What Are Career Training Schools?

Programs at career training schools provide entry-level job training without all of the general education course requirements found at 4-year colleges and universities. Career training schools are typically designed for individuals who have a good idea of what jobs they want to pursue and want to achieve those goals in the shortest amount of time possible.

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Postsecondary and secondary career training schools offer targeted education programs for careers in specific fields, as well as job placement services for graduates.

Postsecondary Career Training Schools

Career training schools, also known as vocational, technical or trade schools, provide postsecondary instruction in many different areas. They confer certificates, diplomas and associate's degrees. Topics of study include:

  • Computer technology
  • Nursing
  • Auto repair
  • Masonry
  • Electronics
  • Culinary arts
  • Business office administration

Career training schools are both public and private schools, and they're typically designed for working professionals or aspiring workers who want to pursue educational studies that prepare them for a specific career. Many career colleges offer online, accelerated and flexible degree programs.

Because career colleges take a direct approach to training, students aren't required to take as many of the general education courses found in programs offered by universities and liberal arts colleges. Instead, students generally jump right into their core courses.

Like other postsecondary institutions, however, career training schools can also have minimum entry requirements, such as:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • An entrance exam
  • A campus visit prior to enrollment

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Career Training in High School

Career training schools also exist at the secondary level. These career high schools, or technical high schools, are designed for students who wish to enter the workforce immediately upon graduating. The curricula at these schools includes job training in addition to high school courses in areas like math, science, social studies and English language arts. Typical training programs at career high schools include:

  • Welding
  • Masonry
  • Cosmetology
  • Auto repair
  • Computer technology
  • Agriculture

Job Placement Services

Job placement services are available for graduates at both the secondary and postsecondary level. For instance, schools may utilize their connections with local organizations and alumni to help graduates find:

  • Full-time jobs
  • Part-time jobs
  • Seasonal/summer jobs
  • Internships
  • Volunteer positions

These services are typically offered to students free of charge. In addition, many schools host job fairs. Students may also meet with career counselors and get resume-writing help through a school's job services department.

Aspiring professionals can find career training opportunities at both the postsecondary and secondary levels in many different trades, ranging from agriculture to cosmetology. As they near graduation, they can take advantage of a school's job placement services in order to get a start in the field.

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