Types of Colleges

types college

There are many types of colleges. Consider them all and choose the type that's the best fit for your personality, learning style, and situation.


Two-Year Community or Junior Colleges

A two-year college offers you a degree after two years of full-time study. Four out of 10 graduating high school students start their college careers at community colleges.

Attending a community college has lots of advantages.

  • Tuition and fees at public community colleges are less than half of those at public four-year colleges and about a tenth of those at private four-year colleges.
  • The faculty at community colleges tends to focus more on teaching than research, which means you'll get more help. And classes are usually smaller , so you'll get more personal attention from your teachers.
  • Community colleges are good places to explore fields that interest you before committing to a major. You'll save money by paying less than you would at a four-year school while exploring your options.
  • Taking classes at a community college can help improve your GPA. Community colleges have an open-door admissions policy — all students are accepted regardless of past academic performance.
  • Since many communities have community colleges, you can save money by living at home.

Careers you could have with an Associate's Degree.

Administrative Assistant

Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technician

Computer Specialist

Court Reporter

Dental Assistant

Dental Hygienist

Desktop Publisher

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Engineering Technician

Flight Attendant

Forensic Science Technician

Funeral Director

Geological and Petroleum Technician

Hospitality Manager

Massage Therapist

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nursing Aide

Occupational Therapist Assistant


Physical Therapist Assistant

Radiation Therapist

Radiologic Technologist

Registered Nurse

Respiratory Therapist

Solar Energy Consultant

Sound Engineering Technician

Surgical Technologist


Public and Private Four-Year Colleges and Universities

A four-year college usually offers a bachelor’s degree in the arts or sciences once you've completed a program of study. 

Universities are generally large and offer many majors.

State colleges and universities are usually less expensive than private colleges and universities. State colleges are usually large, as well.

Private colleges are generally more expensive, but tend to be smaller and may offer more personal attention. There are many types of private colleges including women’s colleges, men’s colleges, religious colleges and military colleges.

Don’t exclude more expensive colleges from your list. They often have many grants and scholarships available.

Careers you could have with a Bachelor’s Degree.


Athletic Trainer

Biological Technician

Biomedical Engineer

Clinical Laboratory Technician

Computer Applications Software Engineer

Computer Systems Software Engineer

Conservation Scientist


Environmental Engineer

Financial Examiner


Graphic Designer

Health Educator

Insurance Underwriter


Market Research Analyst

Medical and Health Services Manager

Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst

Personal Financial Advisor

Public Relations Specialist

Physicians Assistant

Software Engineer

Survey Researcher

Careers that you could have with a Graduate or Doctorate Degree after earning a Bachelor’s Degree.




Educational, Vocational and School Counselor

Financial Manager


Management Consultant

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker

Petroleum Engineer


Physical Therapist





University Professor



Vocational/Trade/Technical Schools

Vocational schools, also known as trade or technical schools, teach skills necessary to perform a particular job.

Vocational schools offer a variety of programs that are two years or less. Typically you earn a certificate or diploma for a skill or trade once you've completed a program of study.

Check out careers that you could have with vocational school training.

Automotive Service Technician



Executive Chef

Catering Chef

Catering Manager

Food and Beverage Manager

Events Manager


Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technician

Massage Therapist


Truck Driver



Online Classes and Degrees

Many colleges offer online classes that may be taken as part of a program. These classes provide some flexibility in your schedule.

More and more completely online degrees are offered by online universities, traditional colleges and universities, and community colleges.


Check out popular degrees offered at many online universities.

  • Business
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Nursing & Health Care
  • Psychology
  • Information Technology
  • Continuing Education

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