Career Directions

Trade School / Certifications

Technical and vocational colleges place an emphasis on career-focused, hands-on training in a certain trade or technical skill. The classes you take are focused primarily on your chosen career. Technical school students gain highly specialized skills that require additional training after high school but do not require a bachelor’s degree.

Financial commitment

A technical college can be much less expensive than attending a college for a 4-year degree and provide a path to a lucrative career. Check out this tool to determine and compare technical college costs in your profession of interest.

Time commitment

Some technical professions require a certificate that takes only a few months to complete, while others require an associate’s degree, which can take two years. Many programs offer flexible scheduling with daytime, night, and weekend classes. This allows working adults an opportunity to upgrade their skill sets or transition to an entirely new field.


Living arrangements vary by school. Some provide on campus housing while others are solely commuter schools. It’s common for students to live at home or with roommates, allowing them to save significantly on living and accommodation expenses.

Required Education

Admittance to a technical or vocational school usually requires a high school diploma or GED, but admission requirements may be more rigorous depending on the program.

Career Opportunities

Technical schools prepare students for jobs in booming industries like manufacturing, construction, information technology, business, health care, and more. These jobs are in high demand, with expected growth to continue for some time. Many of these careers come with steady and decent income and good benefits. Check out the Career Calculator to further research your career of interest.

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