Congratulations on your high school graduation!
Have you decided what to do with your future?
Vocational school is becoming a popular choice among graduates and others looking to pave a new career path, especially with the cost of college climbing.
But what is a vocational school, and why should you consider it?
Let’s take an in-depth glance at vocation school and why this could be a great career choice.
What is Vocational School?
Vocational school, or sometimes called trade school or career college, is a school that teaches a particular trade, unlike a traditional college that carries a broad range of degrees and programs. Vocational schools focus on the trade you choose, often with hands-on training.
Some examples of programs offered at different vocational schools are:
- HVAC Technician
- Computerized Accounting
- Pharmacy Technician
- Truck driving
- Medical Assistant
- Business Administration
- Healthcare Office Specialist
- Solar Installation
- Cyber Security
- Drug And Alcohol Counseling
- Veterinarian Technician
- Construction Trades
- Mental Health Technician
This list is in no way exhaustive, as the demand for trade jobs is growing. Each school has their own set of degree or certificate programs.
Is Vocational School For Me?
If you’re fresh out of high school and unsure about your career path, a trade school is a good option. This option can be faster and overall less expensive than a four-year university.
For adults, vocational schools are perfect for those who want a career change without spending time in a four-year college or university, or they want to enter the workforce after a lengthy hiatus. The flexibility of class schedules is attractive to adults who have families and full-time positions.
Vocational school is also beneficial for those who want more education in their field, or to advance in their skills. Before you entertain vocational school, ask your employer if they provide on-the-job training. Also, find out if they have a tuition reimbursement program.
Vocational School vs. Traditional College
One key difference between a vocational school and a traditional college is cost. On average, a four-year degree could cost a student $127,000 (excluding the financing costs!) or more for an in-state college and almost double that amount for an out-of-state institution. The price increases when considering a private college. The price of a vocational school is about a fourth of the average college tuition, or about $30,000 to $40,000 depending on the industry of study.
Landing a job can be easier after graduation from a vocational school because the skills you will obtain are specific to the trade. Many traditional college graduates are finding it finding it difficult to land a training-related job. Jobs considered trades are being added to the job market, making them higher demand opportunities.
A student will spend roughly four years completing a college degree at a traditional institution. The length of a vocational school is typically around one to two years. This means that the student will likely enter the workforce quicker when graduating from a vocational school.
While the potential for earning more with a traditional college degree is still considered good, the graduate from a vocational school can land a job in their chosen field with a median annual salary of over $35,000. Although nothing is guaranteed, your skills are specific to your trade, making employment possible.
How to Choose A Vocational School
So you want to try vocational school! What now? Follow these steps to help you find the vocational school that’s right for you.
Decide Your Area of Focus
If you’ve already got a plan and a trade chosen, congrats! This is a big part of the decision making process.
If you’re not sure, do some research on some trades or take a career or personality test to see which trade might suit you best.
Accreditation is important because it ensures the learning facility follows standards relating to curriculum and faculty. This ensures the legitimacy of your degree or certificate.
What’s Their Reputation?
Do some research on the school you are interested in and find out the reputation within your chosen industry. Do students get hired often from that college into the field? Is this the best choice for education in this trade? Are there any or several complaints about the school?
The graduation rate refers to how many students who started, have graduated from the school’s programs. A high graduation rate could indicate a successful staff and school.
A low graduation rate can mean different things, such as the program not being sufficient or the student changing their minds. Inquire about these with the staff.
Cost And Financial Assistance
Find out the cost of each school you’re considering. This should include not only tuition costs but books and other materials. Knowing this upfront can make the choice simple, and you’ll have a number in your mind when tackling your student loans if you need them.
Check with the administration about the process of applying for financial aid.
Job Placement Assistance
Ask questions about the job placement rate and if the school helps you with finding employment after graduation.
Students may learn better in smaller environments due to the instructor being more available to each student. Finding out the ratio of students to the instructor can help you understand more about how classes function.
Does the school offer labs so that you can learn hands-on skills?
It may interest you to know if there are other services the school provides besides education. Find out if there are any and if they’re relevant to you.
Ready to Apply to Vocational School?
Choosing a career is an exciting and intimidating process, but vocational schools can make that process easier. Ready to apply? With over 35 years of experience, InterCoast Colleges helps people towards a better career with friendliness and professionalism. Request more information about how InterCoast can help train you in a new career.