Auto Tech Schools Versus Community College Programs
Naturally, when you are researching auto mechanic programs, one of your main concerns is cost. To many people, the tuition charged by auto tech schools seems exorbitant when compared with the less expensive programs offered at community colleges. However, as a school that specializes in one area of instruction, an automotive school offers many benefits over a low budget community college program.
For instance, most auto tech schools offer better equipment than community colleges. The reason for this is that community colleges depend on the government for their funding, and as a result are constantly struggling to pay their teachers, let alone stay up to date on equipment for their students. On the other hand, the tuition you pay at an automotive school ensures that the school can provide and maintain state of the art equipment for its students.
Another advantage of the degree programs offered by auto tech schools is superior teachers. Under funding at community colleges also results in underpaid teachers, which usually means that the best and most knowledgeable teachers won’t settle for a job at a community college. Also, since an automotive school specializes in their field, rather than offering classes simply as an alternative for non-traditional or non-academic students, they tend to look for teachers who are better qualified to teach their subject.
The curriculum offered by an automotive school is also generally higher quality than those offered by community colleges. Again, this has to do with the fact that auto tech schools specialize in one field. As a result, a school that focuses on automotive training will be able to offer a choice of several different degree programs, including programs for earning Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications. ASE certifications are an important part of the automotive industry, as they demonstrate to employers and customers alike that a mechanic has mastered his or her areas of certification; as such, any good automotive education program will train and test students in the areas of ASE certification.
Besides factors that are directly related to the quality of a student’s education, such as high quality equipment, teachers, and educational programs, as private institutions auto tech schools can also offer superior student services, such as job placement services. Job placement services in particular are very important, as the primary reason for pursuing an education is to become more qualified for a specific job or career. Auto tech schools tend to have an office dedicated to helping graduates find jobs, and usually have a good reputation with local employers. Additionally, many auto tech schools have long term relationships with local business, meaning that many of these businesses go directly to the school when they are in need of interns or fulltime mechanics. All of these factors help the graduates of an auto tech school find jobs more easily than those who attended a community college.
Saving yourself money by attending a community college program may seem like a wise decision, but in the long run it may have a detrimental impact on your career path. Factors such as the curriculum, teachers, and equipment dictate how much you learn and how well you learn it, while support services for students, such as job placement assistance, help you translate your education into a career. The extra money it costs to enroll in a degree program at an auto tech school may be the difference between a quality education and mediocre training, a career in the fast track or just a job.