Are you seeking a degree that will lead to immediate employment? Trade and vocational schools prepare you for hands-on careers in the skilled trades. Trade and vocational classes are directly related to the trade, occupation or vocation you plan to pursue. Practical training is typically an important component of trade and vocational education.
Also known as technical degrees, trade and vocational degrees can be acquired both in high school and at the postsecondary level. Institutions that offer trade and vocational training include community colleges, trade schools, technical institutes, and career training colleges, with the majority being private institutions.
What You Learn in a Trade and Vocational Program
The technical and occupation-specific skills that trade and vocational students gain increase their access to stable jobs. Areas in which trade and vocational students may specialize include the following:
While a number of trade and vocational programs result in a certificate, in some cases, the credits you earn from trade and vocational courses can be applied towards an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. As such, a degree from a trade and vocational institution can also serve as a stepping stone for an education at a college or university, in addition to serving as a tool to starting a career.
Getting a Trade and Vocational Degree: Is it Worth It?
Vocational education sometimes gets a bad rap, because it’s thought to be for college dropouts or students who are not smart enough to get into a “real” college. Yet, statistics show that trade and vocational students are just as proficient in math and reading in high school as college-bound students, and that trade and vocational college graduates also have strong opportunities for employment.
Trade and vocational fields span a wide range of industries, including information technology, retail, and tourism. Nevertheless, many parents still see vocational education as inferior and continue sending their kids to four-year schools, assuming that it will guarantee their children positions in the middle class. The reality of the labor market, however, is that a four-year degree does not guarantee a high income. Moreover, many four-year degree holders end up working in fields that are unrelated to their majors.
Trade and vocational specialists earn moderate salaries and work in a broad range of industries. For example in 2012, cosmetologists earned median hourly wages of $10.91, automotive technicians earned $17.60, and HVAC/R mechanics earned $20.98.
If you’re trying to decide on an educational path, remember that four-year colleges and universities are not the only available option. Trade and vocational education offers a fast-track to a stable salary and skills that are in demand. Trade and vocational institutions don’t just teach theories – they teach trades in environments that are similar to the workplace and provide plenty of hands-on practice. There are a wide range of degrees to choose from at trade and vocational schools. Explore the possibilities today.