Online trade schools have taken the traditional vocational school model and made it even easier for students to learn on their own schedule and earn an associate’s degree. In the past, vocational schools were for students who wanted to learn a specific trade in a short period of time – usually in one to two years – instead of attending a full-time university program. These schools focused on hands-on careers, such as mechanics, electricians, administrative assistants, and hair stylists.
Virtual trade schools have been able to expand the career options over the years to also include many other fields including design, legal studies, business, and technology. The largest growing field, however, is healthcare. Degree options include licensed practical nurse and licensed vocational nurse. Both of these careers options could be a stepping stone to other degrees later on, such as registered nurse or nurse practitioner.
Another option is medical coding and billing, allowing people the flexibility to work at a major hospital, a small private medical practice, or even in health insurance. Medical office administration and transcription are also great options for people who thrive in busy environments like a doctor’s office. Other healthcare degrees that can be earned at an online trade school include dental assistant, physical therapist, home care and pharmacy tech.
The realm of personal care degrees also continues to grow outside of the typical cosmetology degree. Now, many online schools offer opportunities to specialize in certain areas of beauty, including nail technicians and estheticians. These types of degrees call for both a certificate and a license to practice at salons or spas.
Also falling under the umbrella of personal care is personal trainer/instructor. This type of career would allow a person to work with clients one-on-one or as a group. Personal trainers can pick a specific type of activity to teach, including yoga, Pilates, or aerobics.
Examples of online trade schools include Purdue University Global, ITT Technical Institute, and University of Phoenix. Whether you’re ready to start your career or want to go back to school to switch careers, online trade schools are a great option to let you learn on your schedule while you keep your day job. Before you select a school, make sure it is accredited. Accredited schools typically have more financial aid options available to students, and are held to particular standards, so when you graduate, you’re more likely to land the job you want.