Trade Secrets: The Best Vocational Schools
What if college just isn’t for you? A vocational school may be your best path to a new career.
The Evolution of American Vocational Education
• 1776-1826: The right to a free public education for children was stressed early in the U.S. Apprenticeships gave way to formal schooling in certain trades.
• 1862: The Morrill Act: U.S. government donates public lands for state colleges that teach agriculture and the mechanical arts (A&M schools)
• 1872- Iowa State College offers first regular college courses in housekeeping.
• 1881: First trade school opens in New York.
• 1900 – Nationwide, 30 colleges offer courses in domestic sciences like cooking and sewing.
• 1910 – 29 of 46 states: number of states offering at least some form of vocational education in their public schools.
• 1918 – 1,000: the total enrollment in all forms of vocational training.
• 14: number of schools offering home economics, and they teach just over 400 girls.
• 276 boys: study vocational agriculture.
94: percentage of high school students today who take some form of vocational courses.
13: percentage increase in the number of occupations in the post secondary vocational category through 2018.
Vocational Courses Work for High School Students
• 81 percent of dropouts say real-world learning opportunities would have kept them in high school.
• The average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in vocational programs is 90.18 percent, compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 74.9 percent.
Vocational Training Works for College Students and Adults
• A person with a vocational-related associate degree or credential will earn on average between $4,000 and $19,000 more a year than a person with a humanities associate degree.
• 27 percent of people with less than an associate degree, including licenses and certificates, earn more than the average bachelor degree recipient.
Vocational Training Courses Work for Business
• The skilled trades are the hardest jobs to fill in U.S.: 726,000 jobs are open in the trade, transportation and utilities sector and 256,000 jobs open in manufacturing.
• Health care occupations, many of which require an associate degree or less, make up 12 of the 20 fastest growing occupations.
16 Best Jobs Requiring Post-Secondary Vocational Training
1. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
Annual median earnings: $40,380* Percent growth: 20.6 Annual openings: 39,130
2. Business operations specialists
Annual median earnings: $62,450 Percent growth: 11.5 Annual openings: 36,830
3. Computer occupations
Annual median earnings: $79,240 Percent growth: 13.1 Annual openings: 7,260
4. Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors
Annual median earnings: $31,090 Percent growth: 29.4 Annual openings: 12,380
5. Surgical technologists
Annual median earnings: $39,920 Percent growth: 25.3 Annual openings: 4,630
6. Real estate sales agents
Annual median earnings: $40,030 Percent growth: 16.2 Annual openings: 12,830
7. Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists
Annual median earnings: $22,760 Percent growth: 20.1 Annual openings: 21,950
8. Preschool teachers, except special education
Annual median earnings: $25,700 Percent growth: 19 Annual openings: 17,830
9. Commercial pilots
Annual median earnings: $67,500 Percent growth: 18.5 Annual openings: 2,060
10. Security and fire alarm systems installers
Annual median earnings: $38,500 Percent growth: 24.8 Annual openings: 2,780
11. Life, physical and social science technician
Annual median earnings: $43,350 Percent growth: 13.3 Annual openings: 3,640
12. Massage therapists
Annual median earnings: $34,900 Percent growth: 18.9 Annual openings: 3,950
13. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists
Annual median earnings: $40,850 Percent growth: 5.7 Annual openings: 7,530
14. Architectural and civil drafters
Annual median earnings: $46,430 Percent growth: 9.1 Annual openings: 3,620
15. Health technologists and technicians
Annual median earnings: $38,460 Percent growth: 18.7 Annual openings: 3,200
16. Gaming dealers
Annual median earnings: $18,090 Percent growth: 19 Annual openings: 5,590
America’s Top Schools:
Best schools in the nation that offer skills-based courses, like plumbing, computer repair, and cosmetology:
• U. of Georgia. Vocational programs enrollment, 1,857. Tuition, $7,400 for in state students, $22,400, out of state.
• Penn State. 1,138 students. Tuition, $17,670 in state, $30,374 out of state.
• Ohio State. 1161 students. Tuition, $11,336 in state, $28,648 out of state.
• Oklahoma State. 832 students. $178 per credit for in state students, $709 for out of state.
• U. of Minnesota. 1,880 students. Tuition, $14,570 for in state students, $22,320 for out of state.