With a high school diploma, there are several paths for you to choose from. You can:

  • Apply to a traditional degree-granting college or university;
  • Take a gap year to deliberate;
  • Start a business and defer your tertiary education;
  • Apply to a community college, and then transfer (or not) to a traditional 4-year college;
  • Go to a vocational school;
  • Choose a technical college or university.

Every option can prove to be a good choice, depending on your career plans and goals, financial and life situation, and many other things. In this article, we are going to look into the last one – technical education. 

However, you should remember that you need a high school diploma to apply to any of the schools listed below. 

Now, whether you live in Pennsylvania, or are keen to study abroad in the USA here, let's dive in to the best places to choose!


Is Technical Education Good Enough? 

First of all, if you have doubts about if you should or should not choose technical education, weigh everything carefully once more. Technical colleges and universities have a lot of benefits compared to the “traditional” degree-granting higher education. Yet, there are also some drawbacks. 

Going to a technical college or university can be the best choice if you don’t see your future career in academia and want to get hands-on experience as well as theoretical knowledge. This kind of post-secondary education is also for you if you don’t want to study too many subjects not related directly to your profession. 

Another important thing is the tuition cost. It's usually lower in such institutions compared to 4-year degree-granting colleges. 


Pennsylvania's Top Rated Technical Colleges and Universities

The state of Pennsylvania offers a wide choice of technical schools. Your pick should depend on the concrete program that you need, your location, financial situation, and other options. However, there are some schools that are generally considered better than others.

Here they are.


1. Pennsylvania Institute of Technology 

PIT is a private not-for-profit junior college located in Upper Providence Township near Media. It was established in the mid-20th century to provide training for pre-engineering students. It was primarily focused on math and science back then. 

The new campus near Media was built in the 1970s, and in that same decade, the school was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Since then, it can grant specialized associate degrees. 

As of today, PIT also offers one-year specialized programs. There are four main fields of study that the school covers, and a wide range of programs. Among the most popular ones are engineering, health, business, and management. 

The academic year in PIT is quarter-based, tuition and fees are approximately $13 000. The school also offers credit for life experience. 


2. Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA)

If you are seriously into aircraft, then PIA is the place for you. This school is a not-for-profit organization located in West Mifflin. It was founded in 1929 and derived from a company that provided aircraft sales, service, and flight training. 

This technical school was later approved by the Civil Aeronautics Authority (now Federal Aviation Administration). Its aviation programs are also accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

PIA claims to combine hands-on experience with academic knowledge. The emphasis is on hands-on learning. The school’s main campus offers AST degrees in Aviation Technology and the branch campuses provide diploma and certificate programs in Aviation Maintenance Technology. 

There’s also the Jump Start Division, where you can find some short-term training programs. The Institute welcomes high-school graduates as well as adults, transfer students, veterans, and international students. The tuition cost is around $22 000. 


3. Pennsylvania College of Technology (affiliated with Pennsylvania State University)

This public college, founded in 1914, is one of the best options for those seeking technology education in Pennsylvania. It offers Bachelor’s degree programs as well as certificates and associate degrees. It also covers a huge range of study fields – more than 100. 

The college is divided into different schools including:

  • Business & Hospitality;
  • Construction & Design Technologies;
  • Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies. 

One school, also known as Penn College, is ranked among the best ones in the US. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls over 5000 students yearly. Tuition costs vary from approx. $17 000 (local) to around $24 500 (domestic). 


Pennsylvania is home to a great number of post-secondary educational institutions. You can choose from traditional or technical schools, depending on your career goals and life plans. Whatever you choose, be aware of the advantages of quality technical education and the opportunities to get it in your state.