When choosing a vocational training program, your first and primary consideration should be whether the program is recognized by organizations or agencies that are licensed or certified members of a trade or profession. Your second consideration should be the reputation of a particular school and the credentials of its instructors. Other factors in your decision should include the cost of the program and the scheduling of its courses. It may also be a good idea to consider whether the school offers job placement services after you graduate. If you are currently receiving unemployment compensation or any other type of government benefits, speak to your caseworker or a representative of the agency from where you receive your benefits to ensure that undertaking a vocational training program will not jeopardize your eligibility for assistance.
If the trade or profession that the program prepares you for is one that is licensed or that typically requires its members to obtain professional certification, you should ensure that the training program is recognized by the licensing agency or certification organization. This is typically easy to do. Contact the licensing agency or certification organization and ask if the program is recognized as meeting the educational requirements for obtaining a credential. You may also wish to ask if the vocational training program has ever been subject to disciplinary action for being out of compliance with pertinent laws, regulations, or rules. Once you have established that a vocational training program can prepare you to obtain the licenses or certifications necessary to practice, you should also find out whether the school has a good reputation among former students and their employers.
Before actually enrolling in a school, you should take the time to visit its campus to inspect its facilities and to get an idea of what the student body and faculty are like. Ask about course scheduling and whether there are any online options available. If you have significant work or family responsibilities, scheduling can make a huge difference in your experience while attending school. If you have children, ask whether the school has a daycare center on campus or whether there is child care available nearby.
Additional things to ask about include tuition, fees, and whether the school participates in financial aid programs. In some cases, government programs may provide significant assistance in helping you pay for your education. If you are receiving some type of government aid, you should ask both the school and the agency that provides your aid about assistance with completing the vocational training program. If all other things are equal, it may make the most sense to choose a program that provides you with the most financial assistance.