Massage Therapy Training: Trade Schools vs. Colleges

Massage therapy schools can vary in their physical size, student body, and accommodations for both students and patrons of a school’s massage clinic. As individuals explore their options and begin the selection process, it will often become obvious that there are two primary choices in most regions of the country: Do you choose a trade school that specializes in massage or should you enroll in the massage therapy program at a traditional, 4-year college?

The primary difference between going to a massage therapy trade school and attending a massage therapy program at a college is prerequisites and co-requisites. That is – classes that you take in addition to and as a supplement to your main course of study. At a massage therapy trade school, you will learn all about massage and the related science and health studies necessary to be a licensed massage therapist.  You will also learn these skills at a college, in addition to other skills relating to general education requirements: English, Mathematics, Science, and other liberal arts classes.

On the other side of the coin however, massage therapy trade schools will cost far less money than a traditional college. It is important to keep in mind that credits earned at a massage therapy school will not transfer to a college. It is also noteworthy that should you ever change your mind about your profession, only the college credits will be good toward a higher degree – the trade school credits will not.

As Jeremy Vohwinkle at About.com says:

“While trade schools are less expensive, they don’t offer the kind of diverse and comprehensive options available at most universities. Education Portalinsists you need a four-year degree to get a high paying job with prolonged employment opportunities. Many students, to offset the expense of college, receive an associate’s degree from a community college, and then move to a university to attain their bachelor’s degree in a specific field of study.

Trade schools perform the advertised function. They teach you all of the facets of a specific vocation and prepare you for a job in that field. Afterward, you will have already gained during school to immediately apply for job. When you graduate from a university, often students do not have experience in their field of study. However, a bachelor’s degree gives you experience on a wide range of topics to better prepare you for a more diverse job market, while shaping you into a well-rounded individual. This can be more appealing for some individuals.” (Read more.)

Aside from the ability to transfer credits and build on an existing degree, massage therapy schools that are solely dedicated to massage therapy can be very beneficial for students who are sure of their profession for years to come. Not only are they less expensive, but they are very in-tune with the world of massage therapy at all time. Instructors are likely to be practicing massage therapists and students are more likely to be assisted successfully through a job placement program. This is largely because massage therapy schools make a valiant effort to connect students with employers through trusted relationships and networks that are built over long periods of time.

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