Vocational Degrees Offer Job Training For Students to Gain Specific Skills

Many people have the strong desire to return to school to further their education, but the idea of slogging through two or four years of traditional academics is a serious hindrance. A vocational degree may be the solution for people who want a hands-on education that provides them knowledge that can be used on the job. Fortunately, vocational degrees are offered in an online format as well as on traditional campuses, so students can improve their education without affecting their daily lives.

Traditional college degrees focus on academic knowledge in fields like mathematics or literature. Vocational education is more focused on immediately marketable knowledge related to a specific trade or occupation. Vocational education is sometimes referred to as technical education, as the student spends a large portion of their learning experience developing expertise with a particular group of technology.

Vocational education does vary from state to state in America, especially in the schools that offer the degrees. Proprietary career schools offer the majority of postsecondary technical education. Two-year community colleges, however, provide roughly 30 percent of vocational credentials, with many of the credits being transferable to four-year universities. Several states even operate their own institutes of technology, which are equally as accredited as other state universities. A number of these schools offer their programs online, so students can earn their vocational degree in a manner that may be more convenient for them.

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is a nonprofit membership association based in the United States, founded in 1926. Its 30,000 members are primarily comprised of educators and administrators of vocational education. The ACTE is focused on lobbying the U.S. government for support and funding for vocational education programs so that the students may reap the benefits by earning their degrees.

Given the state of the economy, many students find themselves back at school after they have been laid off or their previous employer becomes defunct. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), signed into law by President Barack Obama, expanded vocational training to people in similar situations. The ARRA provides $3.45 billion for job training, $500 million for vocational training for the disabled, and $400 million for employment services.

Students may wonder what career possibilities are covered by vocational education. Job opportunities in the vocational fields are numerous and diverse. Two of the most popular choices are cosmetology and auto repair, both careers that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expect to grow by 14 percent in the next few years.

Licensed cosmetologists will earn their vocational degree by passing classes in aesthetics and skin and nail care. They'll even take classes to learn how to manage their own salons. Auto mechanic training programs will assist students by enrolling them in classes that involve advanced diagnostics, aircraft mechanics and even collision repair. Vocational schools allow students to become thoroughly well rounded in their knowledge of their future careers, whatever those may be.

No matter what path students choose to take, online vocational degrees are an excellent choice for anyone more interested in a learning experience with hands-on application. Different from a traditional academic higher learning experience, students will feel a sense of accomplishment being able to directly tie in their learning experience to their new job. Enrolling in courses online is simply the first step for students to earn their vocational degree and apply their new skill set!

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