limit and can no longer progress because it becomes too difficult. For this
reason, parents should not automatically make the decision for the student to go to college, but
instead help them make a decision based upon their interests and academic abilities. Pursuing a
technical career at a Vocational School should not be viewed as a failure but rather as an
accomplishment.

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Works Cited
Goshgarian, Gary, Kathleen Krueger, and Janet Barnett. Minc. What's Wrong with Vocational
School? by Charles Murray. Dialogues: An Argument Rhetoric and Reader. 8th ed. New
York: Longman, 2014. N. pag. Print.
Smith, Sarah. "Trade School: More Attractive than Ever." The Sundial CSUN. The Daily Sundial,
29 Nov. 2009. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.
Star-Ledger, Karin Price Mueller/The. "Is Trade School a Better Investment than College?" New
Jersey. New Jersey Magazine, 20 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.