Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Trade School

When teens graduate from high school, they have a variety of paths to follow. One can include not going to college at all. At this point, furthering their education isn’t an option, maybe because of a lack of interest or that it’s not financially sound to attend a university. In cases like these, moving immediately into the workforce is the next option. Other teens will join the ranks of other colleges/universities. Some of them are able to pay their way through college, while others scrape by financially to maintain. Another option that’s available to adolescents is to attend a trade school.

A trade school provides students with an opportunity to receive a vocational or technical skill-focused education. You can earn a degree in fields like information technology, nursing, health sciences, automotive technician training, cosmetology, esthiology, and experiential therapy. Examples of trade schools include automotive institutes, cosmetology schools, beauty schools, and therapeutic boarding schools. For those adolescents who aren’t necessarily ready to enter the 9:00-5:00, but don’t want to attend college for a variety of reasons, trade schools are a viable option. Below are ways to talk to your adolescent about attending a trade school.

Remove the stigma of a trade school.


Attending a college or university is something that’s celebrated throughout our culture. It’s seen as the next and necessary step to moving closer into adulthood. This rite of passage, moving from an adolescent in high school to an adult in college, is seen as a life marker. When it comes to trade schools, though, the level of importance is seen as not on the same level in some cases, unfortunately. There’s sometimes a stigma attached to attending a trade school, which you, as a parent, can help your teen to deal with.

In addition to this, being a teen is difficult. Though high school is seen by many as a great period for most adolescents, you have other troubled teens where this isn’t the case. Your adolescent might be a teen who had to visit one of the top adolescent residential treatment centers in the country. They might have had to visit a psychiatrist for treatment with dealing with such adolescent-focused mental health disorders as ADHD, eating disorders, mood disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety disorders. Compound four years of having to deal with such mental illness with the stigma of having to attend a trade school, and it can be a bit much for many graduating seniors.

As a parent, it helps to let your teen know that traditional college isn’t for everyone, and that’s not necessarily bad. Help them to see beyond the stigma that’s applied to going to a trade school. Let them know that going to a trade school doesn’t make them “less than” anyone who attends a college. It’s just a different life path for them to follow to get to their goal of being an employed adult with a degree. Maybe highlight friends and family members who have attended a trade school. Maybe have a trade school student give their feedback to your trade school-bound adolescent. In the long run, removing the stigma of trade school can be an effective means of talking with your teen about attending a trade school.

Help them to choose a career which they’ll enjoy.

There are trade schools that cater to a variety of different fields of study, while some specialize in just one thing. Examples of such “career-specific institutions” include automotive institutes, cosmetology schools, beauty schools, and therapeutic boarding schools. When talking with your child about trade schools, it helps to make sure that they choose a career that they will enjoy. Combine their love of a particular thing with researching how the job market looks for that specific field of work.

For instance, let’s say that cosmetology is something that’s in your blood. You know you were meant to contribute to this industry. Look into the economic forecast for this industry, in terms of if there are jobs available and what a standard salary looks like. After that, find a nearby cosmetology school that can provide you with the education needed to move into this field.

This trade school will be a place where you learn about how to apply magnetic eyeliner, natural lashes, and false lashes on a customer. You’ll learn from cosmetology school instructors what to do in a case of eye contact during such procedures, and what the first step will be to avoid this from happening. When you help your teen to choose a career path, it will help them to accept the idea of attending a trade school.

Going to trade school helps them get a career quicker.


When you go to a trade school, depending on your program, you can get your degree quicker than going the traditional college/university route. Many of these programs can run for two years (or less) and require less time than going for a bachelor’s degree at universities. If you decide to attend a beauty school, a cosmetology school, an IT institute, or an experiential therapy, there’s a good chance that you won’t have to spend that much time getting your secondary education. This can be an added plus for your teen who doesn’t want to spend more time getting their education.

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