WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Going to college after high school has become a normal for many seniors. But there are other education options such as technical high schools.

There are both pros and cons, but at Westfield Technical Academy, those cons are limited. While they do you encourage students to go on to college after their technical high school education, 50% of their students are able to go right into the workforce.

“I actually started off at the high school, and I realized that vocational would be a better choice for me, I could definitely get a head start on what I knew I wanted to do. So it’s definitely helped me get a job and study what I want to do for the rest of my life,” said Sofia Macias, a junior studying culinary arts.

Unlike other tech schools, Westfield Technical Academy is the first high school in New England to offer an aviation program.

Learning what it’s like to fly a plane is just one field students have the option to study. Some believe that there is limited flexibility when it comes to changing careers to something other than what the student had studied. But at Westfield Tech Academy, they say that’s not a problem for their students.

“We have a curriculum that we’re implanting here called signal success throughout all of our career tech areas at the freshman sophomore level. It prepares the students for the workforce and the soft skills initiative, critical thinking problem solving skills that could transfer to whatever they’re going to pursue,” said Peter Taloumis, the Career Tech Education Director at Westfield Technical Academy.

The school has created a number of programs to match some of the jobs most in demand these days.