Choosing Between Higher Education and Vocational Training

In the current gloomy economic climate, opportunities for employment are severely limited, especially for young people. Thus the issue of what to do when you leave school becomes all the more pressing for today's youngsters - do you go to university to study for a degree, get a job right away, or do some vocational training to prepare them for a specific role?

University used to be automatically considered the best option for ambitious youngsters who wanted the rewards of a secure and well-paid job, but this attitude has started to change in recent years. Each year there are far more new graduates than new graduate roles, so a degree is no longer a guarantee of employment and success.

This increasing scarcity of graduate positions has coincided with major increases in the cost of tuition fees, meaning that even those that do find jobs after graduating are saddled with enormous debts that take years to pay off. These changes have led many young people to reconsider whether university is really the best option for them when they finish their A levels. Many are now looking at the other possibilities out there, hoping to find a more direct (and cheaper) route into the job market.

Employers too have in many cases begun to look beyond university degrees when recruiting new people, placing more emphasis on workplace experience and training rather than academic qualifications.

A recent 2012 survey found that one in five employers prefer school leavers to graduates. Several of the employers who took part said that they felt graduates often left university with unrealistic expectations, and found it difficult to adjust to the world of work. School leavers, on the other hand, tended to be more grounded and more capable of settling into a working role.

So putting aside university, what other options are there for young people who want to increase their employability after leaving school?

One of the most popular options is to do some kind of vocational training. It has the advantage of preparing you for work in a specific role, but this can also be a disadvantage if you train for a field in which there are few job opportunities and your skills are not greatly in demand.

It is therefore vital that anyone contemplating doing a vocational course first does some research into whether or not there will be a genuine chance of good employment at the end of their training, in order that they don't just waste time and money acquiring unwanted skills.

Among the most popular vocational courses currently is locksmith training. The attraction of locksmith courses is that they are relatively cheap (especially when compared with the cost of university fees) and they offer a strong chance of employment afterwards. Locksmithing is one of the few UK industries which has remained strong in spite of the recession, with plenty of jobs to go around for those who are prepared to work hard for them.

Vocational and skills-based training courses are likely to continue growing in popularity in the next few years, as increasing numbers of young people come to the conclusion that university is not for them. If the economy remains mired in recession then it may well be that training courses for in-demand skills like locksmithing will represent the best chance of employment for highly motivated, talented young people looking for their first step on the career ladder.

The Keytek Academy is a state of the art locksmiths training facility staffed by fully qualified expert instructors. Visit the Academy website to find out more about locksmith training course.

Vocational Education - Right Choice for Your Future

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is also called Vocational training and Career and Technical Education (CTE)). It gets learners ready for careers based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic and those related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation; hence the term, in which the learner participates.

Oftentimes, it is called technical education, since the learner directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques or technology. Vocation and career are usually used interchangeably. Vocational education may be compared to education in a typically broader scientific field. This may focus on theory and abstract conceptual knowledge, characteristic or tertiary education. Vocational education is usually at the secondary or post-secondary level. It, normally, interacts with the apprenticeship system of skills enhancement.

Till the end of the 20th century, vocational education concentrated on specific trades such as, for instance, an automobile mechanic or welder. Hence, it was related to the activities of lower social classes. As a result, it was associated with a sort of stigma and vocational education got linked to the traditional and conventional apprenticeship routine of learning. But as the labor market got more focused and economies started to stipulate higher levels of skill, governments and businesses started increasingly investing in the future of vocational education.

This is done through publicly funded training organizations and financially supported apprenticeship or trainee schemes for businesses. At the post-secondary level vocational education is normally provided by institutes of technology, or by local community colleges. In the 20th century Vocational education got extremely diversified. It now exists in industries such as retail, tourism, information technology, funeral services and cosmetics, as well as in the traditional crafts and cottage industries.

Online Education

There are several terms for online education. A few of them are: virtual education, online education, distance education, Internet education, web-based education, and education via computer-mediated communication. Essentially, online education is characterized by:

1. The separation of teachers and learners that differentiates it from one on one education

2. The impact of an educational organization that differentiates it from self-study and private tutoring

3. The use of a computer networks to provide or dispense educational content

4. The offer of two-way communication through a computer network so that students may profit from communication with each other, teachers, and staff


E-learning is classified as interactive learning. In this type of learning the content is made available online and gives automatic feedback to a students learning activities. Online communication with real people might or might not be included. However, the aim of e-learning is normally more on the learning content than on communication between tutors and students.

Kevin Pederson has written many articles on a guide to making wise career choices. Vocational education also called technical education, since the learner directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques or technology.

A Vocational Education Grant Can Fund Your Education

Many people have struggles when it comes to trying to pay for their education. School is very expensive, and people are continuously searching for help in paying for it. There are several options that you have as a student. You can either attempt to work while going to school and stay out of debt, apply for student loans, hope to win the lottery, or finally seek out grants to help pay for school.

Out of all of those options listed, the best is the vocational education grant. This is simply because grants do not have to be repaid, and are just a gift to the student based upon meeting certain criteria. You can see easily when looking at the total expenses for school why grants are so desirable. However, they are limited in who is able to secure a grant based upon the limited availability of funds.

When you compare some of the other methods such as a student loan, you can see how this can equal great amounts of stress for new graduates. There is typically a small grace period after leaving school before loan payments are due to be paid. This is generally around 6 months, which is designed to allow the student to find a job to be able to repay the loans. However, some struggle to locate a job.

If you are one of the recent graduates struggling to find a job, the concept of your loans going into default can be a very awful idea. Your credit can be destroyed in one swift move, simply by not being able to find a job. This is a risk that most students wish to avoid if anyway possible, which further increases the competition for vocational education grants.

Many employers are starting to help current employees further their education. They will offer to either pay for the classes upfront, or potentially reimburse the employee for their classes as long as they agree to stay with the company for a certain period of time. This is another great option for the student seeking to reduce the debt that school causes.

There are vocational education grants available on a variety of bases. They range from grants for students studying courses of study, and even those students who are in certain financial situations. There are even grants designed specifically for males or females. There are also grants set up to help encourage students to study a certain career, especially if the career is facing a potential shortage in the future if qualified graduates do not appear.

As you can see a vocational education grant is a huge help in reducing the burden of college expenses. You should be free to enjoy school, instead of stressing out over the amount of debt you are getting into. By working hard, you will find yourself with a great career, and a job you enjoy. You owe it to yourself to look for as many grants you can to help reduce the amount of total debt you have after graduating. Your credit score and bank account will thank you.

Dean Forster owns and operates Vocational Education . A resource dedicated to all aspects of vocational education including secondary, technical, business, training, career information and more at =>

Online Vocational Education Training

If you ask me what today's way of the world is, I would undoubtedly come up with one word and that is -Internet. From chatting to shopping and banking almost everything is possible on the World Wide Web. The latest in this long list of things is, distance education. The concept has been there since several years, but not many people were familiar with it. Now it is gaining popularity as an internet connection, an e-mail account and a computer is all you need to earn an online vocational education training degree. From an initial degree to a complete AA degree, all are offered through distance education programs.

Various top accredited online schools offer online vocational education training programs. These are taught in random fragments in opposition to academic training which is typically progressive. Collaborating with union apprenticeship training programs, online vocational education training programs are developed. These career development distance education programs can be taken up by just about anyone. However there remains a serious point of concern and that is how a learner puts together such learning sessions together. Does an online learner gain both confidence in acquired skills and team-building expertise? Because for some of the online vocational education training programs, interaction is indispensable. To overcome this hitch, most of the top online schools have hired on-site trainers which are further supplemented by distance education courses.

By going for an online vocational education training program, you can learn a skill right from your desk. These extremely convenient online degree programs are beneficial to employees as well as employers. A growing number of employers appreciate the value of distance education and encourage their employees to acquire the required skills through such courses.

If you are working on your marketability or require specialized skills for your current position, going for distance education programs is the right course of action. Many organizations will readily, partly or completely pay for relevant courses.

When choosing an online vocational education training program, take into account its price, format and most importantly content. Your employer may allow you time to take lessons during work hours or otherwise. Work it out with your employer beforehand. The relevancy of the course to your present job will be a deciding factor for that. The concept of distance education is seeing new heights with training companies, businesses, schools and unions seeking and developing new online vocational education training courses.

Mary Solomon is a career consultant, providing focused career consultancy both online and offline, aiming to guide students to authentic and accredited online universities and colleges.She administrates websites including

How Can Online Vocational Schools Benefit You

Vocational schools are quite different from the traditional schools that we all are familiar with. To add to the difference, there are now many online vocational schools. These online institutions focus on a particular career area rather than a complete education in all fields. All this has become possible while sitting at home, while on a job or even at your traditional college. Campus-based schools and colleges still serve vocational purposes but these online solutions have made it much easier and accessible.

Vocational education is optimal for people who need to excel in their current job skills or for those who want to learn new skills to try out a new career. Training and experience is a part of vocational education as well. However, with the latest online vocational schools, onsite training has been eliminated. The syllabus and training provided in an online vocational course is relatively shorter than the traditional course. This provides the student with options to learn additional skills.

Online vocational schools give the opportunity to individuals to gain expertise in certain branches of education and certain professions. However, online vocational training does not teach detailed professions like law, medicine, engineering, etc. It is more oriented toward professions like, cooking, carpentry, repair shops, management, entrepreneurship, etc.

The increasing popularity of online schools has given rise to many newer job genres as well, like online teaching careers. Many governments of the world have taken serious notice and steps to fund and help out the online schools. This is necessary to boost the economy and provide the country with skilled and literate citizens.

People have started taking online vocational schools seriously and there are many renowned institutions that have now made their name in the market as well. There are many accredited schools that provide training from the IT sector, to art, to health sciences. Being accredited is very important for every institution, especially online schools. To ensure that your degree will be recognized by employers and other universities, the school needs to be accredited. This check has to be made while applying and choosing the right school.

The credibility of the online vocational school should not be trusted by just what its own site says. Multiple sources should be researched to be completely confident in the school you wish to enroll in. If you are trying out new skill or career option, then also do research and a survey on the need and popularity of that particular skill in the market.

If you feel that you have reached the peak in your current position or career, then online vocational schools is your answer. These schools let you continue with your job on the side, while it gives you extensive professional education in the field of your choice. If you are just out of college, then you can explore the various options to try out several careers and find what you love to do. Online vocational schools help in exploring one's potentials, while they also provide the best source of skill training for everyone.

The Need For Strong Vocational and Career Education

Why Vocational and Career Education Are Important

There are three major reasons why every school district should offer strong vocational learning opportunities:

1. Vocational competence is critical to the economic health of our nation.

2. A significant number of students, both college-bound and non-college-bound, are experiential learners who will learn academic skills best from developing them in a career or application context.

3. Delaying the career or application context until after grade 12 lowers motivation and learning achievement for many experiential learners.

Consider these characteristics of experiential learners:

1. They are often as or even more capable of complex learning than traditional learners.

2. They learn academic skills best from concrete tasks and a focus on real-life problems.

3. They often do not work to their potential in the relatively abstract-linear environment of traditional classes.

So, not having vocational or career learning options is a major disservice to the many experiential learners in any school population.

Advantages of Career and Vocational Education

When strong vocational learning options are available in a school district, they present these advantages:

1. They help many experiential learners reach higher achievement levels. (Too few policymakers have given adequate attention to a major weakness of American public education - - lack of inclusion of a strong application component in learning programs. Refer to the work of Dr. William Daggett, president of the International Center for Leadership in Education, for solid research comparisons in this area. The Center's web site is

2. Career path exploration helps many students make more information and dedicated choices on college enrollment. Students often discover the career path they love and are more motivated to pursue college study.

3. Career context makes subjects and courses more meaningful to students. Application adds to the strength of learning.

4. The career context makes it more feasible to teach and promote a continuous improvement culture in relation to the real world of work.

5. Strong secondary school vocational programs provide workplace skills to some students who do not plan to attend college immediately after graduation from high school. They also equip many college-bound students with skills useful in part-time work that helps in financing college study.

Evaluating Your Local Situation

Do you want to evaluate the strength of your local vocational and career options for students? Look for positive responses to these standards:

1. The local school mission statement recognizes career/vocational education as a valuable service to many college-bound and non-college-bound students.

2. The career focus is placed on all levels of the K-12 programs - -

a. Elementary schools using career-focused stories, readings, field trips.

b. Middle schools providing strong technical (applied) literacy learning opportunities, especially to encourage continued interest in science. Also, providing after-school career exploration options perhaps with the help of local or area vocational centers.

c. High schools providing a broad spectrum of both career exploration and initial skill development on different career paths. NOTE: The number of vocational programs should be adequate to serve students with different talents and interests. There should be technical or science-focused programs, people-focused programs, and traditional trade programs.

d. High school guidance providing help on preference matching between talents and careers.

e. High school vocational programs presenting beneficial articulation with both 2-year and 4-year college programs to reject completely the error of viewing vocational courses as something only for the non-college-bound. That latter stereotype was founded on ignorance of the value of different talent or intelligence areas.

f. High schools providing strong information on and articulated access to apprentice training programs as a viable and important option for graduation.

3. Fiscal support and facilities are maintained on modern and attractive levels for both classical and vocational programs, never allowing one area to play second-fiddle to the other.

4. Local educators and government leaders are working to correct any state and national inattention to the needs and talents of experiential and vocational learners. NOTE: That inattention is evidenced by over-emphasis on written high stakes tests and concurrent outright failure to provide performance evaluation options for highly talented experiential learners under initial implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. Reasons given for this serious failure are nothing but outright rationalizations to provide excuses for avoiding the work of constructing comprehensive assessment programs. Narrow written tests alone are an "easier" even though cognitively weak option. Can you imagine riding in an airplane with a pilot who has passed a written test but never before actually successfully flown an airplane? At some point in the future a higher quality assessment program must be pursued for the good of students and the good of our nation.

5. Local educators and government leaders work actively to ensure three other realities for quality vocational programs:

a. Secondary vocational programs being protected against misuse such as referral of a disproportionate share of learning disadvantaged students (who often need more effective basic academic programs) or misbehaving students (who can be dangerous to themselves and others in shop situations). NOTE: The mission of vocational schools involves career path selection and preparation. They are not special education schools but, like all schools, can serve their share of special education students. If over-used for the special education purpose, the primary mission is subverted and many talented experiential learners are tragically excluded.

b. Business and industry representatives being kept deeply involved as advisors to and evaluators of all secondary vocational programs. NOTE: This is the path to keeping programs relevant to evolving careers and to having businesses provide special help (internships, equipment, etc.) to an important source of future employees.

c. Secondary vocational programs being given strong annual funding for modernization of teaching youngsters to use equipment no longer used in the real world of work.

If the response to any one of the above basic standards is negative, you have identified an area where corrective action should be taken.

This is one of many articles on the resource web site produced and maintained by Ronald Fitzgerald, D.Ed.

A High Quality Training for Vocational Education and Training System Through AQTF

People now recognized the importance of having high quality training and assessment services for those who are clients of Australia's vocational education and training system. Conditions and standards are now being given as an initial registration of new training providers which also strengthen the requirements for those of ongoing registrations which include stronger financial viability and protection conditions. AQTF or Australian Quality Training Framework usually includes quality indicators that are designed to provide information about a Registered Training Organization performance. There are three indicators which are learner engagement, employer satisfaction and competency completion.

In order for a training organization to be registered, they must apply in the area where the organization has its head office. Registration is usually up to five years unless it is being cancelled or suspended. The training organization must pay the required fees that are being given. National consistency, responsive management systems and client service are the main focus of the AQTF standards for state and territory course accrediting bodies. If you are not able to comply with the new Australian Quality Training Framework, this will mean that your application for registration will be refused which can also result in a range of sanctions.

An individual who is in the position to influence the management of a registered training organization in any possible way should meet the individual characteristics and past behavior standards in order to gain the fit and proper requirement that is required in a person. This can be achieved by registering in the AQTF standards. There are a lot of test that is being given in order to prove whether an individual is qualified or not. If ever a person fails to meet the requirements that are being given, this may cause an impact with regards to the suitability of the individual to contribute in the delivery of education and training. These requirements may include the past criminal convictions of a person, a history of personal bankruptcy and many more.

The AVETMISS compliance or otherwise known as the Australian Vocational Education Training Management Information Statistical Standard provides a national data that ensures the consistent and accurate capture of VET information about the students, their courses and the qualifications that are completed. In addition, it provides answdrs about students in the VET system with regards to their identities, where they study and what they study. The applicants for initial registration do not usually have any performance history.

Applicants can however be assessed for financial viability and government risks which is based on the assumptions that are underlying their financial projections, their proposed organizational model and business plans. Furthermore, these risk indicators are assessed to determine an initial rating which will determine the level of future monitoring.