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College 101

Technical Schools
Article Type: Quick and Dirty

To sort this out, Shmoop actually had to graduate from the Polytechnic Technical Institute of Technology. It’s a prestigious program which offers degrees in figuring out what the heck is out there in terms of technical education.*

*Note: This is not true. Shmoop, being a company and not a person, is unable to earn a degree.

Technically (see what we did there?), the term “Technical School” is a catch-all for any school which trains for a particular career having to do with the Sciences, Math, Engineering or Technology. The level (and quality) of education across these schools varies wildly, so hold on to your pocket protectors and protractors for a quick tour.

State Technical Schools: These are the revered grandfathers of Technology training. When you think of research-intensive colleges and universities which specialize in Mathematics, the hard Sciences, and Technology, you’re thinking of these schools.

Private Technical Schools: These schools may also be called Technical Colleges or Technical Institutes and offer training in technology at the community-college level, offering Associate’s Degrees to graduates in a career-specific field such as Engineering or Computer Programming.

Polytechnic Schools: This is a moniker adopted by a few universities to communicate that they are heavy hitters in the Technology department. If you are going to one of the Polytechnic schools (think CalPoly), you’ll do pretty well for yourself.

Institutes of Technology: Here’s another catch-all term that can apply to prestigious, highly-competitive research institutes like the Massachusetts and California Institutes of Technology, along with less-known private institutes.

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