For many years the most overlooked educational curricula was viewed as "an option" for hands on careers in HVAC, plumbing, electrical, cosmetology, hair styling and culinary arts.
Vocational and trade schools today offer a wider variety of study courses that provide licensing and certification upon completion.
The practical nature of vocational and trade schools highlight skills and talents, rather than cerebral academic college study courses.
Vocational and Trade Education Goes Hi Tech
Thanks to the increase in computerization, vocational and trade school broadened the horizons of learning for many students.
Study courses in graphic arts and design, fashion design and auto mechanics allow students to learn how computers fit into their particular career choice.
Another reason for these schools becoming more hi tech is that current trends toward more complex industrial equipment continue to evolve.
Design of today's newest equipment results in the need for trained technicians who provide design, installation and repair services.
How to Choose a Vocational and Trade School
The choice of the specific vocational and trade depends mainly on student goals. Vocational and trade schools teach students practical studies they can develop into a financially rewarding trade or vocation as well as the potential for a teaching career in these courses.
Choose a vocational or trade school that is accredited by a federal and state agency. This is important in order to qualify for licensing and certification when the course of studies is completed.
The Need for Vocational and Trade Schools Increase
Given that on the job training is rarely offered by employers and is viewed as costly, vocational and trade schools have increased in interest for many employers. These schools provide highly trained students ready to fit into the jobs offered.
Maintaining a cost effective business means avoiding unnecessary costs such as on the job training. Vocational and trade schools have begun to outperform many top four year colleges.
The Path to Vocational and Trade School Education
In the same way high school students prepare for college with a specified course of study for college entrance, vocational and trade students also prepare for vocational training.
There is one distinct difference between these two types of education, vocational and trade schools prepare workers for jobs in industries more quickly. In addition, many employers know they can contact these schools when have an immediate need to fill positions.
Cost of College vs. Cost of Vocational Education
The impact of the cost of a Bachelor's Degree at approximately $127,000 vs. approximately $30,000 for a vocational degree is one of the reasons for increased in interest in vocational and trade schools.
In addition, vocational and trade schools by their very nature have strong ties to professional businesses. Academic colleges, though many are funded by corporations, do not necessarily have ties to business professionals readily available.
Trade School Courses
No longer do trade and vocational schools focus mainly on cosmetology and auto mechanics. Trade school courses today may include:
. Massage Therapy
. Medical assistant
. X-Ray technology
. Graphic arts
. Mechanics and repair
Most of these programs are short enough to allow graduates to move into a career. Generally, vocational and trade schools provide a student program of job placement.
Vocational career guidance is also available. For students looking to kick start a career or to make a career change, review the school’s prospectus of study courses.
For student convenience, some schools offer study courses online with a required amount of "lab" time for hands on experience. This adds to student knowledge and job preparation.
One of the innovations in vocational and trade school study courses is the use of "virtual reality." The studies offer students the opportunity to experience duties of a future job. This helps them understand their own educational saturation received from their studies.
As an example, welding students can use virtual reality to advance their newly acquired welding skills. Nursing students benefit from virtual reality by experiencing medical procedures in a safe learning environment.
Graphic and fashion design students have an opportunity to experiment with designs that have potential for additions to their design portfolios.
How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Vocational Education
The introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education has expanded the reach into vocational and trade schools. This is particularly true for vocational students who choose a career in hands on use of industrial robotics.
Top School Offers Short Six Week Course in AI
One of the U.S.'s most prestigious schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is offering a short six-week course in AI for students whose career choices will include this newly developed hi tech innovation in medical and mechanical fields.
How to Apply to a Vocational or Trade School
Students interested in vocational or trade school training find applying is relatively easy. However, it is important to study the courses offered and understand the entire curriculum. Check the duration of the courses which is approximately two years, depending on the choice of courses.
Also note whether or not post graduate work can be completed in a two year college such as for nursing where there may be additional studies required for specialized ER or surgical nursing.
Since it is necessary to take part in hands on lab work for most of these schools' courses, location is important. Also, in many states attending a vocational school may require residency within the county.
This is one reason to choose a vocational or trade school without residency restrictions. Be prepared to spend at least two years on studies. The end result should be a high paying career.
Take the time to compare the income potential of a career in graphic design which can start at $37,000 and is compared to the income potential of a job requiring a liberal arts degree at $35,000.
Reaching the Ultimate Goal of a High Paying Career
Note that the top careers in highest demand include:
. Medical assistants
. Medical technologists
. Janitorial management
. Heavy machinery equipment operators
. Truck drivers
. Restaurant cooks/chefs
. Food preparation and food safety specialists
. Boiler operators
Advancements in the Energy Industry Promotes Vocational Studies
With the deluge of advancements in the energy industry it is inevitable there would be a significant addition to vocational and trade school curriculum. One of these advancements is in the solar energy industry.
Students who choose this career find they are able to study for jobs as "solar photovoltaic (PV) installers who assemble, install, and maintain solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures."
Trade schools train for these jobs which help graduates transition from student to solar specialist quickly. To get a head start for this type of career, check the trade or vocational school as to the solar certifications offered.
The Power of Practical Vocational and Trade School Education
Graduates of vocational and trade schools have a high record of going from their first jobs to business ownership. This is especially true for licensed and certified graduates in HVAC, electrical, plumbing and heavy equipment operations.
However in nursing, many nursing graduates prefer to focus their careers on home health aides, geriatric care in nursing homes or as nursing advisers in public schools and recreational organizations.
The power of practical vocational and trade school educations lies with the diversity of opportunities that result in reliable income and other benefits.