College Alternatives

What is Vocational School?

๐Ÿ”Ž One Alternative to College

Are you here because youโ€™re wondering what vocational school isโ€“and perhaps considering if this is the right path for you? If so, welcome! Youโ€™re in the right place.

check out these 7 Alternatives to College Pathways for more options.

๐Ÿค” What is Vocational School?

Whatโ€™s the definition of vocational school anyway? This type of education will train you specifically for a particular field. Unlike college, which is more academically-focused, vocational school is more focused on the skills and practices you will actually need to be successful in the workplace. So, basically, all those things that โ€œarenโ€™t taught in schoolโ€ is the meaning of vocational school.

๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŽ“ Types of Fields

Students in vocational school are most likely to choose careers in the healthcare, business, and legal fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some of the top jobs youโ€™ll be trained for in vocational school, as well as their annual salaries:

  • Electrician ($56,180): Installing and maintaining electrical systems
  • Paralegal ($51,740): Assisting lawyers with legal research
  • Chef ($51,530): Working in commercial kitchens
  • Dental assistant ($40,080): Working and performing treatments under dentists
  • Pharmacy technician ($33,950): Helping pharmacists fulfill patientsโ€™ medication orders.

Letโ€™s look at both the pros and cons of vocational school so youโ€™ll have a much better idea ๐Ÿ’ก of what it is!

Check out this article to help you discover who you are and what you want to do!

โœ… Pros of Vocational School

โฐ Length of Vocational School

Unlike 4-year colleges, vocational school is shorter, and some programs can even be completed in a few months ๐Ÿ˜ฑ ย Because vocational school is much more focused on the skills for the career, you won't have to take all those extra unrelated classes ๐Ÿ“š (like you will in college!). If you have a dream job in mind ๐Ÿง , vocational school will allow you to start working much sooner.

๐Ÿ’ธ Vocational School Cost

According to the Midwest Technical Institute, a 9-month vocational program will cost around $12,000โ€“$15,000. Many schools will also offer grants and scholarships. The cost of vocational school is very different from a 4-year college.

๐Ÿ“Š Type of Education Received

Like I mentioned before, vocational school will educate you specifically for a certain field in the workforce. You will be a competitive applicant in growing ๐Ÿ“ˆ work fields, with an education from highly trained professionals. You will also have a community of classmates ๐Ÿ‘ฅ who are as dedicated as you, and you'll be able to practice in real-world settings.

๐Ÿค• Cons of Vocational School

๐Ÿ—ฟ Your Decision Is Set in Stone

One drawback of vocational school is that youโ€™ll have very little flexibility ๐Ÿคธ to explore other fields or change your mind once you choose your field. If you arenโ€™t absolutely sure of what you want to do for your future career, committing to a specific field in vocational school can be difficult ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

๐Ÿ’ต Future Earnings

Although you may be able to find a job very quickly after coming out of vocational school, many of the positions are lower-paying These careers are more blue-collar, which means youโ€™ll most likely be taking on more manual jobs that are more physically strenuous. These kinds of jobs may not be for everyone, so be sure to take this into consideration.

๐Ÿš€ Vocational School vs. On-the-Job Training

These arenโ€™t the same! Letโ€™s take a look at some of their differences.

Vocational School

  • More focused on giving you a long-term education ๐Ÿ“
  • Based on your own investment (you choose the program, and you pay for it)
  • Taught by experts ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โœˆ๏ธ in your field
  • Provides a broad education of how to work in your field
  • Can be applied to many jobs and employers of a particular area in the future ๐ŸŽฏ

On-the-Job Training

  • Provided by your employer for free
  • Taught by co-workers ๐Ÿ‘จ
  • Only focused on the skills youโ€™ll need for THAT position

๐Ÿค— Closing

Give yourself a high-five for making it to the end of this article ๐Ÿ™Œ Making the big decision between college and vocational school can be difficult. However, make sure you think things through ๐Ÿง; consider the type of field you want to go into in the future. Would college or vocational school make more sense?

For more information on alternatives to a traditional college path, check out these Fiveable articles. Good luck on your journey, and make sure to join the Fiveable college program for more resources ๐Ÿ’ฏ

โ€

Table of Contents

( min read)