Vocational schools, also known as trade schools or career schools, have long been great options for individuals seeking an education that is directed towards picking a particular career path.
Trade schools are commonly referred to as post-secondary schools as well. This is because most people will attend these schools after graduating from high school, but you might be able to find an opportunity with your high school to attend a vocational school while you are earning your diploma.
Why should you go to a Vocational School?
People decide to get a vocational education for many different reasons. If you are interested in a career school you may fall into one of the following scenarios, or not.
Price of Vocational Schools
Trade schools are generally much cheaper to attend than a college or University. Vocational education is usually much less expensive when you find a local program or a community college offering the degree or certificate that you want to earn. You might want to avoid going to the trade schools advertised on TV as they often charge a lot more than community colleges and local programs.
Trade School Financial Aid
It isn’t too difficult to find some kind of financial aid for vocational training schools. You can find financial aid in various ways. There are subsidized student loans, scholarships, and federal grants available to prospective and even current trade school students.
Length of Trade School
It takes 4 years to get a bachelor’s degree, 5 years to get a Masters, and 7 to get a law degree. In that time you can get a vocation education and work for a few years to have the school paid off. Career schools usually last 8 months to 2 years to complete. This is great for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time in a classroom and would rather be out of school and in a job right away.
A trade school is usually a direct route to a career that you have in mind. Whether you want to go to a nursing school, automotive training program, criminal justice school, etc., you probably have an idea of where you want to end up professionally. College can usually open a lot of doors, but lately it is a major gamble to graduate from a 4 year institution. A trade school can often get you into the career path you want soon after graduating from your program. You will learn all of the skills necessary to start your career instead of learning a little bit about a lot of useless information like you would do in a college.
Common Types of Trade Schools
Art and Design Trade Schools – Artists come in a wide variety of disciplines. Lots of students attend trade schools to get careers in their passions. Graduates go on to work in fashion, web design, graphic design, animation, music production, movie production, and photography to name a few.
Health Care Trade Schools - These are made for people interested in a career helping others. Concentrations are put on nursing programs, medical billing and coding, radiology, surgical tech, fitness, alternative health care, and more.
Cosmetology Trade Schools – Those looking to get trained and certified in the cosmetology field fare best by going to a cosmetology trade school. Careers include hair stylists, estheticians, nail technicians, and cosmetologists.
Automotive Trade Schools – Designed for the grease monkeys, these schools offer certificates and training for automotive repair and technology. Graduates can work as mechanics, diesel mechanics, auto body repair, etc.
Culinary Trade Schools – These are great for people who want a career working in restaurants, hotels, or with catering companies. Learn to cook, be a chef, baker, pastry artist, and more. Lots of graduates go on to start their own companies either directly out of school or later in their careers.
Legal and Criminal Justice Trade Schools – Graduates can do a lot with a legal or criminal justice training background. Students often spend 8 months to 2 years learning about law and criminal justice from a variety of angles. Grads often end up as paralegals, criminal investigators, police officers, legal assistants, and more.
Business Trade Schools – Business trade schools are different than business schools at 4 year universities. These schools will teach you the basics to working in an entry level position in an office environment. Oftentimes these students have a better chance than college grads to getting lots of entry level jobs thanks to the skills they learn rather than the abstract information taught in universities. Graduates find themselves working as assistants, in payroll/accounting departments, real estate, and in management positions.
Technology Trade Schools – The world is leaning more on computers and technology everyday. Fields in the technology industries are opening up all of the time. Students of technology trade schools can get jobs in web design, tech support, computer programming, web development, and more. They often find themselves finding lots of freelance work or an ability to start a flexible online business with the skills learned in a technology skills school.
Online Career Schools
Lately there has been a major push towards online vocational training. Advancements in technology have made it much easier to train individuals for certain career paths online. Students can learn the needed material from the comfort of their own homes and basically learn at their own pace.
There has been a lot of judgements over the years since trade schools have made their appearance online. Some people feel that students cannot get the full experience and education by spending some time on a website. Some might argue that it is more difficult as the students have to spend a lot more time reading the material and studying to be able to pass a course. They cannot sit and coast through a class like many seem to do in a traditional physical classroom.
There are many online trade schools popping up all of the time nowadays. Some well known online vocational schools are ITT Tech, The University of Phoenix Online, DeVry University, and The Art Institute Online.
These schools offer a wide variety of vocational training programs. You can learn to be an HVAC technician, motorcycle repairman, plumbing, home inspection, or even construction management, to name a few.