I am a recent graduate of a four year University, and I will say it wasn’t exactly National Lampoon’s Animal House like I expected. Sure I went to my share of parties and football games, but I also sat in a lecture hall Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and oh yes, Friday.
When I first went to college I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do – my major started undecided, changed to marketing, changed to PR, changed to journalism, and finally landed on English education. For me, a four year University was exactly what I needed to get my thoughts together, and the career path I ultimately choose required a four year degree. However, this was an entirely different story for my sister.
Many students, traditional and especially nontraditional, know exactly the career path they are meant to take, and there is no need to bother finding out whether or not National Lampoon’s Animal House is an accurate portrayal of college. A four year University gives someone a “well-rounded” education, yet employers are discovering that there simply are not enough graduates who have the specialized skills needed to perform specific jobs. Because of this fact, those going back to school are starting to realize that the future of many careers, including business, may not be in the hands of a four year University, but found at a Vocation School.
A vocational school, or trade school, is a shorter two year program that allows students to begin immediately focusing on the profession they want to pursue. Careers such as a computer programmer, nursing, the culinary arts, legal assistant, carpenter, graphic designer, and yes, entrepreneurship, are all typical programs you can find in a vocation school. For a list of more degrees that can be earned through a vocational school, visit the Vocational Information Center.
While it is true that vocational schools used to be known as a place for those who couldn’t get into a four year University, the reputation has drastically changed in the last twenty years. Consider some of the reasons so many students are opting for a vocation program:
Nervous about the Job Market? 6 Reasons You Should Consider a Vocational School over a Four Year University
- Cost – Tuition and fee costs are far lower than a four year institution. In this economy, many people are realizing that they can avoid the classes that they will not use in their career, which in turn saves a great deal of money. Vocational schools are typically $4,000 to $5,000; although this varies greatly from school to school.
- Flexible – Vocational schools are significantly more flexible when it comes to scheduling classes that work around a person’s personal life. Many individuals choose to go back to school later in life in order to start a new career or catch up on best practices for their current job. These people typically have to keep another job or raise a family while going to school, and vocational programs cater their classes to these needs.
- Hands-on – When someone enters the workforce after attending a vocational school, there are no surprises. A vocational program gets the students working with the equipment their future profession requires right away. In other words, your training will much more hands-on as opposed to lecture based.
- Can use skills immediately – Attending a vocational school will give students skills they will be able to use immediately. While many careers that require four year degrees force graduates to work their way up to their dream job, the programs offered at a vocational school allow a student to learn skills they can use immediately.
- No time wasted – With a vocational school, you do not have to spend time learning about something that you will never use again in the future. If you are going to be a computer programmer, you will not have to spend your time and money taking biology.
- Employers are impressed – Knowing that a candidate went to a vocational school (and has essentially worked in the field) is extremely attractive to potential employers. In today’s economy, business owners are not looking to hire someone they need to train for weeks. They want to hire someone who knows what they are doing the first day they start their job, and a vocational degree proves to employers that you are that type of candidate. After all, jumping into the role of CEO usually requires a little bit of experience. If you can get yourself hired at a good company, you’ll start building up that knowledge you’ll need.
The vocational path is becoming more and more popular as the economy becomes less and less popular. Hopeful employees and employers alike are looking to run a business that is efficient and cost effective.
Having the specific skills needed for a job and being able to jump into a job immediately is becoming a crucial factor in the hiring process, and a vocational degree satisfies these demands. After all, my younger sister of two years attended a vocational school and graduated before me, got a job before me, and makes more money than me – not a bad deal.
About The Guest Author: Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to IT training. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including online business management education to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading B2B Directory at Business.com.