Career Colleges and Technical School - Finding Schools That Match Your Interests and Goals
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  • What kind of career and technical training do you want?

    Education beyond high school at a career or technical school can lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate in a variety of programs like computer programming, automotive technology, business administration and management, cosmetology, and interior design. Think carefully about what you want to do with your life. Find out as much as you can about the occupations that interest you by using the library and internet, or by talking to your high school guidance counselor or a representative at your local One-Stop Career Center.

    With so many options, you'll want to find the program that best matches your natural skills, abilities, and interests in order to prepare for a successful career in the field of your choice. Here are some good resources:

    • Career Onestop provides information on determining your training needs and assessing your skills.

    • Occupational Outlook Handbook describes the education and training needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.

  • Which schools offer the training or program you need?

    The Department of Education's College Navigator Web site can help you search for career colleges and technical schools. Only schools accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education are able to enroll students who receive federal student financial aid.

    Also, contact the licensing agency in the state where you want to go to school to find information on schools offering the training or program you're interested in. Those agencies can tell you whether the school you are considering is operating legally in the state or if the state requires the school to be licensed or certified in order to offer instruction. To find a state licensing agency use the Directory of Higher Education Officials.

  • What preparation do you need for a particular job?

    Do you need to complete a specific education program to get an entry-level job in the field you are interested in? Do you need to get a license or certificate in order to work in your field of choice?

    To get the answers to these questions, check with your high school guidance counselor, people already working in the field, and professional licensure agencies or certification organizations in your state. To find the certification requirements, and the certifying agencies for a variety of occupations, take a look at Career OneStop.

    Also, find out if any special license or certification is needed to get a job in the field of your choice. If you need a certificate or license, ask any school you are considering if its graduates are eligible for licensure or certification after they complete its program.

    It is also good to ask the school for the number of students who take and pass their licensing exams. Also, ask the school what percentage of its graduates find jobs in their field.

    For more information about the skills and training you'll need for a particular job, look at these helpful web sites:

    O*NET OnLine, an interactive Web-based tool providing information on skills and training required for different occupations.

    Career Onestop, providing information on occupational trends and occupational skills, knowledge, and abilities.

  • Will employers accept the training as preparation for employment?

    Call the employment office or human resources department of some businesses or companies where you might like to work. Ask if they expect employees to have a certificate or license in order to be hired. Also ask if they can recommend a career college or technical school that provides the training required for employment.

    More information on schools that match your interests and goals.

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Last Modified: 05/14/2010