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College 101

Checklist: Is Vocational Training Right For Me?
Article Type: Checklist

This is your life, so we’re guessing you want to be pretty sure you are on the track that will take you where you want to go. You may be second-guessing yourself, wondering if Vocational Training is right for you. While nobody can tell you what you should do with your life (although a lot of people will try), you can take a look at what makes for a successful vocational student and worker and see if some of these traits apply to you. If more than a few do, you may be on the right track.

  You are more of a kinesthetic learner. “What did you call me?” Relax. That means that you learn by doing. You respond to more hands-on learning rather than book or classroom learning.

  You are pretty sure of what you want to do. There’s no such thing as Vocational Training in General Studies. Sorry. If you are entering Vocational Training, you need to have a specific career (or at least a specific career field) in mind. Want to become a Histotechnician? Take classes that will teach you what you need to know.

  Your career of choice prefers to hire people with vocational training. We hate to break it to you, but there are few qualified neurosurgeons who learned their trade in a Technical School or Apprenticeship. At the other end of the spectrum, having an Associate’s Degree won’t matter much if you’re slinging frozen yogurt. Make sure the training makes you desirable for the market.

  You have some skill and experience in the career of your choice. We aren’t suggesting you need to be a pro—that’s what training is for. But knowing that you like and are good at the activities involved in the career is pretty important. Simply deciding to study Culinary Arts for two years when your specialty up to this point has been orange juice with ice cubes isn’t the way to go. Still feeling inspired by all those chefs on Chopped? Good for you. Just make sure you try sauteing some veggies before you commit yourself.

  You want to start work sooner rather than later. At a four-year college, you have to wait a while before entering the job market. If that’s too long for you for whatever reason, Vocational Training’s shorter scope may be right for you.

  You need to work while you study. Many Vocational Training options are more flexible for people who need to work full or part-time. Flexible is good.

  You are willing to be an active learner. This means you help design and guide your training. No sitting in the back of the class doodling pictures of your dream life under the sea. At least, unless you’re attending Triton’s University for Mermen.

Do a handful of these describe you? Awesome. You’re almost ready to pass “Go” and collect your first paycheck.

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