If you thought it was hard enough to find a field of study that interests you, just wait until you have to decide where to study. It’s not an easy choice to make, especially when you’re deciding between technical school and community college — in some ways, they seem so similar. If you understand the differences between these two types of schools though, your choice will be much easier.

Technical Schools are More Practice-Based

If you love theory and hate to get your hands dirty, then technical school is not the place for you. Whereas college courses usually involve a lot of lectures, technical schools usually involve a lot of hands-on practice. In other words, in community college you learn primarily by listening; in technical school you learn primarily by doing.

Technical School Programs are Often Shorter

Of course, programs vary in length from school to school. But in general, technical school programs are at least as short as college programs, and often shorter. Whereas community college programs are almost always two years or more, technical school programs often take between one and two years. Both types of schools generally demand less of a time commitment than university, but a technical school will help you exit the education system and enter the employment sector as soon as possible.

Technical School Programs are Often More Specific

Before you decide to go to technical school, make sure that you know exactly what job you hope to have after you graduate. Programs in technical school are extremely job-focused and job-specific. If you think you know what field you’re interested in but aren’t committed to a particular vocation, then community college is almost certainly a better option for you.

Technical School is Usually More Expensive

Many students notice one downside to technical school programs right away: they often cost more than community college programs. This may or may not be enough reason to rule out attending technical school, depending on your situation. If your chosen career path has great job prospects and will likely yield a good income, then by attending technical school and paying more now, you may be saving more later.