Vocational Schools vs. Career-Focused Colleges

Both vocational schools and career-focused colleges are great choices for driven students who are looking to get ahead in their careers. The challenge, however, lies in deciding on the educational path that best fits with your needs and job aspirations.

The type of school you choose will depend on your career interests, the educational approach you prefer, the requirements of your future employers, as well as your schedule needs. To help get you started, here is a brief comparison between vocational schools and career-focused colleges.

Vocational Schools

Vocational schools (also referred to as trade schools) are a great option for students who have hyper-focused career goals, but need some postsecondary education before getting into their desired field. These schools have a strong focus on practical training and job preparation and are designed to get students into the workforce fast — students typically complete their programs in just one to two years. Some institutions offer even shorter programs that can be completed in ten weeks or less.

Vocational schools, however, can be limited in their program offerings. In most cases, their programs are tailored to career fields that do not require a college degree, such as construction or massage therapy, and prepare students for entry-level positions.

Instead of an associate or bachelor’s degree, vocational schools offer diplomas and certificates. And typically, the credits earned in vocational schools do not transfer over to any further academic undergraduate programs you may consider down the road.

Career-Focused Colleges (Like Goodwin University)

Like vocational schools, career-focused colleges are focused on the industry-specific skills employers are looking for today. However, career-focused colleges typically step beyond the boundaries of job training alone—they also teach students critical thinking, ethics, theory, and other valuable insights that can be used throughout their careers.

In a career-focused college program, students can expect formal college coursework along with practical career training. And unlike a typical liberal arts school, career-focused colleges offer hands-on experience, in-field internships, and career placement services.

All types and levels of programs are offered at career-focused colleges. At Goodwin University, you can earn a certificate, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or even a master’s degree, depending on your major and its career requirements. The best part is, our degree and certificate programs are flexible and designed to meet our students’ needs:

  • Goodwin offers three academic sessions each year for faster degree completion. Full-time students have the potential to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as three years.
  • Part-time students can benefit from a full range of evening and weekend course offerings.
  • Select classes can be taken either on-campus or online.

Learn more about our flexible career-focused degree and certificate programs.

Additionally, there are many types of financial aid you can receive from a career-focused college. For example, Goodwin University offers scholarships, grants, federal loans, work study jobs, and veteran’s educational benefits.

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