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College may be the logical next step for many high school seniors, but it’s certainly not the only option.

While you may be hearing a lot about finding the right college, there’s a crucial question you should answer before giving any thought to building your college list: Is going to college the best path for you? Or could trade school be the better choice? 

College prepares students for professional careers through academics. Trade schools — also called vocational schools — are focused on providing technical training in a skilled trade. That training can prepare you for jobs in a variety of fields, including criminal justice, information technology, plumbing and construction. Trade school programs generally last anywhere from eight months to two years. Once you’ve successfully completed a trade school program, you’ll receive a diploma, trade certificate or, in some cases, an associate degree. 

If you’re weighing your options between trade school and college, this quiz can help point you in the right direction. 

Interviews for this article were conducted in 2018.