Are you ready to seek career training or additional education in order to land your desired position? College may seem like too much of an expense. 

What if you can’t obtain financial assistance? Does piling up student debt really pay off? What if something unexpected happened before you achieved a degree and you were still responsible for significant student debt? How would you fit classes in with family responsibilities over a number of years? 

While vocational school may seem like a better choice than a traditional college education, it also has its drawbacks. A career training program, on the other hand, could offer the features you are seeking.

In this post, we will explore the features of vocational schools versus those of career training programs like the one we offer through CrossPurpose in Denver.  

Find Your Dream Career

Quality of instruction is a priority of course. However, it’s also essential to ensure the training program you choose offers courses for careers in demand currently. And, to be truly effective, the facility implementing the program should provide assistance in landing a suitable position upon program completion.

This quote from a post featured by the Brookings Institute, notes the recent rise of more effective types of career training programs. These recently formed programs focus on career skills appropriate for success in today’s times. They also offer job placement assistance:

“Since the War on Poverty public policy has supported a web of job training programs, often income targeted and aimed at people in labor market difficulty. Too often these programs were short-term, connected neither to employers nor to labor market demand, and of highly variable quality. All of this was reflected in the discouraging evaluation literature. The good news is that in the past decade or so a new model, often termed intermediaries or sectoral programs, has emerged and been shown to be substantially more successful in connecting people to good jobs and raising earnings. “

—Paul Osterman, NTU Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management in: “Employment and training for mature adults: The current system and moving forward”

It’s time to get started on the path to a promising future in a career field you find rewarding. Review the following information, then take steps toward getting enrolled in the type of career training program that seems best for your situation.   

What Is Vocational School?

Vocational schools offer career-focused training in fields like healthcare, manufacturing, and technology. Students learn skills for the career they choose. After receiving a certificate or degree, graduates pursue careers in that field. 

Here is the definition of vocational education sourced from the National Center for Educational Statistics.

“The 1990 Perkins Act defines vocational education as “organized educational programs offering a sequence of courses which are directly related to the preparation of individuals in paid or unpaid employment in current or emerging occupations requiring other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree.” While vocational education is provided at both the secondary and postsecondary levels, its focus differs somewhat at each level.”

Generally, some instruction takes place in the classroom, some on the job in a specially constructed simulation of on-the-job conditions, and/or in a real-world career setting, such as a health care facility, or car repair shop.

What Is Career Training?

Career training is a condensed program of instruction and personalized coaching that offers many of the same benefits of vocational school without the cost. It offers the means to complete a certification in a chosen career field and provides a more flexible path to a meaningful, well-paying career with advancement opportunities and benefits. 


There are various considerations. But these three factors are of greatest importance when choosing a form of career-specific education. 

  1. Time
  2. Cost
  3. Job placement.

Here is an overview of what each option generally offers regarding these features.

Vocational School Features

1. Time required for vocational school program completion

The time required to complete a vocational training program can extend up to two years depending upon the type and scope of the career program. Vocational programs can normally be completed in a shorter time period than a college degree would require, but they usually take longer than most career training programs.

2. Cost of a vocational school program

This varies, depending upon the specific school and program. According to the Center on Education and the Workforce, publicly operated vocational programs generally cost up to $7,000 per year, while for-profit ones can cost nearly $20,000 per year.

3. Do vocational schools offer job placement? 

Sometimes vocational schools offer references regarding job openings. But that’s not always the case. Vocational schools often leave the task of actually finding a position for the student. 

Career Training Features

1. Time required for program completion 

The time from signup to career start is usually much shorter with career training rather than a vocational school program. Months, rather than years, are all that stand between you and a rewarding career position. At CrossPurpose, our career training program takes only six months to complete.

2. Cost of the program

These programs are usually significantly less expensive than vocational school tuition totals. CrossPurpose career training programs are tuition-free and may include a potential stipend of up to $200 per month.

 3. Job placement assistance 

Specialized career training programs are often focused upon assisting with placement. Many, including CrossPurpose, work with students all the way until employment is achieved. 

The conclusion

The length of the program, job site training schedules, and cost required by vocational schools can be demanding. They can interfere with family and part-time employment obligations. Career training programs are more manageable and can put you in the workforce within six months — all without costing you a penny!

You must make your own choice, based on the career you are considering and your circumstances, but career training certainly offers many benefits. 

CrossPurpose focuses on expediting your career development process, minus tuition costs. Our career guidance service puts people into the career they desire faster than traditional two-year vocational schools. 

If career training sounds interesting, contact us in Denver to learn more about becoming a Leader. Or, perhaps refer a friend or family member for whom Cross Purpose’s career training program may be the right choice for achieving success.

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