Vocational schools differ from traditional colleges in that they're more career-focused rather than based on academics. The programs are also typically much shorter in vocational schools, or community colleges, than the four-year standard undergraduate degree ones offered at traditional learning institutions. Before deciding on pursuing a vocational school education, it's worth taking the time to weight the pros and cons of choosing this path over a traditional college program. Some of the pros of education from a vocational school are learning direct skills that can be applied to a career and being able to apply for a job in the field as early as six months in some cases. The cons of choosing vocational school is that the credits usually aren't as prestigious as those from a traditional college and they may not count as prerequisites if the student wishes to attend a traditional college later.
Since vocational schools typically only have minimum academic work and focus on hands-on training, a disadvantage is that their courses aren't considered academically on par with traditional colleges. As an advantage, or pro, though, most vocational school education programs require high school completion, or its equivalency, plus basic math and English skills rather than top grades. One of the disadvantages, or cons, of vocational schools is that the course credits earned may be transferable at other vocational schools, but not traditional colleges.
An advantage of vocational courses is, just like many college classes today, some of them may be taken online. Online learning via a computer allows students maximum convenience, as they can often schedule their class work around jobs, family and other commitments. An online vocational school education can also save student-parents time and transportation costs, as well as babysitting expenses.
Another big advantage of vocational school education over traditional college is the cost; the programs are much shorter as well as typically less expensive overall. Plus, as long as community colleges, or vocational schools, are properly accredited, student loans can still be applied in many cases. A con of vocational schools is that they don't have dorm rooms for students needing housing, but on the pro side, as they are community colleges, the daily commute can be much shorter than it is to get to traditional campuses.
A con to vocational eduction can be the competition for jobs against applicants with a traditional college degree. However, as many community colleges include hands-on work experience, this can be an advantage for applicants in getting hired. Vocational school education students typically enter career fields faster than their traditional college counterparts due to shorter programs. However, a con is that many of the vocational school careers are in lower-paying positions.