schools and trade schools are schools that train students to be competent in a
certain vocation or trade. Unlike universities or colleges, most vocational
schools and trade schools do not teach liberal arts subjects such as philosophy,
humanities, etc. Instead, vocational and trade schools prepare students for a
career in a specific vocation or trade, such as fashion design, electronics,
automotive technology, and aircraft maintenance. The choices are virtually
vocational schools and trade schools admit students who have successfully earned
their high school diploma or GED, although there are exceptions. A vocational or
trade school can have a narrow focus, as in the case of a culinary school, or it
can offer a wide selection of majors and training programs. The credentials a
student is awarded upon graduation include an associate degree, bachelor degree, a diploma, and
specialized certificates. These degrees, diplomas and certificates are earned
after completing courses in the classroom or lab and, sometimes, after
completing a field apprenticeship.
of attending a vocational school or trade school is to obtain practical training
and skills which you can utilize in the real world. It is important, therefore,
to choose a vocational school or trade school that offers a program that will
best prepare you for your future career.
Vocational School and Trade School Accreditation
In the past,
some unscrupulous owners operated
schools and trade schools
were below par, thus casting a dark cloud over the entire vocational education
industry. These schools were guilty of misleading advertising, false promises,
sub-par education facilities, unqualified instructors, outdated curriculums,
government agencies and other authorities have clamped down on these
unscrupulous vocational schools and trade schools recently, putting many out of
business. However, it is still extremely important to fully research any
vocational school or trade school you are considering enrolling in. One of the
ways to do this is to check the school’s accreditation. We discourage students
from enrolling in any vocational or trade schools that are not properly
Department of Education provides a list of recognized accrediting agencies and
bodies. Some are regional accrediting agencies while others are national
agencies specializing in a certain form of education, such as cosmetology or
radiology. We strongly suggest beginning your research on vocational schools and
trade schools on the
Department of Education's accrediting agencies page.
the Right Vocational School or Trade School
As previously mentioned above, vocational
schools and trade schools exist to provide students with the tools to learn real
skills that can be applied in the real world. While most vocational schools and
trade schools are reputable and succeed in teaching students the skills required
to obtain a job in that respective field, there are some schools that fall
Vocational schools and trade schools that
promise more than they can deliver should be avoided at all costs. These schools
are only driven by increasing profits, with little regard for the future of
their students. Many of these schools mislead prospective students by
overstating future job prospects and earning potential. They may also lie about
their connections to prospective employers and job-training programs. These
schools may also lie about the qualifications of their instructors. It is
important to thoroughly research a vocational school or trade school before
Questions to Ask While Researching Vocational Schools and Trade Schools:
visiting the vocational school or trade school
Is the vocational school or trade school you are considering accredited by a
reputable accrediting agency?
Is the vocational school or trade school properly licensed in the state in
which it is operating?
What are the admissions requirements and how does it compare to similar
vocational schools and trade schools?
Do other schools allow students to transfer credit from the vocational school
or trade school you are considering?
What is the crime rate like at the vocational school or trade school you are
considering and how does it compare to other schools
Does the vocational school or trade school have any complaints filed with the
Better Business Bureau, the Department of Consumer Affairs, or the Department
Are the fees being charged by a vocational school or trade school in-line with
the fees at other comparable schools?
What do potential employers in your chosen industry think about vocational
school or trade school programs you are researching and would they hire
graduates from that school?
visiting the vocational school or trade school
Do the vocational school instructors seem knowledgeable and do they teach
Do students enrolled in the vocational school or trade school you are
considering like the programs and recommend it?
Do current students feel that they are learning what they need to know to get
a good job in the future?
What do current students say about the instructors on campus?
Have students had any issues or problems with the school, the curriculum, the
instructors, or the facilities?
What do the current students like the most and the least about the vocational
school or trade school?
What percentage of students successfully complete their programs?
Is it possible to obtain a list of past students whom you can contact?