What is Higher Education?
Tell me? What comes to your mind when I say, “Higher Education”?
You might be thinking about a four-year college degree. Some might have even thought of a two-year junior degree. However, there is also another type of higher education. It is the education that you receive from a career college.
What is Career College?
Career college, also known as technical or vocational school, is responsible for schooling in a career-specific field. These schools specifically focus on providing knowledge, education, and most importantly: skills of the field a person wishes to choose.
Some career colleges offer education in a few fields, but you can essentially find any career college you desire. Be it Accounting, Art and Design, or Medical and Technical careers, career colleges are not hard to find. They can be a private or a public institution. And by successfully completing the curriculum, they offer certificates, diplomas, a two-, or even a four-year degree.
How are Career Colleges different from traditional 4-year colleges?
Career colleges differ in several ways from traditional 4-year colleges. To be blunt, a traditional degree might be based on the old ways. They teach you everything on the curriculum, whether it applies to you or not. For example, if someone wishes to be a Fashion Designer, should they be burdened with memorizing the quadratic formula?
Don’t get me wrong, career colleges are good in their own ways. They offer broader education and develop skills such as research and analysis – vital for many career fields. The purpose of both colleges is the same: to educate. However, career colleges do that by covering all aspects of one specific discipline and develop some particular set of skills.
Elon Musk’s Take
Times are changing. The industry is focused on hiring skilled people instead of highly educated people. Elon Musk has articulated this on several occasions. He says you don’t need a degree from a prestigious university to work at Tesla. In a 2014 interview, he claims he looks for “evidence of exceptional ability” for an individual to work for his company.
How are Career Colleges better?
· They are usually lower-sized. Meaning more interaction with the instructor.
· Flexible timing is also an advantage. This means you can work AND study.
· Most career colleges also arrange internships and externships to get you industry-ready.
· It is also cheaper than most traditional colleges and makes provisions that enable you to fund your own education.
· The curriculum is designed to meet the specific needs of employers.
· The training is more hands-on instead of theoretical.
· These are also more suitable for training in a technical skill. For example, website building, video editing, or Python Programming.
· They also help students to gain knowledge of what would be expected of them when they enter the professional world.
What can be considered difficult in career colleges?
One occasion where career colleges face some complexities is their accreditation. The variables measured for their accreditation are somewhat different than career colleges. They measure accreditation based on the outcomes such as graduation and employment rates. Whereas, traditional colleges measure student learning, teacher effectiveness, and resources available, etc. for their accreditation process.
Transferring the credit hours of career colleges can also be considered difficult. Since the curriculum followed is highly customized it gets quite complicated to match credits with other colleges.
Our Two Cents
We think career colleges are a great way to increase one’s knowledge and becoming industry-ready. The modern world nowadays requires a person to be highly versed in a skill. Career colleges take care of that. However, it is also necessary for a person to have at least a high school education. So, they become aware of the basics of the world. It also helps them decide what they like most and what they want to pursue. This is when they can go on to pursue their career-specific knowledge through career colleges.