Five Popular Cities for Vocational Students
Although vocational schools can be found nationwide, some areas are notable for the number of schools and variety of programs available. Fields of study can include business, computers, culinary arts, fashion and design, health care, legal studies and many others. In a 2008 study of 5,730 postsecondary career and technical schools by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the five states with the most career and technical schools, also known as vocational schools, were California, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, and Illinois.
These five cities in those vocational-education-rich states also have solid economies and a pleasant lifestyle, making them good places to live, study, and work.
San Diego, California: Mecca for vacation and vocation
California boasts 536 vocational schools, with 149 four-year schools, 181 two-year schools and 206 schools with less than a two-year program, according to NCES. The southernmost major city in California, San Diego is a vacation mecca that also has many vocational schools. The California Employment Development Department lists registered nurses, electricians, computer support specialists, truck drivers and executive secretaries as the most popular job occupations in San Diego that are available through a vocational education.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Steel City's future looks bright
This historic state has 353 vocational schools, including 128 four-year schools, 128 two-year schools and 102 schools with less than a two-year program, according to NCES. Pittsburgh alone has more than 25 vocational schools that offer a variety of programs including diesel technology, fiber optics and welding. According to the Milken Institute, Pittsburgh moved from 109th on its 2009 list of best economic performing metropolitan areas to 32nd in 2010, one of the five biggest gains on the list--Pittsburgh's economy is looking bright.
Houston, Texas: You won't be alone in booming Lone Star State
With 349 vocational schools, including 87 four-year schools, 113 two-year schools and 140 schools offering less than a two-year program, Texas offers a robust variety of educational options. Houston is the Lone Star state's largest city, with employment opportunities in aeronautics, bio-tech, energy, health care and IT. The metropolitan area containing Baytown, Houston and Sugar Land was named by Milken Institute as one of the top 10 best economic performing cities in 2010.
Tampa Bay, Florida: Top industries have something for everyone
The Sunshine State's 268 vocational institutions include 96 four-year schools, 94 two-year schools and 78 offering less than a two-year program. In 2009, the top companies in Tampa were in a mixed bag of industries including IT, electronic components manufacturing, energy, investments and banking, managed health plans, respiratory therapy services and steel production and recycling. Tampa has more than 20 vocational schools with educational programs that could give you the edge in any of these industries.
Chicago, Illinois: Windy City's opportunities might blow you away
Illinois has 228 technical schools, with 85 four-year institutions, 68 two-year schools and 75 offering less than a two-year program. Top 10 Chicago employers include the city, county, state and federal governments; Advocate Health Care; UPS; grocery and retail stores; Jewel-Osco and Wal-Mart; and SBC Communications. Graduates of one of the many vocational schools in the Chicago metro area could choose from a number of careers from health care, business or computer technology. Plus, Chicago offers exceptional music and dining venues, a number of major league sports teams and lots to do for the outdoor enthusiast.
And there's more
These are only five of the cities that are popular with vocational school applicants. Check out vocational schools in one of these cities, or look for those in your own community to provide you with the education you need. In addition, career and technical schools may also offer online programs, which are popular with today's busy vocational school applicants.