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Though attending a four-year school can be a rewarding experience that prepares students for a career, it's not always the best choice for every student. In some cases, depending on personal needs and goals, attending an online career training and professional development school can be a preferable alternative.

The need for career training

Students who want to quickly gain the practical experience they need to enter a career may find that career training schools make more sense, both academically and financially, than enrolling in a four-year college or university. And in uncertain economic circumstances, the option of getting hands-on experience in a career in a relatively short period of time can be a very attractive option.

Featured programs

Career training schools can prepare students for a myriad of careers. The following are some common programs that students can find at vocational schools.

  • Health: Healthcare programs train students to work in a variety of settings in the industry, from working with patients to working behind the scenes in a medical facility. Students can get trained to become medical coding and billing professionals, dental assistants, lab assistants, medical assistants and pharmacy technicians.
  • Business: Students who study business at vocational schools typically learn the fundamentals of business applications. These students can train to become bookkeepers, payroll clerks, travel agents, or retail managers.
  • Education: Students who want to work with children can pursue several different programs at career training schools, such as child care provider, teacher assisting and child development diploma programs.
  • Hospitality: Diploma programs in the tourism and hospitality field prepares students for careers in hospitality, restaurant and hotel management. In addition, students who are interested in the culinary field can earn certificates in catering, baking and pastry arts and culinary arts.
  • Law: Legal training programs, like those in paralegal and criminal justice, are intended for students who wish to enter criminal justice fields such as legal assisting, law enforcement and corrections.
  • Technology: Students can enroll in technology programs like network security, computer repair, computer network security and electronics technology to learn more about these technical subjects.
  • Vocational: These programs are for students who want to quickly learn a specific trade, such as carpentry, landscape design, motorcycle repair, plumbing and heating and air conditioning.
  • Art: Those who want to pursue a creative career can enroll in a program like fine arts, multimedia arts, graphic design, web design and illustration.
  • Social Science: Students interested in subjects like sociology, anthropology and psychology can enroll in a social science program to prepare for a career.
  • Science: Science programs at career schools can help students who want to learn the fundamentals of a discipline before enrolling in a four-year college program. Students can earn diplomas in subjects such as chemistry, biology and physics.

Looking for a Career Change?

If you have been considering a career change or if you want to explore career options with a bigger paycheck, take a look at at our What Now? section and check a list of career options you might be able to pursue with the skills you have.


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