Career and Vocational Programs

While obtaining an education past high-school is known to improve job opportunities and income, pursuing the traditional four years of academic college education doesn’t make sense for everyone. For some people, obtaining a bachelor’s degree may not be financially feasible, is not well suited to their strengths or does not support their career goals. A smart alternative for these individuals may be to enroll in a career or vocational program. They can gain the specific skills they need to enter the workforce more quickly and earn a living in an interesting career.

Career and Vocational Program Coursework

Various types of career programs exist including professional, vocational, technical and trade programs. All of these programs teach students the skills they need for a specific job. These programs include limited or no general academic courses and focus instead of coursework that pertains concretely to a specific career. Students may earn a certificate, associate’s degree, or in some cases, a bachelor’s or master’s degree. These programs can be found at a variety of schools including for-profit career, vocational and technical schools, community colleges and at academic colleges and universities.


Employers look for graduates of career programs to fill specific positions that they would otherwise have to provide training for internally. Instead, they are able to hire individuals ready to be productive as soon as they start the job. Career program graduates are more marketable and can demand a higher salary than someone who needs on-the-job training.

Another benefit is that students will be spending their effort and money on courses that are specific to their intended career. Students in a traditional academic college program will spend a good deal of time and money on courses for which the benefit to their future profession may be unclear.