The cost of comfortable: How small and medium trade schools owners can simplify their lives and save money with software

Trade and career school management software isn’t just a nice to have for small and medium schools, it’s a must-have for owners who want to save time, increase retention and revenue, scale programs, and attract a new generation of students without having to work all 24 hours in the day. 


Training future essential workers is a tough job. Fortunately, for those of us who enjoy things like non-embarrassing haircuts and working air conditioners in 100-degree weather, trade and career school owners across the country have stepped up to prepare our next generation of essential workers for whatever comes their way.


Owners of small and medium schools with anywhere from 50-200 students aren’t just owners. They are accountants, recruiters, counselors, compliance officers, marketers, administrators, and sometimes even instructors. They wear a lot of hats, and their staff members do as well. 


These owners manage many of their everyday processes using spreadsheets and manual data entry, including attendance and retention. While larger schools invest in technology built specifically for trade school attendance, retention, and compliance, smaller schools may not see the need when managing hundreds, not thousands, of students. Manual attendance tracking works adequately, but the men and women training our future essential workers deserve more than fine. They deserve to be empowered with tools that simplify their busy lives and allow them to focus on students. 


Even in the smallest of schools, investing in trade and career school management software pays for itself by saving staff hours on data entry, increasing revenue, scaling operations, and improving the student experience for a new generation.

Using trade and career school software to save you and your staff time

Even in a small school, taking information from a fingerprint or hand scanner and entering it into the SIS takes a significant time. Consider a school of 100 students. Spending just 2 minutes of data entry per day per student adds up to:



That’s over a month spent on attendance data entry every year, not including the time it takes to adjust student records and field student requests for progress reports. 


It’s a tightrope for small schools. This isn’t enough time to justify an additional hire, but it’s more time than a small team can spare. Plus, with 100 students a day, that’s 100 opportunities for human error and compliance mistakes.  


Digital attendance solutions take attendance using a GPS or QR-code and automatically transfer the data into your SIS, dropping a three-hour process to three minutes. Additionally, trade school attendance software gives students access to their records, so they’re no longer checking in with administrators for progress updates. 


Your team is valuable, and with even just a few hours of manual data entry taken off their plate every day, they can allocate more time to high-value work like student retention.

Using trade and career school software to improve retention and increase revenue

When staff aren’t forced to manually update attendance records, and instead have insight into real-time attendance data, they can take a proactive approach to retention. With an automatic attendance solution, administrators can see who is absent from class as soon as class begins. If they see that an at-risk student is not in class, they can immediately reach out to that student and try to get them into class to earn at least some time for the day. 


For example, if administrators save even just five students a year in a $20k program with immediate outreach, that’s $100k extra in revenue per year that would have otherwise walked out the door. With that kind of savings, schools can begin to scale their programs and reach more students.

Using trade and career school software to keep up with tech-savvy generations

Gen Z will never understand the struggles of dial-up internet, fax machines, and other “old school” technology. They’re used to having their records, including secure documents like medical records, available on their device with just a few clicks. They don’t want to ask an administrator for progress updates or keep track of paper attendance sheets. Instead, they want a mobile-first experience


Investing in trade school management software keeps small and medium schools competitive with large schools by providing the student experience Gen Z expects while also providing the resources needed to scale. 

Using trade and career school software to scale program offerings

Scaling a school is a balancing act. If you choose to accept more students, it means spending more money on instructors and space—but what about administrators? Do you hire another administrator to handle a small number of additional students or do you ask your already burdened administrators to take on more work? Implementing a trade school management software that automates attendance helps scale your school without a heavy additional administrative lift.

Putting the “family” back in family business thanks to trade and career school software

Many small trade and career school owners are running a family business. They may have grown up watching their parents run the school or they may be working with a sibling or spouse. It is by no means a 9-5 job and owners devote their lives to training future essential workers. 


Automating tasks like manual data entry allows career college owners and operators to put the “family” back in “family business.” Equipped with technology that automatically handles tedious administrative tasks, owners are empowered with more to spend with their families. 


CourseKey helps small and medium schools across the country automate tasks like attendance management. With a stellar customer success team and implementation as quickly as two weeks, CourseKey makes the transition a breeze. 


If you’d like to learn more about how CourseKey can support your small or medium school, request a demo today. 

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