Trade School For College


Bill Horsman

Porter and Chester Technical School 8 Presidential Way Woburn, MA for use by Campanelli Companies

Samantha Ramirez, Herald Writer

Trade schools typically focus on providing trade-specific training. They are a good alternative for students who don’t want to go to a four-year college. It involves a lower tuition cost and takes a shorter amount of time to get a degree. Trade schools are more career-focused and train you specifically on what you want to do in the future. However, getting a degree or certificate at a trade school does limit you to the jobs you can get. Trade school is usually two years or less and they remove the majority of general education courses and emphasize hands-on training and practical skills. Seven benefits of going to trade school are lower cost, faster graduation time, fewer admission requirements, small class sizes, real-world experience, job assistance, and preparation for in-demand careers. 

A local trade school is Porter and Chester Institute. This school has many different locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. In Massachusetts, there are Porter and Chester Institutes in Chicopee, Worcester, Canton, and Brockton. In Connecticut, there are institutes in Bridgeport, Hamden, Enfield, New London, Rocky Hill, Stratford, and Waterbury. To find out more about these locations and what they specifically offer, you can go to

Porter and Chester has nine total locations, eleven career training programs, seventy five years of experience (since 1946), and over twenty-seven thousand student graduates. With Porter and Chester, you can fit your education around your life. The institute has flexible learning methods. They offer hybrid, fully online, and on campus programs. For each of the programs offered, they have different requirements like some hybrid programs requiring two days a week of on-campus labs, while others require three days a week. There are also some programs that offer the lecture and labs fully online and then there are programs that are fully on campus. With the hybrid option, the online learning is mostly asynchronous which allows the student to complete the assigned work on their own schedule based on the due date. This is a great option for students who have a full-time or part-time job or have other responsibilities. The school states, “When programs are offered in a hybrid format, there are different things that prospective students should know. Since a majority of the online portion is asynchronous, assignments can be completed in your own time, within a certain boundary. There are still due dates, tests, and other time-sensitive projects, but one of the plus sides of learning this way is that you can mostly do those assignments in a time that best fits with your schedule.” The students who are fully on campus or hybrid have the option to either attend the on-campus labs during the day or evening. 

Porter and Chester is accredited. The institute is approved by the following government agencies to train sponsored students: Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (CT), Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Workers’ Rehabilitation Services (CT), CT State Approving Agency for Veterans Benefits, and MA State Approving Agency for Veterans Benefits. The institute has a mix of good and bad reviews which is based primarily on location. 

There are also various other local trade schools that individuals can choose from as well as around the world. Trade schools are definitely a good option for students who don’t want to go to a four-year college or don’t have the money to attend. They are more affordable and students still have the opportunity for scholarships and financial aid. It’s also more career based so you won’t have to take any extra classes that don’t have to do with your career. Keep in mind that after finishing trade school, you are limited to the jobs you are able to get based on what you chose to study. Both trade school and college are really great options and can make you an extremely successful person.