Education Options: More Choices Than Just a 4 Year Degree

Although it may be perceived as the only option, higher education offers much more than just four year degrees. Bachelor degrees have long been touted as the ideal form of education for all individuals. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that many students benefit from a career degree such as those offered by a vocational college. Before applying at a traditional college, it is important to understand your education options.

 Certificate Programs: Earning an education certificate may be the fastest way to get back into the workforce. Certificates for many professions can be earned in as little as 6 weeks. Other programs may take several months to a year. You can find certificate programs offers at a vocational college or technical schools. Fields that offer certificate programs include:

  • Cosmetology
  • Transportation
  • Information Technology
  • Online Applications
  • Health and Medicine

Associate’s Degree: For those looking for a more in-depth program, an associate’s degree may be the right choice. Often considered a career degree, these two year programs often combine academic learning with practical, hands-on experience. Associate’s degrees are offered by community colleges as well as technical schools. You can earn a degree in a variety of programs including:

  • Business
  • Nursing
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Fine Arts
  • Technology

Apprenticeships: Many highly paid trades, such as electrical and mechanical professions, rely heavily on practical experience. These are not jobs that can be easily learned in a classroom. Instead, there require individuals to train as apprentices with experienced professionals. A vocational college may offer assistance in locating available apprenticeships or an education coach may also be helpful in locating these opportunities. An apprenticeship is often the education of choice for:

  • Construction Trades
  • Plumbing
  • Machinists
  • Technology Technicians
  • Tool & Die


With all education options, it is important to have a clear career path in mind. Before spending money at a vocational college, technical school or online degree program, make sure you are selecting the career degree that is right for you. If needed, consult with an education professional for assistance in weighing your options.

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©2013 Tanya Knight International, Inc.

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