What is a Technical or Vocational School?

By Anonymous

Vocational and technical schools are intended to lead to immediate employment. Study programs include a strong element of hands-on training, ensuring that students are equipped to enter the workforce as professionals upon completion of the course.  The following article describes the demand from manufacturers for skilled workers.

While it does require learning relevant concepts, theory and design, programs avoid intricate theory, focusing only on what is most wanted in the current market.

Often used interchangeably, technical and vocational schools are also called 'trade' schools or career colleges because they emphasize teaching a trade or preparing for a career rather than providing a broad educational overview.

You can take these courses at the secondary or postsecondary level. The average price for studying at a trade school is about 60-70% less than a university.

Stay Ahead of Your Peers and Give Your Employers What they are Looking For!

In most trade schools and career colleges, the class resembles the actual workplace, even using equipment and practices that are current within that particular industry.

This helps graduates from a technical school stay ahead of their university counterparts in terms of practical knowledge and application. The natural consequence is that their superior knowledge and skills make these specialists much in demand among employers.

Many employers have found that though graduates of traditional education programs are theoretically sound, they struggle to apply that knowledge to their jobs. A technical or vocational school graduates on the other hand are trained in technical specialties through apprenticeship and hands-on training programs in various institutes, so they fit right in without any additional training. 

Certification, Duration of Courses and Common Areas of Specialization

Vocational courses could vary in length from a week to many years. Many schools offer certificates of completion rather than degrees, though this is not a hard and fast rule.

Technical programs offered at technical, community and junior colleges, and sometimes even in four-year colleges and universities, lead to an associate degree, pre-baccalaureate technical degree or certificate.

Today, many technical courses are also found online, the following resource describes innovations in online education programs. So, if the course you want is not available in your state, you can always search the net and enroll in an online university. These courses will often have affiliations with technical institutes and industries in your state, so you can still get your practical training.

The subject areas most commonly associated with technical education (both online and in a classroom setup are: Agribusiness (careers relating to food, fiber production); Business (accounting, business administration, management, calculus, finance, information technology, entrepreneurship); Family and Consumer Sciences (culinary arts, management and life skills); Health careers (nursing, dental, and medical billing, medical transcriptions, pharmacy); Marketing (management, entrepreneurship, merchandising and retail); Technology (production, communication and transportation systems); Fine Arts and Design (photography, film making, interior designing), writing courses (creative writing, journalism); personal grooming (fashion designing, beauty schools.)

Is it for you?

Trade schools are great if you know exactly what you want to be. If, for instance, you know that you want to be a part of the pharmaceutical industry, you can acquire expertise in that one subject area in a shorter timeframe, rather than opting for a  four-year Science degree .  Also read What to Expect from a Technical or Trade School Education as another resource for finding information regarding attending a Vocational School.

It is also a great option if you possess a wide range of interests and would like to experiment with a variety of skills. Since courses are shorter and less expensive than traditional education, you have the freedom to take two or three programs of interest before you figure out your one true passion.

And since there is a staggering array of specialized courses to choose from, there is bound to be one that is tailor-made for you!

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