It’s an assumption that holds as strong today as it has throughout the last hundred years or more: if you want to be anybody, you need to go to college or university. Trade schools have argued against this assumption but it has always seemed an uphill battle, fought against parents, teachers, guidance counsellors and just about everyone else. Why go to trade school? While it has always been a simple fact that college is not for everyone, trade schools – also called career schools, vocational schools and tech schools – are an increasingly smart option for many young people. Let’s look at some reasons.Trade schools can be the most financially responsible choice. Of course, the average pay rate for many trades – right out of school – is higher than many other entry level jobs. But on another hand, you are investing a lot less to begin with. Many apprenticeship programs and other trades programs are two years or even less, resulting in a significantly lower student debt load than any four year college or university degree program.Job opportunities are often far less volatile than other areas. If you want a steady, solid career investment where you know where you are going to be, a trade or career school is probably a far better gamble than other options. We all know the volatility of technology, marketing and other areas. Meanwhile, trade school grads working in fields from electrical to massage therapy have a steady career with very little changes in the needs of the market. Trade schools sometimes receive bad press for making promises of employment, but it has to be noted that most colleges and universities would never have the backbone to claim that graduates will find jobs.Trade schools set students on careers that are uniquely challenging. Many college graduates end up at desk jobs or sitting at a computer all day. Grads in skilled trades often have jobs where they are outside or out in the field all day, often working with people. They often work with new technologies and tools, combining practical hands-on work with problem solving in fields like electrical, plumbing, construction and others. Careers in trades such as massage therapy or physical fitness (for example) mean working with people daily to improve their health. These also can offer time flexibility and the opportunity to run your own business.