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What’s a Good Alternative to a Four-Year College?

Published: June 23, 2021

When the whole world hit reset in 2020, lots of college-bound students had second thoughts. Enrollments for the fall dropped and college admissions had to scramble to put courses that were designed for in-person learning online. Some of those students will reenter the applicant pool and increase competition for select schools in the fall of 2021. Others may decide the investment of time and money in that four-year college degree just isn’t worth it. Where do you stand?

If you’re thinking a traditional four-year college might not be the path for you, there are alternatives. Especially if you want to begin a career and start earning sooner, a two-year college or trade school may be the right solution for you. You can access a relevant education and training, earn a certificate or degree, and enter your career in a shorter time frame. This means that you could be out of school and earning a living, while your peers on the four-year path are still sitting in a classroom.

Associate Degree as Alternative to Four-Year College

One Alternative to the four-year path is to cut your time and degree in half. You could pursue an Associate Degree in Business Management and complete your program in less than two years. Or opt for an A.A.S. degree in Computer Networking Systems and get into the field at the entry level with knowledge and a degree.

Career Training in Two Years or Less

But maybe a degree is not your immediate goal and a career is. You could gain significant knowledge and skills for a healthcare or Trades career in as little as two years. Medical Assistants, Billers and Coders, HVAC Technicians, and Welders can get training and get to work.

Hands-On Training

Another benefit of career schools is that they strive to provide you with hands-on learning. Even during the pandemic, many schools created hybrid programs so students could learn online and in-person. For many students, the traditional classroom setting is difficult to navigate. The Trades aren’t careers where you sit all day long so it makes sense that the learning shouldn’t be either.

Industry Experienced Faculty

Career schools also hire faculty from the field. That means the people teaching you aren’t dealing in theory. They’ve actually done the job they’re training you to do. And they like the field and want to pass it on. Especially in hands-on classes, you’re likely to find small class sizes and some individualized attention.

Build a Degree from Your Training

Just because you decide not to pursue that four-year degree—or even a two-year degree—doesn’t mean you won’t eventually. In fact you can start with a certificate, go on to an associate degree, and then take your credits onto a bachelor’s degree.


If you’re ready to jumpstart your career, contact Charter College today. We offer a variety of training programs in both in-person and online formats. Our professional faculty will provide you with the knowledge and skills it takes to succeed in the industry. Call us at 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.