Computer vocational schools typically offer a mix of classes to help students better understand complex computer programs, such as Microsoft Office, accounting and financial software, medical billing and coding, or graphic design programs. On the other side, computer vocational schools may also offer instruction in specific computer fields such as information technology, computer repair, networking, computer support or server/database administration.
Computer vocational schools may also offer education for careers in any number of technical fields, from working as entry-level computer support specialists to network and security technicians -- though more complex and technical jobs, such as computer programming or hardware engineering, require students to earn a bachelor's degree or higher from a four-year college or university.
Computer vocational schools provide a broad base from which students can choose specializations. Study of technical subjects may include:
- Information technology
- Network management
- Systems analysis
- Video game design
- Website design
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), demand is on the rise for well-trained computer specialists, programmers and network administrators and other related careers.
Certifications and degree programs
Just a few decades ago, a bachelor's degree in computer science was the primary degree path for information technology (I.T.) majors. Now students can pursue study in a wide range of different technical careers. Computer schools typically offer diplomas or certificates of achievement, while some may offer associate or even bachelor's or master's degree programs. Many programs are campus based, but a growing number of I.T. technology programs are available through hybrid or online courses.
Educational requirements vary greatly, the BLS reports. For some entry-level careers, employers accept certificates or diplomas, while positions with a higher degree of responsibility require a minimum of a bachelor's degree and completion of advanced certification programs.
Salary and career outlook for some computer fields
Salaries in computer fields also cover a wide range. Computer support specialists earned a national annual median wage of $46,620, the BLS reported in May 2013, while network support specialists earned $60,180 median during that same time frame.
|Career||Annual Median Wage||Projected Employment Change||Projected 2012-2022 Growth|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||131600||53700||15.4|
|Computer Systems Analysts||85800||118600||20.9|
Of the 3.5 million workers employed in computer and mathematical occupations in May 2013, close to 1 million worked in computer design and related services. Areas with a strong technical presence -- Silicon Valley, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia -- employ the greatest number of computer workers.
Some students who study at computer vocational schools seek computer knowledge and skills so crucial in today's tech-driven world.
- Computer Network Support Specialists, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151152.htm
- Computer User Support Specialists, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151151.htm
- Occupational Employment Statistics, National Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#15-0000
- Computer Support Specialists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm