Are you at a crossroads in your career path? Are you considering technical schools and business schools? If you are wondering how to research and apply to local technical schools, here are some tips that may help:
Research the Job Outlook
If you want to attend a technical school, you will want your new career to be in a field that is projected to grow over the coming years. The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good place to learn about job outlooks for the future. This online resource contains descriptions of hundreds of careers, and helps users determine which fields are high-growth and fast-growing fields. For each career, the handbook has easy-to-click tabs that describe “what they do,” “how to become one,” “pay,” “work environment,” “job outlook,” and more.
Consider Who You Know
As you are narrowing down the fields that seem interesting to you, consider the people you know. Is there someone you know who really loves his or her job? Do you have relatives or friends who are enjoying careers in some of the fields you just researched? Try talking with someone about their job to get an idea of the training they received, the technical schools they attended, and the every-day responsibilities of the job.
Find a Technical School that Offers Training in Your Selected Field
Next it is time to start researching the technical schools and business schools in your local area. The College Navigator, maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics, is a useful resource. It contains a search tool that allows you to limit the search to a certain number of miles from your home. It also allows you to search for 4-year, 2-year, or less-than-2-year schools. Once you find the schools near you, you can visit their websites to see if they offer the programs that interest you.
Select an Accredited School
You will also want to be sure that you choose a school that is accredited. An accredited school has been approved by an accrediting agency by meeting the agency’s standards. The U.S. government provides the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs where you can simply type in the name of the technical school or business school to find out if it is accredited.
Call and Visit the School
Once you have found a few accredited technical schools that offer programs that interest you, it is time to learn more about them. Call the schools, and ask to set up a tour. When you go on your tour, ask some questions, such as:
- Does the facility feel welcoming?
- Do the classrooms appear to be modern and up-to-date?
- Is there equipment in the classrooms for hands-on learning opportunities?
- Does the school offer both day and evening classes?
- What is the class schedule for your chosen program?
- Does the school offer internships or externships where you can get “on-the-job” training?
- Does the school have financial aid advisors to help you learn about financing options?
- Does the school have a Career Services department to help you plan your job search?
Once you find a school that meets all your criteria, you can speak with the Admissions Representatives about how to enroll. By following these steps, you should be able to find a technical school or business school that matches your needs.