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Vocational training can help people find good-paying jobs without spending several years in college. Most U.S. cities have career or vocational schools that offer programs for teenagers and adults seeking training in a variety of career fields. Some vocational training programs are offered through high schools. In these programs, high school students can gain valuable career training before they even earn a high school diploma. Other vocational schools accept adults who need to learn a trade.
Vocational training schools vary in the types of career programs offered. Some vocational schools may focus in the medical field. They may offer accredited programs in medical assisting, practical nursing, phlebotomy, dental assisting, X-ray technology, or some other form of medical career.
Other vocational training may include programs in automotive repair, HVAC (heating and air) repair, or plumbing. If a person is interested in a career that involves computers, he or she can attend a vocational school that offers programs in computer programming, graphic design, or web design. Vocational schools may even offer job-finding services through an on-site career center for students who graduate from their programs.
Vocational training programs are practical work skills, not academic courses. For example, traditional colleges and universities require students to complete general education courses in literature, mathematics, history, and other academic subjects. In contrast, vocational schools focus on courses that directly relate to a particular career field. Students can complete vocational training programs in a shorter amount of time than students who enroll in a traditional college or university program.
Vocational training offered by public high schools is offered free to enrolled students. Accredited vocational schools geared toward adults offer financial aid opportunities to people who wish to attend a program but who have limited resources. Upon completion of a vocational program, graduates earn diplomas, certificates, or associate's degrees. The credential earned depends on the type of program in which a student was enrolled.
Some vocational schools offer students the chance to co-op while training for a career. A co-op is a type of internship where students receive hands-on training within the career field they wish to enter. Such co-ops may be paid or unpaid, providing students with real-world experiences in the workplace. Receiving vocational training helps people learn valuable skills that relate to a specific job. These short-term programs provide job-seekers with the tools they need to secure a career that can enhance the quality of their lives.