Now that you have completed high school, you probably are at a crossroad wondering about your future. You may not, necessarily, be interested in a formal four year degree program. That however, should not stop you from obtaining a degree in the career of your choice. This is where a career college might make sense.
What is a Career College / Technical College / Vocational College?
A career college is also known as a technical or vocational college. This is where you will be able to earn a degree, certificate or diploma in a specific vocation, trade, career or profession. Career schools train students and prepare them for an array of technical fields such as automotive technicians, hairstylists, computer technicians, medical assistants, truck drivers and a variety of fields.
An important tip to keep in mind while you search for a technician or career school is to absolutely make sure that the career school you decide on is accredited by U.S. Department of Education.
How do you decide on a Career and a Career College?
First off, decide if working with your hands and tools is something that you are interested in. Chances are in a career college you will need to master a particular vocation to be able to make a career out of it. Next, learn about your options. What vocation(s) that you are interested in has the best potential from an earnings and time perspective. Obtaining an understanding of what the future prospects are with a degree in a certain career program will help you decide on course of action.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices your next step would be to meed your school counselor and discuss the various choices you have and the vocations that you have shortlisted. This will help you get a better understanding on the various types of careers out there and what they stand to offer in the future. This will also help you fine tune the requirements you need and the degree path you need to take to graduate. There is a lot of help that you can get out of your school counselor. Make the best use of this resource. Going in prepared with answers to what interests you will usually end up being more productive that going in blind and looking at all the vocation options out there.
The decision that you make here at this junction is a life changing one. It is important to spend some time on this decision, talking to your friends ad family and most importantly to yourself before deciding on a particular course, college or technical path.
Besides a counselor, you could also visit some of the short listed career college campuses and get a feel of what your day-to-day life will be like, what sort of subjects would you be studying and whether you can handle the subjects and training that is being taught at that particular course. The admissions office at most career colleges will also be able to get you in touch with their alumni. Use this as a way to get to speak with them and understand what the future career options would be once you graduate. You will get a better understanding of your real life job or business prospects and how your education can assist you in starting and running a successful venture.
What fields do Career Colleges cater to?
Choosing a technical or vocational career path can certainly be quite difficult. You have a plethora or options, some require you to be hands on, others, not so much. You will find career colleges that offer a selective list of options and some that offer a more comprehensive set of course options. All these are important to understand before you can finally decide on the college of your choice. Sometimes it makes sense to choose a technical college that has many vocational offering if you are not 100% sure of your career choices allowing you the option to switch programs if at all possible during the course of your education.
Below are some of the most popular vocation subject choices
- Business Administration
- Culinary Arts
- Dental Assistant
- Fashion Design
- Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration
- Medical careers
- Technical Careers
- Real Estate
- Court Reporting
- Hotel and Restaurant Management
- Information Technology
- Art and Design
- Emergency Medical Technician
This list is not an exhaustive list. You may inquire about other career colleges that may suit your aptitude and interests.
Financial Aid Options
Finally, a quick note about financial aid options. Do ensure that when you decide on your choice of college that you check for all available student financial aid you can get from the college itself. We have several detailed articles about scholarships, grants and student loans as alternate means of funding your college education. However the more you can get from your college, the less you have to source from elsewhere. It is essential that you verify whether you would be eligible for any financial aid and whether your college offers any financial aid. The financial aid can be in the form of scholarships or grants. You can also verify if there are any special state grants offered for pursuing an education in a particular career field.
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