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Career education

When most people think of what they should do when they graduate from high school, the first two things that come to mind are either going to college or getting a job. Going to college has it's benefits and drawbacks. It's great to get an education, and going to college can help you become a more well-rounded, knowledgeable person. However, college is also very expensive and it may be difficult for someone who is only eighteen years old to choose a major and decide on a career right after graduating from high school. Getting a job can help graduates earn money and learn new skills, but most jobs that people can get right out of high school do not pay well and do not have much room for advancement. There's another option for students who want a great career, but don't want to spend four more years in school. It's called career education.

Career education defined
Career education is different than a traditional college education. Career education schools have short-term programs that are designed to train students in a specific career in less time than it would take to get a college education. Career education schools usually offer programs in criminal justice, medical careers, business administration, and trade programs like HVAC and electrical. Students enrolled in career education courses take programs only related specifically to their field and learn the information in a short time period. Career education programs last anywhere from six to eighteen months depending on the type of program you want to complete. Instructors of career education programs are usually experienced professionals in their specific fields. For example, a computer networking instructor will often be someone who has had five or more years of experience working in the computer networking industry.

Types of career education programs
There are two major types of career education programs. One type is known as a vocational school, or a technical school, and is often available to high school students. Students who are interested in learning a trade or a skill can enroll in vocational schools through their high schools. They must take English, math, and other basic subjects, but then they are allowed to take courses in the skill or trade of their choice. Popular high school vocational programs include cosmetology, plumbing, electrical, horticulture, heating and cooling, and merchandising. The other type of career education program is a post-secondary program that can be taken at a career education school. Enrollees must have a high school diploma or a GED in order to apply, and can choose from a number of short-term career education programs that prepare them for careers in high demand fields.

Benefits of career education programs

Career education schools and programs have a lot of benefits for students and for the community. Students who are not very academically inclined, and struggle with subjects like math and science, may excel in a career education program because they are being taught specific skills rather than abstract concepts. Students who do not perform well academically also benefit because the academic requirements for most career education schools are not as strict as those for colleges and universities.

Another great benefit of career education programs is that they are short-term and hands on. Short-term programs are ideal for students who have work and family obligations and don't have time to enroll in a traditional college. Hands-on programs are ideal for students who learn by doing things rather than by listening to a lecture about doing something. Students also benefit from learning for instructors who have professional experience in a specific field. These instructors can often give better examples and tell anecdotes that help students learn material more easily. The community benefits from career education programs because graduates are prepared to enter high demand fields such as medicine and business, which affects those in the community who need those types of services.

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