What prompted you to go to a technical school as opposed to a university?
Little Back Story: I came from a fairly well off upper/middle family, and "college" was just something I was expected to do. My brother had an MBA, my sister had an MBA, so there was this "college is what you do" kind of thing in my family. But I was always into computer networking in high school, I got MCSE, A+, Cisco CCNA and CCND certifications all in high school extra classes. But for 4 year degrees, there really is no classes for that stuff except computer science majors, which is more programming/development oriented (not what I liked at all). I HATED school all my life, hated learning things I wasn't interested in, but did extremely well in any subject I enjoyed (sciences, computers, history, etc).
So I went to college for one year. HATED it. Loved the social aspects, HATED the classes. Couldn't get into the classes I wanted, had to take all these generals I didn't want to take anyway or thought I needed, and generally had a bad experience being 1 of 200 kids in a classroom where you really don't even have to show up to class to past the tests. Just didn't like it, again HATED it, got depressed over it all, and dropped out and never went back. Parents said no more money if you drop out, did it anyway. Moved back home, got a shitty retail job, rented a shitty house with 4 other friends, and started looking at tech schools. Turns out tech school was EXACTLY what I was looking for and how I leared best. Small class sizes, only classes around the subject I was studying, lots of hands on lab work, lots of industry professionals and retired IT veterans doing the teaching, and good connections with employers for placement after finishing the program. Also, even with a retail job I was able to work 40 hours a week working mostly nights and truck shifts at Best Buy, I was able to go to school full time and pay my way as I went. Didn't have to go into debt for any of it!
as if we've collectively decided that technical training is low class and isn't something people should aspire to.
Honestly, it's funny looking back because even working at Best Buy, or my other jobs during that younger period in my life, everyone looked at me like a loser because they were all going to university/college, and I was a dropout in a 2 year program now. People DID look down on it, whether they admitted it aloud or not. I even had a few people exit my life because "I was going to be a loser who worked at Best Buy the rest of my life". But within 3 months of finishing my 2 year degree, I had a job starting at $45k/year at a Fortune 100 company doing data center work. Sure, bitch work in the data center, but decent money for a 23 year old, and a good first job in a career. That was like 8 years ago. Now I'm a technical manager supporting web applications for a large financial, manage three of our websites/applications, have a team of people underneath me, own a house, and make like 3 times what I started at. And this industry is STILL hurting for employees. I can't hire competent people fast enough. I have 3 open head counts on my team, and have been trying to fill them for months now (If you're in Minnesota and know Biztalk/IIS/.NET Apps/XML/WCF Services, talk to me!)
So, I rambled a lot, but that's my story. I went to two year school, acrued no debt, got a good job right away, and it's turned into a great career with a lot of work that I've put into it. My other most successful friend I know, went to trade school to be an electrician and he's also making six figures already and loving his job. All my friends who went to school for 4 year degrees are floundering unfortunately.
Not saying 4 year degrees are bad, just saying it's not the only way to get a career out of life. There are more options than just getting a 4 year degree. And getting a 2 year degree doesn't make anyone a loser, in fact, it's turning out to be the wiser choice in this climate.