It’s that time of the year again when students have to seriously consider what they will be doing in 2018. There are just about two more months before the New Year begins. Many community colleges and vocational schools will start accepting applications for New Year. However, before you even consider applying to any of these colleges, you will need to know what the difference between the two is. This will help you know what you are getting yourself into. In this article, we look at some of the dissimilarities between community colleges and vocational schools. The aim is to assist students to make more informed decisions.
Article Table of Contents
The main difference between community colleges and vocational schools is in the programs they offer. Mostly, community colleges, which were once called junior colleges, deliver programs that offer students a firm foundation of experience and preferences. What this means is that community colleges have a wider selection of courses. They don’t focus mainly on practical skills. Examples of available courses from community colleges include bachelor degrees in different areas such as engineering and business management. So, a student can study a course in the liberal arts in a community college. This is not available in a vocational school.
Unlike community colleges, vocational schools seek to offer programs which are specific. The courses that students access at such colleges intend to prepare them for their chosen career. Some examples of programs students can expect to do in vocational schools include the likes of plumbing, management of computer networks, medical assistant, and nursing among many others
2. Learning requirements
Students enrolling in community colleges should meet learning requirements for liberal arts courses and typical education. Students in community colleges can generally enjoy similar student activities that are available in four-year schools. Some even go so far as to offer boarding facilities. However, they differ from vocational schools. They are big on flexibility. This makes them a great choice for those students who may want to keep their jobs while at the same time also attending college. They can accomplish this through online programs and part-time education.
Community colleges follow your usual university model where most of the focus is on theory. Vocational colleges pay more attention to practical skills. Students leaving such schools would have a certain level of experience regarding skills required in a particular job. Community colleges teach in a more general way that allows students to gain skills in analyzing situations and arguing cases. Vocational schools, on the other hand, care more about what the graduates can do with their hands. Other skills which vocational schools focus on include problem solving, working in teams, and time management.
One of the major differences between community college and vocational school is their focus. Vocational school is a great choice for those students who have already made up their minds concerning the careers they want to follow. This could be informed by their talent, school subjects or the particular job they want to do once they graduate. On the other hand, community colleges offer programs that are more general. This means that students can study at these colleges even before they have made up their minds about a specific career.
Those students who still want to explore their career options are better off enrolling in a community college than a vocational school. For instance, a student who may want to work in the media but still not sure whether on the creative side or technical side of the area, would be advised to enroll in a community college. Once they have an idea of what each of the areas consists of, they can then decide to follow a specific section of the area.
One of the biggest differences between community colleges and vocational schools is the time students spend studying for their qualifications. Students enrolling in community colleges can expect to spend between two and four years studying. However, unlike your traditional four-year university, a qualification from a community college is much cheaper than one from the traditional university. Of course, this does not mean that a community college is the same in every way to a traditional university. The courses available at these colleges are limited. Students who want to do something more specialized such as law will still need to transfer their credits to a bachelor’s degree.
Vocational colleges on the other hand offer courses that take shorter periods to complete. Those enrolling in such colleges, you can expect to receive a qualification in between six and twenty-four months. This is made possible by the fact that the training you get from these colleges is specific to a certain skill. Those students who really need to enter the workforce can do so much earlier than someone studying in a community college. This is especially helpful when one looks at reports which indicate that job prospects in practical areas such as plumbing and bricklaying are on the increase. So, if you’re looking for a quick way to enter the workforce and work among the fasted growing trades, a vocational education could be your best choice.
5. Advantages of each
Community colleges and vocational schools offer different benefits. Community colleges offer flexibility where vocational schools offer qualifications quicker. Vocational school is focused where community colleges are general. However, it is vital for students to be clear about these differences. This can help them meet their educational goals. Also, students who do better, in theory, are better off attending a community college. Those who enjoy practical skills would do well in a vocational college. Also, whatever division you make, it is important for you to always understand that there are different routes to success. This means that when it comes to gaining and education, there is no single size which fits everybody.