Georgia is home the world's busiest airport, diverse industry and over ten million residents. It is also a great place to earn a quality education, with 20 public four-year institutions, an impressive 46 public two-year institutions, and a multitude of private schools, vocational and technical schools, career schools, and online universities.
Industries that employ technical and manual services and procedural knowledge are best for students of technical schools.
The cost of living in the state is consistently lower than the national average; in some cases, much lower. For instance, housing costs are exceptionally low compared to the national average. In addition, employment in the state looks promising. Those who choose to earn a certificate, diploma or degree from Georgia vocational schools might be surprised to see so many options available in the fields of health care, law, web development and more.
Trends at Georgia Trade Schools
Many colleges in Georgia are poised to meet the demand of a growing economy. As more employers look toward students who can move immediately into the workforce upon graduation, workers who have an associate degree, certificate or diploma are expected to be in higher demand.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the most common associate degrees and postsecondary certifications in the state include some of the following majors of study:
- Health sciences: Certificates and associate degrees in health care are popular across almost all states. This industry has been growing, as well as the number of associate-level credentials available. Nursing, medical assisting, health care technologist, and health care administration are just a few of the popular health care programs that students can choose from. Most of these programs take anywhere from one to three years to complete.
- Manufacturing, construction, repair and transportation: This field is often the second-most popular vocational area of focus because it encompasses so many of the skilled trades. Most students who are training in a certain trade will attend a school specific to that area, such as welding, boilermaker, electrical work, roofing, etc. Students in this industry are commonly trained on the job or through a program for a large commercial company such as Ford Motors. Some colleges in Georgia also offer programs for these trades, which typically last anywhere from six months to three years.
- Business management: A popular bachelor's degree, the business major can also be applied to associate degrees and certifications. An associate degree in business can lead to a number of different careers in finance, management, marketing, and more. Many people choose to earn a business degree to boost their resume and help bump them up to the next level in their career. A business degree could also be really helpful to those that want to own their own small business.
- Computer and information sciences: Most people consider a bachelor's degree to be standard in the computers and information technology sector. However, this industry is becoming more and more catered toward technical degrees. Many employers have a large number of positions that they need filled quickly, so that's where technical training comes in. You can attend coding and computer classes for anywhere from a few months to two years, and end up with all the necessary skills for an entry-level position.
In addition, schools in Georgia tend to have some of the lowest costs of completion in the United States, ranked in the top five, with excellent funding opportunities on the state and local level. All of this combines to create a very favorable atmosphere for those who are considering earning a degree or certificate from schools here.
Careers for Graduates of Georgia Vocational Schools
Students who attend school here may consider moving into the workforce in this state specifically. BLS data has showed a higher-than-average demand for electricians, supervisors of construction trades and laborers, plumbers, community association managers, real estate sales agents, sales reps, office supervisors, and more. Graduates of Georgia colleges may expect diverse job opportunities in the coming years.
Below is a chart that shows examples of skilled-trade and vocational jobs available in Georgia, including recent salary and employment data:
|Career||Total Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||22,180||37,760|
|Brickmasons and Blockmasons||750||34,290|
|Construction and Building Inspectors||2,040||52,250|
|Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers||8,850||43,710|
|Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters||8,220||44,410|
|Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers||10,180||35,440|
Expert Advice on Vocational Education in Georgia
Hans Hanson of Total College Advisory spoke with us about the exceptional opportunities available to vocational or technical school graduates in Georgia and beyond.
Hans Hanson of CollegeLogic & Total College Advisory has earned his MBA degree in Finance from the Marist College.
RWM: How do employers view vocational education, as opposed to a four-year degree?
Hanson: Employers are looking for students with definable attributes, knowledge and skills, that qualify themselves for jobs worthy of pay. How employers view technical education depends on the job. Employers generally view four-year degrees as academic programs providing students with general subject knowledge. Rather, employers view vocational and technical education as specific training programs providing students with practical knowledge. Vocational and technical education delivers well on definable attributes with study programs of which are focus-oriented on delivering applied knowledge and skills rather than general education.
RWM: What should students look for in a vocational program?
Hanson: Students should look for schools that specialize in certain jobs and career paths. They should zero-in on schools delivering strong internship and co-op programs. They should seek out schools known for getting their students involved in the academic community of the college and the working community of the area. They should attend schools that offer students a direct path to employment for the vocation or technical skill for which they are educating.
RWM: Which industries are suited for graduates of technical schools?
Hanson: Industries that employ technical and manual services and procedural knowledge are best for students of technical schools. These industries require their workforce to contribute on day one of employment. They don't have lengthy in-house training programs. Their market does not support training costs and rookie mistakes. Rather, they need their employees to come to work equipped and qualified for service immediately.
RWM: What are the most popular two-year degree programs for students?
Hanson: Of the top 30 growth jobs being projected for the next decade, almost half of them are best suited for two-year degree programs. In top demand include:
- - Service technicians for installation and repair of home-related systems
- - Service associates for healthcare and entry level nursing
- - Office administration and support staff for businesses
- - Customer service representatives for organizations
- - Technical support for technology and communication companies (systems, services, devices)
- - Maintenance workers for buildings and towns
- - Heavy equipment operators for construction companies
- - Engine and auto repair technicians
- - Food-service and culinary staff professionals
- - Athletic and physical development trainers
Vocational schools in Georgia offer students the opportunity to blaze their own path through a promising career. It all begins with learning more about the school that's best suited for you, so check out the listings below to find a match.
Financial Aid for Students in Georgia
Even vocational school can be expensive, and many students turn to federal or state financial aid to help pay for their tuition. The recommended program to start with is FAFSA, a nationwide financial aid program. This application is often used as a base requirement for hundreds of other state-specific scholarships and grants.
State-funded financial aid programs may ask for your FAFSA application in order to apply. Most are for Georgia residents only, and typically have a number of other requirements, such as a high GPA or a serious financial need. Here are a few examples:
- Zell Miller Scholarship – This is an award for Georgia residents, specifically for students with high academic achievements. Students typically also must show a financial need to qualify for this scholarship.
- HOPE GED Grant – This grant could be a good choice for students considering attending a vocational school here. It’s for Georgia residents who earned a GED, and must be used at a state college or school.
- Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant – This grant is also for Georgia residents, and it’s specifically for students who are earning a certificate or diploma.
- Scholarship for Engineering Education for Minorities (MSEE) – This is a loan for qualified workers in the state. The loan balance can be reduced if the student stays in state after graduating, to work in engineering. This is only available for certain Georgia vocational schools.
Vocational schools can offer students the opportunity to blaze their own path through a promising career. It all begins with learning more about the school that's best suited for you, so check out the listings below to find a match.
- Career/Technical Education (CTE) Statistics, Georgia, National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/ctes/tables/index.asp?LEVEL=COLLEGE
- Cost of Living in Georgia, Sperling's Best Places, http://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/state/georgia
- Georgia, Leaders & Laggards, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/reportcard/georgia/
- Georgia Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
- Georgia Quick Facts, U.S. Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13000.html
- Georgia's Hot Careers to 2022, Georgia Department of Labor, http://explorer.dol.state.ga.us/mis/current/hot_careers_current.pdf
- Interview with Hans Hanson of Total College Advisory