I will never forget my parents reaction when I told them that I wanted to go to our county's technical school... I had straight A's in middle school, top of my class and aspiring a career where I would be able to run a non-profit organization. They were like... "Lily, you want to go to slow-tech?!"
I remember that moment so clearly and thinking, "Why would she ever think that this wasn't the best option for me?" In all reality, I owe all of my current successes to my technical school education. Here are the top five reasons why Technical/Vocational schools are teaching the future generations in the best way.
For some reason, be it the way that it used to be or people's predetermination about them, technical schools have a terrible stigma. They are apparently for kids who have fallen behind when, in all reality, kids who attend technical and vocational schools are really the kids who are very, very far ahead. With a whopping of 89 percent of the students nationwide enrolled in tech schools graduating, they must be doing something right. The following five reasons are what makes technical and vocational schools, the number one choice for upcoming students.
1. They're selective.
In my county, as well as many other counties and states, there is an entire application process to get into a technical school, as well as an overview of grades, absences and an interview process to make sure the teen will fit well into the school and their intended major. This means students have to have drive to be able to make it into the program of their choice, and they have to take the time to make the decision to apply and interview.
2. The offer a variety of classes.
Now, I did take a less conventional "vocational" route by studying business, but I was in school with people who participated in engineering programs, culinary, cosmetology and much, much more. Students who not only took traditional core credits such as math, science and history but classes in their field as well. This makes the students not only educated in various subjects but also well versed in a trade.
So, when you're well versed, and in a school that you actually have to apply into, I'm not sure how it could be construed that this type of schooling in some way may be lesser because, believe me, it's not. Not only do we offer "technical programs" that will suit the engineers and CEOs of the future, but we are also offering programs that are hands-on: Automotive programs, HVAC, Electrical and Graphic Design to name a few. These are the hands that are crafting, designing and repairing things you use on an everyday basis.
3. They offer certifications AND college credits.
Some of the courses that are offered have the students coming out with certifications within their technical fields, which will help them get a career right out of high school. Other programs, such as business and engineering offer concurrent college credits that students can take during their junior and senior year at a fraction of the cost of what you would pay at the community college. My school also offers classes in English, Math, Science and History. (I was able to take over 27 credits during my junior and senior year, making me eligible to graduate from my four-year college an entire year early!)
4. They're connected with industries and work on career readiness.
The other thing about technical schools is that the variety of programs and industry connections not only gives you a competitive edge in your career field, but the teachers have to take the time to make sure that you are career ready. We host different things such as job fairs and college fairs as well as holding mock interviews and meetings with industry professionals. Technical schools help students become not only career-oriented but career ready as well.
5. They offer a much more driven learning environment.
One of the best things about attending a technical school was that the learning environment was SO much more positive than it ever was at public school. Unfortunately, when you have half of a school population that has a desire to learn and the other half that... just doesn't. Well, there can be a negative vibe. Technical schools are "choice" schools, which means the kids who are there want to be there. And that alone can make a crucial difference in the learning environment. Everyone, whether they are in a class that the love or hate, knows that at some point in the day, they will get to work with their passion- and that can cause a serious attitude change.
And if all of that wasn't enough to make you believe technical schools rule, I don't know what else will. They offer comprehensive classes in a variety of fields, different electives, all of the core content classes that regular public and private schools offer, college credits and they have a focus on career readiness! If you have children approaching high school age, or just want to be well versed for the future, keep technical schools in mind. They might be exactly what students need.