Floridians have a wide range of schools to choose from to begin vocational training. This article introduces three of them: Miami Dade College, Valencia College and Florida Technical College.
Schools and Programs
A large number of certificate and 2-year degree programs are available to Floridians interested in developing vocational skills in a wide range of disciplines. Many of these programs offer technical education in areas, such as Internet services, digital media, music recording and interior design. Other popular programs include those in healthcare-related fields, such as massage therapy or medical office administration. Many programs offer courses during the evening, on weekends or even online. The table below provides basic information about two community colleges located in large and well-known Florida cities.
Schools At a Glance
Miami Dade College
- Located in Miami, this is a public, 4-year school that offers primarily associate's degree programs.
- Students can also earn certificates, which can take anywhere from one term to a couple of years to complete, depending on the program.
- This public school is located in Orlando.
- It offers certificates ranging from one term to less than 2 years, as well as associate's and bachelor's degrees.
Florida Technical College (FTC)
- With a main campus in Orlando, FTC also has campuses in several other locations, including nearby DeLand and Lakeland.
- This private school offers certificates that take less than two years to complete, as well as associate's and bachelor's degrees.
Miami Dade College's Vocational Programs
Offering programs at nine campuses, in 2013, Miami Dade College was the largest postsecondary school in the United States. The school offers certificate, associate's and bachelor's programs, many of which feature evening and online classes for nontraditional college students.
Massage Therapy Career Technical Certificate
This program prepares individuals to become massage therapists. Coursework familiarizes students with massage therapies, human anatomy and physiology, hydrotherapies and healthcare environments. As might be expected, much of the focus is hands-on training. A massage therapy practicum provides experience working on clients in a clinical setting.
Associate in Science in Film Production
This associate's program prepares students to use equipment and software used in making movies and music videos. Courses address cinematography and sound, character development, editing and directing.
Associate in Science in Veterinary Technology
Students in this program learn how to care for animals that are sick or injured. Coursework includes animal anatomy and physiology, animal nursing, lab procedures and pharmacology. Individuals in the program are required to complete credit hours in a veterinary clinic.
Associate in Science in Internet Services Technology
Somewhat general in scope, the curriculum is designed to prepare students to perform a variety of information technology (IT) functions. Courses offer training in website development, Apache server, networking technologies and Microsoft SQL implementation.
Associate in Science in Interior Design Technology
Students learn how to use architectural, lighting and decorating techniques to create functional and beautiful home and commercial environments. Courses include studies in architectural materials and construction, the history of interiors, architectural drawing and lighting design.
Valencia College's Vocational Programs
Valencia College, located in Orlando, provides diverse educational opportunities for adult students. Many of the programs, such as digital media, respiratory care and sound and music technology can be completed within two years.
Associate in Science in Digital Media Technology
This degree program combines classroom experience with hands-on computer training to prepare individuals for dynamic media careers. Digital post production, sound for media, audiovisual production and digital storytelling are common course topics. The program finishes up with an internship. For those looking to train in only select technical areas, certificate programs, such as digital media development and digital media video production, are available.
Associate in Science in Respiratory Care
People interested in becoming respiratory therapists can enroll in this program for professional training. Students learn how to identify breathing abnormalities and provide patients with treatment. They also learn how to implement life-saving and stabilizing procedures and utilize ventilators and other hospital equipment.
Associate in Science in Sound and Music Technology
Individuals in this degree program learn about studio recording, live sound techniques and post-production processes commonly used in the music industry. Students should emerge from the program with the technical skills and artistic sensibilities to succeed in music production careers. A shorter certificate program in sound and music production - audio visual production is also available.
Associate in Science in Medical Office Administration
This program prepares individuals for entry-level medical office and medical transcriptionist careers. Students learn how to support doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals by preparing medical reports and records. A medical front office and medical transcription specialization is offered. Courses address medical terminology, records management, basic accounting and transcribing.
Associate in Science in Electronics Engineering Technology
Individuals interested in designing, operating and repairing electronics may find this program appealing. Students learn about laser, photonics, wireless and telecommunications equipment in a mix of classroom study and lab work. For those interested in specific electronics areas, shorter certificate programs are also available.
Florida Technical College's Programs
At its Orlando campus, FTC boasts a brand new building, complete with computer facilities and a lab for training medical assistants. While the programs vary per location, the following are all available at the conveniently located Orlando campus.
Associate of Science - Medical Assistant
FTC's medical assistant program is available in three different tracks; students can become specialists in basic machine operation (BMO), cardiology or wellness and nutrition. The program gives students 160 hours of hands-on experience and prepares them for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam. A diploma option is also available for aspiring medical assistant technicians.
Associate of Science in Health Information Technology
In the health information technology program, students learn about the ethics and laws surrounding the medical field as well as the technology needed to perform coding and medical filing. For those who specifically wish to work in billing and coding, FTC also offers a diploma for medical billing and coding specialists and an online associate's degree. Students take basic courses in anatomy and physiology, as well as developing computer skills to work with complex medical billing programs.
Associate of Science in Business Management and Marketing
In FTC's business management and marketing associate's degree program, students learn about important techniques in organization, management and planning. This program is also available in an online format. Students can take courses in advertising and sales, leadership, computer operations and consumer behavior, among others. Graduates might become managers or marketing professionals. Students also may wish to pursue a bachelor's degree in business entrepreneurship, management and marketing or in business with an emphasis on project management, both of which FTC offers.
Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
FTC's criminal justice program prepares graduates to become police officers, security personnel, corrections officers and other professionals in the criminal justice field. Key topics of inquiry include gun control, corporate crime, identity theft and report writing. Specific procedures required for certain situations, such as crime scene investigation, will be explored as well. For those pursuing positions in homeland security, a bachelor's degree option with such a focus is also an option.
These three schools offer vocational training programs that result in both certificates and degrees. Options range from media production to healthcare to business, and many programs require extensive hands-on training.