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Jun 8, 2015

Top 10 Myths about Career Colleges

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There are several myths associated with vocational or career colleges. The truth is these schools teach students valuable skills that are in high demand and are expected to remain that way. Here are the top 10 myths and truths about career colleges:

1. Career colleges are just diploma mills. Most vocational schools give students the certification they need to qualify for various trades. However, some of them also offer associate's degree programs and bachelor's degree programs for various fields.

2. Career college are not accredited. Most vocational schools are accredited. Always verify accreditation of any school; community college, career college or university alike with the U.S. Department of Education before enrolling.

3. Career college educations are not thorough. Some people assume that shorter study programs mean less information. However, career colleges teach students skills and information they would learn in any other institution, only in a more efficient and timely manner.

4. Career college degrees mean lower paying jobs. While most people assume a vocational career does not pay as good as careers for graduates with four-year degrees, this is not always true. Some vocations such as nursing pay much better than a large number of entry-level jobs for graduates with four-year degrees. In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that RNs earned about $65,000 on average. The National Centers for Education said that the average salary for graduates with four-year degrees was about $46,000.

5. It is harder to find a job after graduating from a career college. Many people who earn four-year degrees have a harder time finding a job because they do not have skills that are in high demand. Career colleges usually also have excellent resume help services and job placement assistance programs.

6. Career college degrees look bad on a resume. Most of the fields people specialize in while studying at a career college are not fields where an applicant's school choice is a major hiring factor. Overall, employers are more interested in a person's skills and abilities than the name of the school he or she attended.

7. Career colleges are less challenging since they are for profit. This is one of the most common myths. However, the programs are designed to challenge students' minds and teach them skills through hands-on instruction.

8. There is no financial aid for career colleges. Many career colleges offer federal financial aid such as Pell grants and Stafford loans. They also offer their own resources for scholarships, work-study programs and other types of aid. Always call the financial aid office before ruling out a career college based on this myth.

9. Career colleges are only for people who drop out of high school. Career college students score very high overall on exams. While enrollment rules are more lenient than universities' requirements for accepting people with less-than-perfect grades, never assume that the quality of education is lower at a career college.

10. There are few career choices at vocational colleges. In the past, many vocational colleges only offered a few choices. However, they offer a much wider variety of options in several different fields today. Always look at the programs a vocational school has to offer before choosing another alternative.

With a wider availability of program choices and more financial aid options available these days, a career college education is a smart choice. The Institute of Technology is a great choice for prospective students in California or Oregon who are considering vocational careers. Visit www.iot.edu to learn more.

Sources:
http://college.usatoday.com/2014/08/13/the-top-10-lowest-paying-college-majors/
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
http://mytrainingnow.com/at-risk-youth/7-common-misconceptions-about-career-and-technical-education/