What I’m about to say is my opinion. This is based on my experience of graduating from both a business college and a university.
I feel whatever career–non-professional or professional–you want to go into, will decide whether you go to a business college or a four-year university. Both places have their good and bad points. Below are the ones I found.
Good and bad points of a Business College
If you want to go into a career that non-professional, a business college would be a good choice. Why?
Get out into a career sooner
You will be able to graduate and get into your career faster. The courses of study are anywhere from 9 to 24 months, and you can graduate with a diploma, certificate, or Associate degree.
Instructors with actual work experience
The instructors are usually professionals who are or have worked in the industry. Therefore they have practical knowledge of the job. If you’re lucky, you will get some hands-on training.
Limited Campus Life
This depends on the college. The college I went to didn’t have any clubs or organizations to join, so there wasn’t a lot of student socializing. We usually went to class and went home.
I had heard that the college provided student housing, but I don’t know where it was. I would assume it would be someone close.
Cost of everything
One downfall I noticed with a business college is the cost. For the business college I went to, classes were organized into 3-month blocks called quarter semesters.
After 8 quarter semesters (24 months), I graduated in 1990 and had two loans totaling $10,000 (or $23,537 in 2023 dollars).
Good and bad points of a University
If you choose something more specialized like medicine or law, I suggest attending a university. Now if you go to a university, there are a some things you should consider.
A longer time to get a degree
I thought a four-year degree would take four years. Turns out I was wrong. On the first day of my Freshman Orientation class, the instructor told the class it would take five years to get a four-year degree. Sure enough, it took me five years to get a four-year degree.
More in-depth study of the subject
A difference between business college and university I noticed was university professors tend to teach a more theoretical, in-depth view of the topic. I’m not knocking business college instructors. They know their area of study also.
I’m just saying that I noticed that university classes seemed a little more concerned the who, what, when, where, and why of a subject. Then, later on, they teach the how.
At the university I went to, there was a work program so students could get real work experience in whatever they were studying. I did it and it went well. I got some work experience and was hired on by the company as an employee.
After classes are over, there’s a lot to do. There are clubs, sororities/fraternities, and teams to join. There will be special events and concerts to attend. There’s a student center that will have a place(s) to shop, eat, and hang out with friends.
My university’s Student Center was in the center of campus. On the bottom level was the food court which had food stations for pasta, burgers, and sandwiches. There was even a salad bar and a small coffee shop there.
On the ground level was the lounge area. This was where everybody would hang out. At both ends of this massive area were computer rooms where students could spend time on the Internet. On the weekends, this is where I spent some of my time.
On the top floor were the Executive Dining Rooms. Folks with meal plans or some spare cash would eat up there. I ate up there every so often. It was nice!
Campus Housing or Commuting to campus
Another thing to think about is whether you are going to stay on campus or commute. Most universities have some type of housing on campus. They are called dormitories; dorms for short. My university had them grouped by gender: all-male, all-female, and co-ed.
I enjoyed my time in the dorms. I got the opportunity to live on my own and take care of myself. It was great!
To graduate early, I finished up my classes during the summer. Instead of paying to stay on campus (because nothing was going on during the summer), I commuted.
Commuting wasn’t too bad. I just didn’t like the parking situation. The student parking lots were on the outer fringes of the campus. So I had to arrive early (to get a decent parking spot) and walk about a quarter of a mile to class. Other than that, I felt commuting was any worse than staying on campus.
Costs of everything
One thing you should consider is the cost, or costs. Since you’re going to be in school longer, it makes sense you would pay more. Also, it depends on the university you attend. The university I went to is regional state university, so the costs were lower.
Most peoplw woud think class and book costs are the only things to think about paying for, but nope. There’s more!
There are activity fees for certain classes and programs; like intramural sports. Clubs and organizations–such as the Greek organizations–have dues members pay regularly. You’ll have to pay for most campus events.
If you want more education after high school, there are options. A Business college, a university; or even a community college.
Take a minute to think about what you want to do career-wise. Then think about the amount of study time your career will take, the cost of everything, and what kind of activities are available. (You’ve got to have some fun outside of classes!)
Weigh these carefully and then decide whether a business college or university will be best for you.