The benefit of going to school in today’s society is that there are numerous options to fit each individual’s needs. Instead of having two choices – a four year university or no university at all – students today can select from a long list of programs, from brief certificate courses to bachelor’s degrees and beyond. Another benefit of today’s modern education system is that people don’t have to enroll in a liberal arts education if they don’t want to do so. Instead, community colleges and trade schools offer curricula in professional occupations as well. These career-centric programs may still require a four year degree, such as those who wish to one day be engineers, accountants, or nurses. Other programs can prepare students for work in a particular field in a much shorter period of time. HVAC programs often fit into this category. Depending on their previous educational experience and specific career interests, those who wish to become HVAC specialists scan walk away from a school, degree in hand, in two years or less. If you are interested in pursuing this career option, consider a few key points to help you make the best selection.
Perhaps the first factor to consider is any geographic restrictions you may have. If you are young and have no ties to your current home, you could travel wherever you want to go to school. With the sky as your limit, you can research as many options as you want and pick the ideal option for you sans restriction. This might be helpful if you have a particular requirement for your school, such as a particular concentration, that is not available in your immediate vicinity. On the other hand, you may fall into the growing category of non-traditional students. In this case, you may have a number of limitations on where you can go to school, such as a full-time job where you live currently or a family for whom you need to be present and support. The good news is that with so many community colleges around the country, you are bound to find something that meets your traveling/commuting needs.
Everyone has a financial limit and a maximum amount that they are willing to spend on education. This amount may be influenced by any number of factors, such as your own personal income, your spouse’s or parents’ income, and the amount of debt you are willing to shoulder. Schools will vary in their tuition rates based upon where they are located, how prestigious their program is, and degree type, among other things. Be sure to do due diligence before you write off a program for being too expensive, though. Many institutions offer financial aid based on need or merit. You can also fill out the FAFSA to receive federal grants, scholarships, and loans as well. A third option is to research private scholarships (of which there are thousands!) to help finance your education.
Because of the number of options you have with HVAC schools, you may be overwhelmed with options in this regard. “Program type” refers to both length of curriculum and schooling method (in-class versus online). While it might be tempting to sign up for a brief, six-month, online program to simply get your studies over with and move on with your career, don’t act too hastily. Mull over your long-term goals, and don’t settle because you are impatient or shortsighted. If you have already been to school before, a short certificate program may be all you need, but if you do not have a wealth of educational experience, you may opt into a longer program to ensure that you receive comprehensive training and adequate preparation. Whether you go to school online or in-person will depend on your learning style. If you are disciplined and can grasp concepts easily from watching videos and lectures, you may excel in a distance-learning environment. On the other hand, if you need to be able to touch and tinker with systems and components in order to understand their mechanics, you should probably enroll in a curriculum where you can pay regular visits to a classroom.