Understanding the Different Types of Continuing Education

If you’re interested in a career as an auto mechanic, computer technician, truck driver, medical assistant, hairstylist or any number of other trades, professions and careers, a trade school or career college can give you the specialized training you need to launch your career.  Both types of continuing education are similar in that the specialized training can be completed in a very short period of time. This feature appeals to high school graduates and people already holding down jobs. The traditional training environments often mimic that of the actual working environment, so students have an opportunity to get a good grasp of the nature of the work. The unique environment affords students an opportunity for more hands-on training, too. This combined with specialized curriculum and professional instruction makes learning easier for some.

Similar but different

Because trade schools and career colleges have a lot in common, the terms frequently are used interchangeably. But this is incorrect since each differs in several key ways.

One significant difference is that career colleges focus on making a profit. While that’s not necessarily a problem, it can lead to problems of perception since this type of institution is more likely to be associated with scams and other unfair practices.

Another key difference is what students learn. The primary focus in trade schools is teaching students the specific skills they’ll need to get the job done. Career colleges do this too, but they also teach theory as well as skills that’ll help students land jobs such as resume writing skills, interviewing skills, and communication skills.

If you’re interested in this type of education, it’s important to do your research. The better continuing education institutions will have built a solid reputation for quality. They may even be accredited. All of this is easily researched using the Internet, by talking with alumni, and by requesting catalogs.

It’s also a good idea to compare programs and costs, availability of financial aid, administrative involvement, and credit transferability before making a final decision.