Are you looking to advance your career or start fresh on a new path? The good news is that there are many options to consider.
While some may think a traditional college typically takes 4+ years, a vocational college, or career-focused higher ed institution, like Goodwin College, can take much less time. Unlike the many broad majors taught at universities, which can prepare you for a range of professions, vocational schools and career-focused schools offer very specific job training to get students out into “the real world” and working in their chosen field quickly.
Vocational schools, sometimes referred to as technical schools or trade schools, offer practical training with very few unrelated academic course requirements. This allows students to focus on the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their industry of interest. The limitation of this vocational school structure is that students do not necessarily learn the following skills: critical thinking, communication, writing comprehension, and ethics. Career-focused colleges create well-rounded students with in-demand skillsets that modern employers value and look for in hiring.
Students are often drawn to vocational schools for the shorter length of the programs. This may be one of the primary reasons you are considering a vocational college. What you may not know is that career-focused colleges, like Goodwin, offer shorter length programs as well. You may want to consider a career-focused college, to gain additional general skillsets including problem solving and teamwork, so that you can stand out to employers when opportunities arise.
Vocational colleges offer training in a variety of dedicated specialties. It’s important to note, however, that vocational colleges can be limited in terms of their levels of program offerings. This is a key difference. In most cases, vocational programs are tailored to career fields that do not necessarily need a college degree, such as construction, and prepare students for entry-level positions. Some of the most common programs include:
- Automotive Repair
- HVAC Systems
- Massage Therapy
- Electrical Installation & Maintenance
- Medical Assistance
- Hotel and Restaurant Management
Unlike vocational colleges, career-focused colleges, like Goodwin, offer many different levels of training programs, depending on the specialty of interest. While vocational colleges are usually limited to diplomas and non-collegiate certificates, career-focused colleges offer master’s, bachelor’s, associate, and collegiate certificate degree options. This provides students with more options and room for growth.
You may be thinking that the whole point of avoiding the traditional college experience is to avoid spending years in school. With a career-focused college, you can count on flexibility. These programs are offered in different formats, with the option to take many programs at an accelerated pace. For example, Goodwin College offers a CNC program that you can complete in as few as 22.5 weeks, which allows you to get working in the field fast. You may want to consider a certificate in welding that can be completed in just months! Goodwin has six class starts a year, allowing for faster degree completion. Part-time or working students benefit from a full range of evening, weekend, and online course offerings as well.
Requirements to Enroll in a Vocational or Career-focused College
Prospective students should be aware of the prerequisite requirements to meet in order to be eligible for admission to a particular vocational college, such as:
- Meet minimum age requirement
- Hold high school diploma or GED, or have completed a recognized home school program
The Goodwin College Difference
Goodwin College is an innovative learning community that empowers graduates to become successful professionals and industry experts in their chosen field.
Our programs are designed to address the needs of busy, working students. Classes are conveniently offered year-round — days, evenings, weekends, and online. Degrees may be flexibly layered across certificate, associate, and bachelor’s programs in a variety of in-demand fields. We understand that life is busy – whether you have a full-time job, kids, or even a part-time job to hold down. We accommodate most schedules to make it possible to advance your career.
We also provide our students with the personal support and the professional guidance they need — not just to earn degrees, but to change lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. You always have the support of your college in landing your dream job or next level of success.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.