Vocational training for women teaches them specific skills they will use in a certain job or profession. Examples of these include cosmetology, nursing and specific training for a home-based business or technical field. Women may attend a vocational or community college or take courses online. Increasingly, in countries with cultural bias toward female employment, the government has recognized the potential for economic gain when previously unschooled women are trained to generate income.
Community colleges, trade schools and online course programs offer degrees and certificates that prepare students for practical work in their chosen field. Healthcare, legal assistance and cosmetology are just a few of the courses of study available. There are also technical programs in heating and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, and auto mechanics now available to women, fields that have traditionally been dominated by men. Many countries are seeing an increase in the number of women training in these areas.
Military service is another way to obtain vocational training for women. In most countries that allow females to join, basic training teaches skills needed for certain jobs within the infrastructure that are readily transferable if the soldier is later discharged. Some have apprenticeship programs that cover a range of fields from electrical to mechanics to nursing. Many enlistees leave the service with more than adequate training to obtain employment in the civilian sector, along with practical experience.
Employer-sponsored training and tuition assistance programs help workers already employed with a company to advance within its ranks. It typically costs less to improve the skills of current workers than to seek outside replacements. This can be an excellent source of vocational training for women, while allowing them to earn an income while they learn. Certificates and credentials such as computer and information technology, human resources or accounting can be transferred to other employment if the worker leaves the company in the future.
In still-developing countries, there is a push to educate women to work out of their homes and obtain employment. Small manufacturing opportunities making clothing or personal care items can offer women who might not otherwise enter higher education a chance to generate income for their families. Government-sponsored vocational training for women, along with that provided by humanitarian organizations and private educational groups, empower women in rural and poverty-stricken areas to improve their economic status. They also place emphasis on education, health and literacy, which can often be uplifting to the community as a whole.