Dispelling the Myths of Vocational Schools

Vocational schools have earned a bad rap over the years. People, in the past, have had a tendency to believe that only dropouts and kids with special needs go to vocational schools. Slowly and surely though, that opinion has been changing. The populace at large is starting to realize that undertaking a career specific vocational training course has a variety of benefits.The truth is that vocational schools do bring some benefits to the table, and have gained a notoriety that is underserved.

Myths about vocational schools that are untrue

  • Only dropouts or academically uninclined students undertake vocational training. According to a study published on the United States Department of Education’s Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) website, dating as far back as the year 2000, 80% of all high school students take a minimum of one vocational courses, and 1/8th of all academic students take more vocational courses than vocational students themselves.
  • Vocational courses are only for people who want jobs requiring physical skills. Vocational schools used to be associated with career paths such as carpentry, hair styling, and cooking among others. Careers that required the acquisition of skills that can only be taught through practical means. This isn’t true anymore though. Technical jobs such as business administration, computer aided design, motorsport technology, and even pharmacy assistance, among hundreds of other job profiles of all kinds, are taught at vocational institutes. In fact, vocational schools like YTI Career Institute and a few others offer over 20 courses spread across 7 fields or programs.
  • Vocational courses derail your education. A lot of people are under the misguided belief that vocational training precludes people from continuing their education. This isn’t true. In fact, a variety of vocational institutes even offer associate and bachelor’s degrees apart from the usual fare of certificate and diploma courses.
  • Vocational courses don’t lead to jobs.The Department of Labor has a comprehensive database of occupations and details regarding said occupations such as educational qualifications required and payscale figures. As of 2009, at least 50 occupations listed on the Department of Labor’s website require vocational training or an associate degree,with a median pay grade extendingbetween the $40,000 – $77,000 range. So the jobs then, are there for the taking, and getting job ready through a vocational course is as good an avenue as a formal degree to getting there.
  • Vocational courses don’t lead to success. The easiest way to debunk this particular myth is to take a glance at the UK vocational rich list which lists the top billionaires in England who got where they are off the back of vocational courses or apprenticeships. This list includes people who are household names not just in the UK but in the Unites States too. Recognizable individuals such as super chef Jamie Oliver, guitar god Eric Clapton, Soccer legend and former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and sir Anthony Bamford, owner of JCB (the construction equipment manufacturers).

A vocational degree then, is nothing to scoff at, and could very well be the ticket to success. After all, if you know what you want to do career wise, what better way to achieve it than by acquiring an education that isn’t just theoretical, but one that gives you all the specific skills you need to excel at that specific job? 

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