What Are Vocational Courses and Classes?

Vocational courses and classes are generally offered in many career fields, including health care, computer technology, office management, and skilled trades. Continue reading for an overview of vocational education programs and the possibility of these courses leading to a certificate or associate's degree.

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Vocational Courses and Classes Overview

Institutions Community college, career colleges, trade schools, and adult education programs
Degree Level Certificate or associate degree
Course Format Credit and non-credit classes
Common Fields Health care, computer technology, office management, and skilled trades

Vocational courses and classes are available in many different career fields, such as health care, computer technology, office management and skilled trades. These courses are offered by career colleges, vocational schools, trade schools, and community colleges. Vocational classes provide job-focused training for specific roles or careers. In many cases, vocational courses have the potential to lead to skills certificates or associate degrees.

Course Topics

Vocational instruction is offered in many areas, including health care, creative fields, computer networking, food preparation, and cosmetology. Vocational education is also available in skilled trades, such as heating and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, electrical systems, and automotive repair. Examples of specific vocational classes might include the following:

  • Introduction to health care for nursing
  • Medical assisting
  • Computer network management
  • Word processing applications
  • Office management skills
  • Food and beverage management

Types of Programs

Vocational programs mainly lead to industry skills certificates, either for credit or noncredit and associate's degrees. Examples of associate's degrees awarded at the end of vocational programs include the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science, but the most common vocational degree is typically the Associate of Applied Science. The types of credentials offered may vary by the field of study and the institution offering the program.

Available Vocational Schools

Vocational courses and classes are offered by a number of institutions. Many high schools offer basic vocational education, such as home economics, woodshop, and auto repair. Vocational educational institutions vary by state, but most postsecondary vocational instruction is offered by private career schools.

Other institutions offering vocational courses include 2-year community colleges, state-owned institutes of technology, and government-operated adult education centers. These public options may offer vocational training to qualified students at no cost.

Vocational programs offer a wide variety of courses in many different fields, including health care, office management, and food preparation that can help someone earn a specific certification or associate's degree.

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