Why Tech Colleges are Attracting Non-Traditional Students


Apr 21, 2023
Why Tech Colleges are Attracting Non-Traditional Students

The traditional college student used to be a recent high school graduate, but that has changed over the years. Today, more and more non-traditional students are pursuing higher education. Among these non-traditional students, a growing number are choosing to enroll in tech colleges. This article explores the reasons why tech colleges are attracting non-traditional students.

Defining Non-Traditional Students

Before delving deeper into the topic, it's important to define who we mean by "non-traditional students." According to the National Center for Education Statistics, non-traditional students are those who are over the age of 24, work full-time, have dependents, or are financially independent. They may also be first-generation college students, or returning to college after a significant break.

The Changing Landscape of Higher Education

One major factor contributing to the rise of non-traditional students in tech programs is the changing landscape of higher education. Traditional college programs often require a significant investment of time and money, and they may not be well-suited to students who have other commitments. Online programs and flexible scheduling options have made tech education more accessible to those who may not be able to attend traditional classes.

High Demand for Skilled Workers in Tech

Another major factor driving the trend is the high demand for skilled workers in the tech industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the industry continues to grow, the need for workers with specialized skills will only increase.

The Flexibility of Tech Programs

Many tech programs offer flexible schedules, online classes, and other options that can make it easier for non-traditional students to pursue a degree. This flexibility can be especially appealing to those who have other commitments like work or family.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Non-traditional students may also be attracted to tech programs because of the career advancement opportunities they offer. Many tech jobs are high-paying and in-demand, and having a degree or certification in the field can open up new doors for career growth.

Tech Colleges Embrace Diversity and Inclusivity

Tech colleges have been making efforts to attract a more diverse student body, including non-traditional students. This has been driven by a recognition that diverse perspectives can lead to better problem-solving and innovation in the tech industry. By embracing inclusivity and diversity, tech colleges are not only attracting non-traditional students but also creating a more welcoming and supportive environment for all students.

The Intersection of Tech and Other Fields

Another factor that is driving non-traditional students towards tech programs is the intersection of tech with other fields. Technology is becoming increasingly integrated into nearly every industry, from healthcare to finance to education. As a result, non-traditional students who are interested in pursuing a career in these fields may find that a degree in tech can give them a competitive edge.


In conclusion, the trend of non-traditional students pursuing tech degrees is a positive development for both students and the tech industry as a whole. By offering flexible schedules, embracing diversity and inclusivity, and providing opportunities for career advancement, tech programs are attracting a more diverse range of students who can bring unique perspectives and skills to the field.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Q: What is driving the trend of non-traditional students pursuing tech degrees?

A: There are several factors that are driving the trend of non-traditional students pursuing tech degrees. These include the high demand for skilled workers in the tech industry, the flexibility and accessibility of tech programs, the potential for higher salaries, and the intersection of tech with other fields.

Q: How has the landscape of higher education changed in recent years?

A: In recent years, the landscape of higher education has changed significantly. Online learning has become more common, and many universities and colleges have begun to offer more flexible and accessible programs. This has made it easier for non-traditional students to pursue higher education, including tech degrees.

Q: What is the potential for career advancement with a degree in tech?

A: The potential for career advancement with a degree in tech is significant. The tech industry is growing rapidly, and there is a high demand for skilled workers. A degree in tech can lead to many different career paths, including software development, cybersecurity, data analysis, and more.

Q: How can tech colleges support non-traditional students?

A: Tech colleges can support non-traditional students by offering flexible schedules, providing resources and support for balancing work and family responsibilities, and embracing diversity and inclusivity. They can also work with employers to offer tuition reimbursement and other incentives to encourage their employees to pursue higher education.

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