We Know: How to Choose a Vocational School

What is a Vocational School?

A vocational school is a place of secondary education that focuses on teaching a specific trade or skill. These schools offer instruction in their specific areas, as well as providing practical experience. Mechanics, plumbing, carpentry and electronics are all professions which are often taught at vocational schools. Additionally, in recent years, technical schools which offer instruction in specialized areas like the aircraft industry or computer technology have become increasingly popular.

What are Your Goals Upon Graduation?

The first step to choosing a vocational school is to determine just what you want to do with your diploma when you finish your training and then choose a school that will best help you to meet those needs. What industry are you interested in joining? Are you hoping to find a job just looking to further your skills in a job you already have? Are you looking for an official certification or license to enter a specialized industry? Are you interested in continuing your education at a traditional college after you finish vocational school? All of these questions factor in when you are choosing a school.

Is the School Accredited?

Accreditation assures you that the school is forced to maintain certain standards set by an objective accreditation board. Some employers will only hire you if you have attended an accredited school and if you ever want to transfer your credits to another vocational school, college, or university, they must have been earned at an accredited institution. If you attend an accredited school, you may also qualify for federal tuition assistance.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance Upon Graduation?

One of the benefits of attending a vocational school is the speed in which you finish your education and enter the workforce. Ask the school if they provide job placement assistance and find out how many students are offered jobs upon graduation. It is also a good idea to investigate how many students actually graduate and the number that are still employed a year or two after graduation.

What Are the All the Costs?

Vocational schools can be expensive, especially if you don't take into account the extra fees. Ask the school to give you a comprehensive list of tuition and fees before you enroll. Look for hidden costs like student ID cards, graduation fees, enrollment fees, processing fees, book fees, and lab fees. Make sure that there trial period that will allow you to get back all or most of your tuition if you decide to drop out of school.

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