Trade School Vs College: Challenging Stigmas of Trade Careers

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1151 |

Pages: 3|

6 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Words: 1151|Pages: 3|6 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Unveiling the Truth about Trade School
  3. The Importance of Trade Careers in Society
  4. Trade School vs College: Exploring Opportunities
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works Cited


I'm told, you are going to be a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Teacher, or an engineer. You are going to get into the top schools in the country, you are going to receive the top grades in your class and be the valedictorian; But what about what I want. What if I don’t want to go to a university for four years; What if I want to be a plumber, an electrician, or a carpenter. What if I want to do what I want? What if? Why do we say if? If we don't care about other people's opinions, we should be turning that if into will. I will be a plumber, I will be an electrician, I will be a carpenter. I will give myself the future that I want. The decision between trade school vs college is mine to make, and I choose the path that aligns with my aspirations and interests.

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The Cambridge Dictionary defines stigma as having a strong feeling of disapproval towards something, and as a member of society, you often hear about the stigma towards people who work in the trades. Many people often assume that trade school is for unintelligent people and that people who attend trade school are less educated than people who may have attended university. Both of those facts are false.

Unveiling the Truth about Trade School

While many people disparage trades there are many benefits that people often ignore. For instance, a University degree can take four years to complete, with tuition averaging $60,000 - $90,000. But, a trades program can take as little as two years to finish, with tuition averaging $33,000. In the end, average salaries for tradespeople and university graduates are almost identical at $60,000 a year.

People in the trades play a vital part in our day-to-day lives. A 2012 skills Canada survey states that 98% of Canadians have used a skilled tradesperson at least once in the last 2 months, proving that without the trades, most people will be unable to fix common problems in their homes and their daily life. Take, for example, you have bought a new pair of pants, but once you bring them home you find that they are too long. What do you do? If you know how to alter clothes; great, if not, you are more than likely to take that pair of pants to a seamstress. This proves that even though society doesn't think we need tradespeople; we do, unless you are that guy who hems his pants with a stapler.

The Importance of Trade Careers in Society

But why the trades, the trades have endless career opportunities; from plumber to pipefitter, or even a crane operator, there are countless options when selecting a trade program. But even then, there are so many more benefits to working in the trade sector. Many people despise working at a desk or having a strict routine. Wake up, drink coffee, go to work, come home, sleep, and repeat; day after day. It gets boring. But when working in the trades you often get to explore more than an office, you get to take on different projects and are always having a changing schedule. You are never confined to one place for long stretches of time and you are often active throughout the day. But what about after trade school? Where will you find a job? Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret; by 2025 it's estimated that 40% of jobs will be in the trade sector. Furthermore, Canada needs more trade workers. We are lacking people in our trade industry and in the coming years, it's expected to break apart even more. Once you choose a career path in the trades, jobs are plentiful, I have no doubt that you will have trouble finding a job.

Trade School vs College: Exploring Opportunities

What students in high school need to understand is that the trades are an option and that the trades are an equal form of education and provide good career paths, students who are enrolled in a trades school should not be looked down upon for their career choices. They understand the career path they want and they are taking the proper measures to give themselves a successful future. The trades can and should be more promoted as an option to high school students and even people who have already attended a post secondary institution. Instead of focusing on attending a college or university, students should also look into the possibility of going to trade school or apprenticeship program and finding a trade that they want to pursue and have a career in. Yet, schools should be promoting the option of a career in the trades and the benefits it has for a person’s work ethic and career. For 25 years secondary school students from the Durham District School Board have been competing in skills Canada: a competition for students who are pursuing the trades. However, on Thursday March 21 over 250 students competed in the first DDSB Elementary Skills Competition. The event, which offered 8 different challenges, promoted the trades, as well as promoting teamwork and friendly competition between schools. This event was an amazing way to promote the trades before students even enter high school. The Durham District School Board is a great example to show positive stigma towards the trades.

Now, people who are in the trades are very intelligent and resourceful. They are problem solvers and resilient to everything their career brings them. A new trend that has started is makeover shows, where a group of various trade people take a house that needs a renovation and fix it up. It’s not just the hosts of the show that do it, they bring in people who have a career in the trades and completely transform the house. People don’t often make the connection that people who fix the house are people who have a career in the trades. Which is another perfect example showing how the trades are a quality career choice.

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To conclude, society needs to understand that the trades play a major part in today's world and without the trade sector the world would be at a loss over common problems in life; and while the trades have been given a negative stigma, we have to stomp out that stigma and instead promote the trades. It is important to note that the trades are an important aspect to our society and that people who go into the trades do achieve a successful career and should not be looked down upon. I encourage people to consider going into the trades due to its changing workplace and work style as well as the future career option that they have. 

Works Cited

  1. 'Elementary Skills Competition Promotes Trades in Durham Region.' Durham District School Board, 22 Mar. 2019,
  2. 'Stigma.' Cambridge Dictionary,
  3. 'The Benefits of the Trades: A Trade vs. University Comparison.' Trade Schools in Canada,
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Trade School vs College: Challenging Stigmas of Trade Careers. (2023, August 04). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from
“Trade School vs College: Challenging Stigmas of Trade Careers.” GradesFixer, 04 Aug. 2023,
Trade School vs College: Challenging Stigmas of Trade Careers. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Feb. 2024].
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