Vocational schools and career training centers are schools in which students are taught the skills they need to succeed in a specific job field. Also known as trade or technical schools, vocational schools are attractive educational options for students interested in training for a specific occupation.
In addition to trade and vocational schools, community colleges and four-year colleges also offer vocational programs that teach students specific job skills. These programs are designed to cater to the needs of non-traditional students with flexible scheduling and affordable tuition rates. Most vocational and trade schools only require a high school diploma to apply.
Popular Programs Serving the Community
Often, vocational schools offer training in career fields that benefit the needs of the community. For example, industrial regions, like the Northeast and Midwest, might have more industry- centered career programs like Welding and Electrical Maintenance, than perhaps a city where technological industries are the predominant employers in the community.
As a whole, vocational training schools have a variety of programs that serve a variety of needs. Popular programs include Health Care, Auto Repair, Computer Service, Construction, Culinary Arts and Cosmetology.
Workforce Development and Leadership Programs
Vocational schools also strive to improve employment and wage opportunities for students who want to stay within their current job field. Workforce development programs—sometimes paid for by employers—allow students to gain the skills they need to grow as employees in their respective job fields.
Technical schools also teach leadership programs for students seeking to become a managing professional. These programs teach leadership skills and give students unique insight into managerial positions.
Planning For Your Future
Convenience is an important aspect of trade- and career-oriented institutions. Aside from flexible scheduling and the low cost of tuition, as compared to traditional four-year university programs, vocational schools will not provide a liberal arts education or require core courses that are not relevant to the specific trade.
For example, students enrolled in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning program at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College will not take biology and chemistry. Programs are also often shorter and much less expensive than bachelor’s and even associate’s degree programs.
Most vocational schools also offer a variety of student services. Financial aid may be available to qualifying applicants and students have access to advising and counseling services as they progress through the program.
Since most students attending vocational schools are primarily interested in their employment prospects, many technical and career training schools have ties with local businesses that allow for unique work opportunities before and after graduation. Study programs allow students to work side by side with local businesses and upon graduation, many graduates are offered jobs or internships facilitated by the vocational school.
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