College Prep or Vocational Training

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East Austin: College Prep vs. Vocational Training

As you near the end of high school and begin thinking about your career, one of the most important questions to ask is how to continue your education. You may choose to enroll in East Austin college prep programs to get ready for applying to college, or you might instead look into vocational schools.

Both options have their advantages, and you must decide between them on the basis of: 

Available Opportunities
The first step in choosing between East Austin college prep and vocational training is to determine what opportunities are available in the area. Of course, you don’t have to stay in Austin, but remaining in the same town will make education cheaper and more convenient. Prospective college students have the opportunity to attend the East Austin College Prep organization, or EAPrep, which offers college preparation courses to all students between 2nd and 11th grade.

The school does not charge tuition, and offers training in science, math, leadership, the arts, and a myriad of other subjects. Once you’ve completed college prep and high school, you can attend college at the University of Texas at Austin, Concordia University, St. Edwards University, and a wide range of other schools in Austin. East Austin citizens who want to attend trade school also have a range of options.

These include the Southern Careers Institute, the ITT Technical Institute, the Austin Dental Assistant School, the Everest Institute, the Texas Computer Training Institute, and Baldwin Beauty Schools.  

Form of Education
Vocational schools and colleges have two separate education philosophies, each of which is valuable to certain types of students. Colle colleges focus on teaching students how to think and communicate. College students graduate with strong writing, research, and analytical skills, all of which are valuable for a wide range of jobs. They do not graduate, however, with a clear idea of how to do any particular job. By contrast, vocational schools focus on teaching students how to perform specific tasks. Their emphasis on hands-on training gives students a strong internal sense of how to do their jobs, allowing them to immediately accept a job and do it competently.  

Job Outlook
Vocational training prepares students for jobs in high growth sectors, such as medical billing and coding, pharmacy tech, and business accounting. The job market in all of these fields is growing much faster than that for the economy as a whole, virtually guaranteeing that tech school graduates will be able to find and keep gainful employment for the foreseeable future. By contrast, college graduates often study to be journalists, chemical engineers, teachers, and business managers. Many of these fields have experienced slow job growth over the past few years, and some have been shedding jobs, making it more difficult for college graduates to find and keep jobs.

The better job market for vocational school grads is to some extent balanced out by lower earnings. College graduates earn a median yearly salary of $46,900, compared to only $35,720 for trade school graduates. This figure is misleading, however, as it ignores the potential for wage growth in vocational school professions. For example, whereas medical office specialists make a median yearly salary of $35,330, the highest paid specialists make more than $57,000.

Those who attend vocational schools are more likely to rise to these higher paid positions.   Vocational schools and colleges both have their respective advantages. Make sure to consider your learning preferences, interests, and finances before deciding between the two. If you seek more information on East Austin college prep, vocational schools, and a wide range of other education issues, the Southern Careers Institute is happy to help.

Want to learn more about how National Certifications might help you in today’s job market?

What SCI Students Are Saying

“I made a complete career change when I started my training at Southern Careers Institute. I needed a stable career to continue providing for my growing family. SCI provided me with the medical terminology and know how that I needed to understand and acquire a career in the medical field. SCI taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now; you always have room to advance and learn.”


Denise S.
Medical Assistant

“I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received from SCI’s Career Services team. I enjoy where I work and what I do. SCI has helped me succeed in life by getting me the necessary education and by making me a stronger and more confident person.”


Raquel S.

“Once I graduated from SCI, I had a sense of accomplishment that helped me through the job search process. SCI provided me with the opportunity to brush up on my skills, extend my accounting knowledge, and they boosted my self-confidence. I went to work two days after my last day of school.”


Annette D.
Business Accounting

“When my youngest child graduated from high school, I told my husband that it was my time. I went back to school to change careers after spending 37 years in the business field. At SCI, the instructors are professional, and they care about what they are teaching you, as well as expect you to give 100% in return. I had problems understanding how to draw in syringes and give injections. I requested extra help from a knowledgeable instructor, and I was able to receive one-on-one training. Today, I draw injections for approximately 100 patients each week. I am very confident in what I’ve learned. SCI has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do. Thank you for my education. I am doing wonderful.”


Bonnie M
Medical Assistant

“I am now a certified Lab Tech. SCI helped me get an externship, and I came out with a job. After my little sister had cancer, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field that allowed me to help others. I am happy about what I do.”


Sidney B
Medical Assistant

“The best place ever!! Ms.Tonia rocks she is the best teacher… I love going to school my time there is amazing.”


Andrea Garcia

“Southern Careers went beyond my expectations. Very impressed. The assistance I got from Career Services is truly amazing. They really went out of their way to get me placed. They really care and I am grateful to all of them.”


Olga C.

“Southern Careers Institute totally surpassed my expectations. Once I finished school, the Career Services team helped me find a job. I would tell anyone thinking about starting career training that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I wish I would have started my training sooner.”


Valerie D.

“I am very happy with where I am and where I’m going. Through high school, I struggled with math. When I came to SCI, I enrolled in the Business Accounting Specialist program to see if I could do it. SCI provided me with the accounting skills I needed to help me find a career. Now, I have an amazing career and room to grow in the company.”


Crystal H.
Business Accounting

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