Trade Schools and Vocational Schools – What Exactly Are They?

“What is a trade school?” is not really that odd of a question when one considers the various kinds of technical schools and institutes that the term is typically applied to. Even so, it comes as a surprise to many people to find out that the definition of a trade school (or vocational school as the institutions are also called) is actually quite easy to nail down.What Is A Trade School?Vocational schools place the entire emphasis of their curriculum on teaching students the skills required to succeed in their future career. This approach is in stark contrast to the typical four-year college which requires students to study a wide range of material that is, ultimately, unrelated to their chosen vocation.The benefit to this approach is that vocational education students acquire marketable skills that place them at the forefront when it comes time to enter the workplace. After two years of the hands-on work experience, personalized instruction and internships included in every vocational education program, graduates are usually considered to be far easier to integrate into today’s technology-driven workforce than are their traditionally educated peers.Who Is The Typical Trade School Student?Previous generations often characterized trade schools as being places for high school graduates who didn’t have the grades to get into a university. While this may have been true at one time, it is certainly no longer the case today.The fact is that, because highly-skilled labor is in greater demand now than at any other time in history, vocational colleges now appeal to an incredibly broad demographic of students. From veteran workers who want to update their skill set for the 21st Century, to recently-unemployed people who want to change careers, to young people who want to start their professional careers right after high school, vocational education now holds a far broader appeal than it did in the past.What are the Admissions Requirements for Vocational Schools?There is no universal answer to this question, because every school has its own admission requirements. It is safe to say, however, that the majority of vocational programs require applicants to hold either a high school diploma or GED. There are some exceptions to this, as certain career programs have no education requirement for new students but, in either case, most technical schools are more than willing to work with applicants to help them meet their admission standards.How Much Is The Typical Trade School Tuition?There is no denying the fact that attending a two-year trade college can be more expensive than getting a degree from a standard four-year university. If you were to honestly compare the value provided by vocational colleges (including one-on-one training and tutoring, internships in your future field, and assistance with job placement upon graduation) against the career-specific education offered by most universities, however, you may find that the trade school looks like a better investment.It is also important to keep in mind that many vocational education programs are heavily subsidized by the state and federal government and, as such, offer tremendous financial aid packages to help prospective students pay their way through school. If you would like to attend a trade school but are concerned about the price tag, visit and fill out a financial aid application to see if you qualify.

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