Technical College, or nah?
Technical college: education's hidden gem
Life after high school includes a new level of responsibility and exploration for young adults nationwide. In 2018, the graduation rate for high schoolers in the city of Atlanta was 81 percent, and post-secondary enrollment for students looking to further their education was at 74 percent.
A big misconception for teens and their families is that they have to attend a four-year college or university after high school. Sure, the experience of going to a big university can be riveting. Between sports, fraternities, legendary parties and academics, it can seem overwhelming.
What about the cost of tuition? Which does not include housing, books and meal plans. The metro Atlanta area is home to four public universities, five technical colleges and eight private universities, with the state of Georgia having 23 technical colleges total:
Technical Colleges of Georgia
- Albany Technical College
- Athens Technical College
- Atlanta Technical College
- Augusta Technical College
- Central Georgia Technical College
- Chattahoochee Technical College
- Costal Pines Technical College
- Columbus Technical College
- Georgia Northwestern Technical College
- Georgia Gwinnett College
- Georgia Piedmont Technical College
- Gwinnett Technical College
- Lanier Technical College
- North Georgia Technical College
- Oconee Fall Line Technical College
- Ogeechee Technical College
- Savannah Technical College
- South Georgia Technical College
- Southeastern Technical College
- South Crescent Technical College
- Southern Regional Technical College
- West Georgia Technical College
- Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
Private Universities in Metro Atlanta
- Morehouse College
- Spelman College
- Clark Atlanta
- Emory University
- Oglethorpe University
- Mercer University
- Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD)
- The Art Institute of Atlanta
Public Universities in Metro Atlanta
- Georgia State University
- Georgia Inst. of Technology
- Kennesaw State University
- Clayton State University
The cost of in-state tuition at a public university in Georgia can cost as much as $12,212 for one academic year and between $53,000 at private universities. Technical schools offer practical and economically sound educational options. The costs for one academic year, in-state tuition only, at tech schools ranges between $2,850 and $5,558.
Students take the same core classes as they would at a four-year university, but learn skills and trades that will more likely guarantee them employment upon completion of all required courses and tests. An Associates of Applied Sciences degree is sufficient for a worthwhile career in the current economy, because tech schools equip students with entry and advanced level skills and certifications that employers look for in the job market.
Technical colleges also offer extremely practical and diverse areas of study not available at 4-year universities with degree programs such as: Automotive, Cosmetology, Computer Programming, Computer Repair, Early Childhood and Education, Healthcare, Industrial, Media, Professional Services, Interdisciplinary Studies and Public Safety & Legal Studies.
Within these programs are 30 different specializations to earn an Associates degree offered by schools like Georgia Piedmont Tech. Not only are these schools more affordable to students and their families, there are just as many technical colleges as public universities in the metro Atlanta area. Every year students graduate from big universities only to return home to gain employment at local places like restaurants, grocery stores and retail stores that do not require a bachelors degree.
Technical colleges equip students with the necessary skills and certifications to enter the job market ready for employment. In addition, they hold several job placement programs to ensure students’ success.
Technical colleges also tend to have smaller class sizes. For example, Atlanta Technical College will have up to 30 students in a class, which provides a more personal one-on-one learning experience for students. As a result, students’ confidence increases and they see a higher value in the program.
The five technical colleges in Atlanta allow people from all around to have access to affordable, practical education. Some of these colleges also have multiple campuses all over Georgia, and with tuition being economically friendly as well, it is almost a no-brainer as to why students and families should take a closer look at a technical college.