Orlando, FL -Early vocational degrees may have focused on carpentry, welding and other manual trades, but today’s campus-based and online vocational schools can train students in dozens of career disciplines. A recent article on Schools.com, which features Florida Technical College President’s David Ruggieri, points at the fact that modern day technical and vocational colleges have evolved to meet a diversified economy.
“From IT to healthcare, from film to entrepreneurships, today’s technical and vocational schools reflect the needs of a modern marketplace,” Ruggieri said.
Career skills taught at vocational and technical colleges like FTC tend to be more hands-on. Workers who primarily operate equipment, follow procedural templates or work specifically with a trade-standard symbol set can usually learn their necessary skills in vocational programs.
Data published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that health care and health sciences have some of the highest employment numbers among vocational fields. According to the agency, the U.S. labor market will support approximately 3,238,400 registered nurses by 2022 — an increase of more than 500,000 over the 2012 total. Employment of medical secretaries, sonographers and physical and occupational therapy assistants is expected to grow between 36 and 46 percent in all cases.
“In Central Florida alone, at least five brand-new hospitals have been inaugurated in the last five years,” Rugieri said. “At FTC we’ve strengthen the health care and health management tracks to support the demand of a marketplace eager for skilled workers.”
Many non-medical vocational degrees have a bright outlook as well over the next several years, particularly in trades that relate to construction. Brick, block and stone masons are slated for a 35 percent increase in employment by 2022, which the BLS expects to lead to around 25,000 new jobs, and jobs for helpers of electricians are projected to grow at a rate of about 37 percent.
Ruggieri suggests considering a few things when selecting a vocational school:
“Visit three to four schools. Don’t get sold on the appearance, don’t get sold on the first marketing pitch. Decide which school can help you achieve your goal best and has what it takes to guide you along the way. It has to feel good if you are to persevere.”