What Is a Vocational Training Certificate?

G. Wiesen

A vocational training certificate is a document that is given upon completion of a training program that focuses on a more skills-based or vocational education. This type of program is usually intended for someone who is interested in learning particular skills and abilities needed for certain careers. Rather than completing an education that culminates in a degree, which usually focuses on broad learning with some focus on particular skills, a student can pursue an education from a vocational school. These schools offer programs that usually culminate in a vocational training certificate and focus more on the specific skills and abilities a person needs to perform a certain job.

Most jobs in the technical engineering field require various types of professional and technical certifications.
Most jobs in the technical engineering field require various types of professional and technical certifications.

The purpose of vocational education in general, and a vocational training certificate specifically, is to demonstrate mastery of certain skills. This has increasingly become accepted as an effective way for a student to receive training in certain fields, though this often depends on the career chosen. A program that results in a vocational training certificate is usually shorter than other degree-granting curricula, though an associate’s degree might be received in about the same amount of time. The focus of such a program, however, can be quite different and may be a better choice for some students.

A vocational education usually focuses on the skills necessary to be employed within a certain career. Students pursuing a degree usually enroll at a school that offers a curriculum that focuses on overall education, to ensure that someone has a broad and well-rounded understanding of scholarly subjects. While this is certainly effective for many students, others may find it difficult to stay focused on their chosen field while studying other subjects. Someone interested in becoming a commercial electrician, for example, may prefer to pursue a vocational training certificate rather than a degree, since the certificate is often faster and more relevant to his or her interests.

While students may receive some additional education in subjects like writing and business, most courses in a vocational program focus on the skills and knowledge they need to work in their chosen industry. Once this program is completed to a satisfactory level, as established by a particular school, then a student can graduate and receive a vocational training certificate instead of a diploma. This does not typically grant a particular degree to a student, but instead indicates to potential employers that the graduate has received training necessary to be an effective addition to their workforce. Different schools can set various requirements for completion of a program and issuing of a vocational training certificate, though it usually involves completing classes and may require some apprenticeship work.

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