Definition of Vocational Schools

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    • Vocational schools provide educational programs focused on specific job skills. Many also offer 2-year associate degrees requiring additional coursework outside of the specific job focus, or some liberal arts classes.

    High School and Post-Secondary

    • Vocational schools usually are post-secondary schools attended after the student graduates from or leaves high school. Some high schools offer cooperative programs in which their students can complete programs at vocational schools for high school credit.


    • Many vocational schools are local, regional or state public institutions. Others are private, and correspondence and online schools are also available. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions prospective students to thoroughly research private schools and those supplying distance learning to make sure they are legitimate opportunities.


    • Vocational educational programs typically focus on business, industry, health occupations, agriculture and technology. Students can obtain diplomas, certificates and associate degrees, depending on the length of the program.


    • Examples of vocational programs include accounting clerk, auto mechanic, broadcast captioner, dental hygienist, graphic designer, information technologist, phlebotomist, veterinary technician and welder.

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