It is not an easy task to decide which career path to choose right after school. Should I go to the university and take a traditional four-year program and become a Bachelor of Arts or Science or Education or something else? Or should I consider a different way to go and choose to study in a vocational institution? There are a lot of factors that influence people’s decision. Both options are great for a young enthusiastic person who has a particular goal in his/her life. We strongly encourage young people to choose the institution where they know they will feel comfortable and will want to discover their inner self and always develop their skills. First, however, it is important to take every single option into consideration and to look at the advantages and disadvantages of all institutions. In this post we are going to talk about vocational schools.
So what is a vocational institution? While traditional colleges and universities offer an undergraduate and graduate degree and are based on research and academics, vocational schools are focused on a particular career and teach students certain skills that they will need to apply at work. Besides, their programs are usually shorter than the one offered in academic universities. So why one should consider going to a vocational school and what are the pitfalls of this type of education?
Advantages of Vocational Schools
To begin with, if you do not feel like taking classes in philosophy or English literature and academic writing and are more interested in learning how to repair cars because you have always wanted to become a mechanic and you would like to start your own business, then you should definitely consider a vocational school as your institution. These schools teach people a specific skill and give students hands on experience and very decent training. Every course that you are taking is directly related to the career you have chosen, so there will be no necessity in taking classes outside of your specialization that might bring no pleasure and will only take your precious time. If you are a decisive person with a particular plan in your head and you want to dedicate yourself only to a specific career, this option is great for you because you will enjoy everything that you are doing. Why? This will enrich your knowledge about the field you have chosen and will be extremely enjoyable. Moreover, you will manage to start working very soon since programs in vocational institutions last from only a few months to two years (which is not four or more years at an academic university). What is also extremely valuable is that the size of classes in these schools is smaller than in academic colleges; this means that professors pay much more attention to an individual student, and there is a bigger chance of closer communication with the instructor during the class. Teachers are more available and can afford to spend time on a particular student’s question. We definitely like that. The cost of vocational education programs is usually smaller than in other universities (which is very attractive); however, you should keep in mind that these programs might require you to have some tools and equipment which is pretty expensive, so be ready for that.
Disadvantages of Vocational Schools
If you are a kind of person who is unsure whether you want to study Russian literature of the end of 19th century, anatomy, or engineering, then a vocational school might be not a very good choice for you. If you study in one of the western countries, you should remember that the beauty of traditional academic institutions is that you have a chance to take any classes you want before you declare your specialization. Students usually declare their major on their third year, so they have two years to study everything starting from the Ancient Greek philosophy to computer programming and physics to understand what you would like to do more. Academic institutions are designed for those who believe that without Classical German Philosophy and knowledge of Kierkegaard’s concepts their career in speech and language pathology will be incomplete. These institutions are made to challenge people’s minds and to help them develop analytical and critical thinking that will be useful far beyond the career they finally choose. Vocational schools do not provide students with these opportunities; this means that in case a person does not have a chance to find a job in a chosen field, he or she does not possess a set of other skills to start a different career. Moreover, vocational schools are considered less prestigious because not all their credits are considered to be prerequisites in case one wants to continue one’s education in a traditional university.
If you want to know whether employers prefer to hire a person with a degree from a traditional university or with a diploma from vocational school, we cannot give you a 100% answer. Certain people are looking for employees with a Bachelor’s degree (or even Master’s degree); others want their employees to possess a certain set of skills and be just good at what they do. The only thing you can do to make your choice easier is to see what the minimum requirements are for employees in the field you want to work in. Do your research, and everything will become much more clear. Good luck and enjoy your school.