What are Trade Schools?

If you are in high school and trying to figure out your next step, you might be wondering if a two-year or four-year college is right for you.

College doesn't fit everyone's career goal, financial situation, or purpose in life. So what are your alternatives? Trade schools, sometimes called vocational schools or technical schools, may be worth taking a look at. These schools and their programs generally teach a very specific set of skills necessary to fulfill the duties of a particular job.

Do You Enjoy Learning by Doing?

If you are the kind of person who gets more from actually doing something than from textbooks, then trade schools are where you should be investing your time and energy. Trade school programs are taught with a strong focus on the hands-on practical training you will need. There are many privately owned and on-line trade schools. Some schools offer both for the flexibility of their students. You will also find some trade school programs at high schools and community colleges.

Some of the popular areas of study include cosmetology & beauty; culinary arts; skilled trades such as automotive, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical; business; health care (medical assistant, dental assistant, radiology); computers & technology, and media arts. There are arts and design schools that issue degrees in interior design, fashion, photography, web design, architecture, music production, and more. Online trade schools offer the flexibility of working and raising a family while still advancing your education to achieve your goals. With online trade school programs there is no commute to class or daily schedules.

With today's technology and the internet, you can take your classroom and work with you anywhere you want. Your online tutors, support, and electronic textbooks are features that can assist you with your education. Other trade schools offers that may interest you are paralegal studies, renewable energy (for those interested in saving the environment), cyber security, and criminal justice. If you need a practical skill for employment, without the time and financial investment of college, then research a few of the top ranked schools below. Some of these schools offer the classroom setting if you choose that route but also offer the advantages of online programs. Once you finish, most trade schools offer placement assistance for their graduates while the training and skills you learn market you an asset to any business.

Well-Known Trade Schools

The most well known trade schools offering online and classroom education is the University of Phoenix. It is an accredited university that offers an associate’s degree, bachelor's or master’s, as well as doctoral degrees in addition to certification and single courses. It has flexible schedules. The University of Phoenix offers programs in the areas of business and criminal justice, education, and nursing & health care. Also included are psychology, information technology, and continuing education.

ITT Technical Institute is another highly recognized school with over 100 locations nationwide. Some of their trade school degrees are in web development, computer drafting and design, multimedia, criminal justice, computer and electronics engineering technology, business administration, computer network systems, software applications and programming, technical project management, and information systems security.

Some of the other major subjects also offered in online programs include: marketing, marketing management, finance, human resources management, and project management. These schools give you the marketable skills necessary to put you into a job or career sooner rather than later. Even if you are currently working or have other responsibilities, you are still able to increase your skill level and aim for a higher level paying position without the worry of repaying the high cost of student loans.