Choosing between a traditional four-year college and a technical school doesn’t have to be an either/or decision.

Sometimes one educational path can lead to the other, said Greg Nichols, president of Salina Area Technical College.

The daughter of one of his neighbors went to cosmetology school to earn a certificate after a one-year program. She did this, Nichols said, so she could have a job that paid a decent salary and would help finance further education at a four-year university. She eventually received a degree in respiratory therapy and a certificate in office administration. Now she works at a retirement facility, where she profits from all of her skills.