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What Are the Pros and Cons of Vocational Training and Education?

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  • Written By: M. Kayo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Weighing the pros and cons of vocational education and training may help determine if this type of training program is right for a particular situation. For people who want to acquire training and get a job as soon as possible, a vocational training and education program may be just right. Vocational education and training institutions are typically cheaper to attend than a traditional colleges or universities. There are, however, some negative aspects to acquiring this type of training, such as the stigma of attending these schools, non-transferrable credits, and limitation of career or job opportunities. Before making a decision, there are many things to consider, such as tuition costs, transfer of credits, time of completion, and future employment options.

Some of the positive aspects of vocational education and training are the lower cost of courses offered and the shorter period of time needed to complete the required courses and graduate. The cost of a traditional college education may be out of reach for some people, so vocational school may be the only affordable option for acquiring some kind of occupational training, finding a job and making a living. Vocational courses require much less time to complete than a four-year degree. Some can be completed in a few months, and graduates can start looking for a paying job relatively quickly. Vocational training also allows a more flexible schedule for those students needing to take classes while working or raising a family.

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One of the negative aspects of vocational training and education is it that it may limit future employment and career opportunities. If your future career plans include moving into higher-ranking positions or even into management, the training received at a vocational school may not provide much help. Vocational training and education also limit the wages and types of companies for which one may work. Those wanting to remain in a particular area of work and who have no desire to move into higher paying managerial or executive positions will benefit from this type of training and education.

There is sometimes a stigma attached to vocational training and education. This may be a negative aspect of this type of training for some people, while others do not seem to be bothered by it. While more expensive and requiring more time to complete, a college degree is considered by some to be better than any sort of training or education received at a vocational school. One final negative aspect is that some credits may only transfer to another vocational or training school and may not transfer to a traditional college or university.

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anon977608
Post 3

I am a student planning for the future, and this was a great help weighing down the options. Thanks.

jholcomb
Post 2

@MrsWinslow - I like your suggestion to do a lot of research and make sure you are earning a widely accepted credential, like an ASE certification in auto repair or a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) in a health care field.

A major advantage of blue-collar work is that most of it can never be outsourced to China! A lot of positions that require college education are being sent overseas, where a cheaper and increasingly educated workforce is available. But they can't send cars, patients, or clogged drains overseas!

It's worth noting that the armed services are still a free way to get vocational training, but you do have to know what you're getting into! Maybe a big more of a commitment than an eight-week course.

MrsWinslow
Post 1

Vocational education can be great if it's undertaken with a clear goal in mind. Stay away from for-profit training schools that charge high fees and may offer trainings that are not widely accepted - do a lot of research ahead of time.

My niece is interested in possibly becoming a nurse, but she isn't quite sure and nursing is a relatively long program. Money is an issue, too. So what she and her parents decided on was that she would complete an eight-week course in phlebotomy. Then she will be able to get a decent-paying job, probably with health insurance, and can see whether she enjoys working in a health care setting. If she does, she can work while she goes to nursing school (at least until she starts needing to get clinical experience).

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