What Is Career Education?

Career education helps a person develop the knowledge and skills they need to choose and pursue a career path. Read on to learn more about career education for students and adults.

Description of Career Education Programs

Career education often refers to vocational training for a specific job field. Instead of focusing on academic subjects, a student learns the tools of an occupation through hands-on training. Example occupational fields include welding, commercial truck driving, plumbing, cosmetology and automotive technology, among others.

Programs vary considerably in length. For example, an associate's degree in automotive technology typically takes two years to earn, while a shorter certificate program in diesel technology may take only 3-6 months. If you're interested in becoming a plumber, your career education may take as long as 4-5 years, since an apprenticeship is the standard path to the profession. A program in commercial truck driving may be as short as four weeks in length.

Career Education Availability

Many of these programs are available through community colleges, vocational schools and local unions. In addition, many states have career centers that work with people in need of education options that are an alternative or an addition to a college education. While some programs expect entrants to hold a high school diploma or its equivalent, other programs may admit you without such a credential, though remedial coursework could be necessary. Bear in mind that an entrance or placement test could be required as well.

Undergraduate Career Education Centers

Career education may also refer to centers or departments at colleges and universities that help students plan their career paths. Undergraduate students may have access to career counselors, as well as internship opportunities, interview preparation resources and job postings. Career counselors can help a student make informed decisions about internships and graduate schools. Help with developing resumes is also available.

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