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Philadelphia Vocational Schools

As of 2014, the city of Philadelphia boasted a population of approximately 1.56 million residents. This made Philadelphia the largest city in Pennsylvania so far, which is testament to its popularity among city newcomers and businesses alike.

Philadelphia was also home to seven Fortune 1000 companies as of 2014. That list includes top employers such as Aramark, Chemtura, Comcast, Crown Holdings, FMC and Urban Outfitters. Dominant industries in the area include:

  • Health care
  • Higher education
  • Banking and finance
  • Communications

At $37,192, median household income in Philadelphia was lower than the median income state-wide, which was $52,548 in 2014. Low housing prices helped offset that disparity, however. As of 2013, the median housing value in Philadelphia was only $142,500. That year, 23.9 percent of Philadelphia adults held a Bachelor's degree, and 81.2 percent held a high school diploma or better. The city is also known for its phenomenal art and numerous sculptures, in addition to its 67 national historic monuments. New residents will also find array of parks and natural areas, plenty of cultural flair, and a bustling nightlife.

To learn more about the local economy and one of the trade schools in Philadelphia, we reached out to Wendy-Anne Johnson, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Career Center/Computer Technology Institute of Philadelphia.

What are the top vocational jobs/industries in Philadelphia?

Top jobs continue to be in health care, education, business services, and hospitality, in that order. These industries have the highest levels of growth (all over 10 percent) since 2007. Metropolitan Career Center (MCC) and its career and vocational college, Computer Technology Institute (CTI) prepares students for entry-level positions in most of these industries. MCC provides basic work readiness education and industry certifications that prepare participants for entry level jobs in the health care and hospitality industries. CTI offers three associate degrees in information technology (IT) with majors in Computer Support Specialist, Software, and Web Design; and a diploma in Health Information Technology (HIT) preparing participants for family sustaining wage jobs in health care and business services. MCC and CTI help participants see their career pathways and their earning potential.

Which industries are growing in Philadelphia?

I am not aware of specific growth target areas. However, growth is expected to continue in health care, education, business services, and hospitality.

Why would you recommend someone move to Philadelphia?

Philadelphia has experienced significant growth in employment opportunities. There are more people employed and more people in the labor force than before the recession. Unemployment levels are still not back to pre-recession levels, but continue to decline.

What unique vocational programs does your school offer?

MCC and CTI:

  • Offer a supportive learning environment helping students reduce the barriers of transportation, child care, housing, etc. that could affect their participation in their educational programs.
  • Offer a small, personalized learning environment to ensure that no student "falls between the cracks." Graduates consistently praise staff for the level of support that they provide.
  • Offer externships to provide students practical experience in their field of study prior to employment
  • Provide employment assistance helping students with their search, interviews, and employment placement
  • Provide a continuum of education such that participants receiving MCC's work ready training can move seamlessly into CTI college level programs preparing them for advanced employment opportunities
  • Successfully prepare even the most vulnerable students for family sustaining careers and economic independence.

With funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, MCC is part of a six-city national pilot project with a goal to help low-income, working parents receive training and supports to help them move up the economic ladder. This is a great time for workers looking to advance their careers in the information technology and health information technology fields to seek education and training through MCC and CTI.

About the Expert

Wendy-Anne Johnson is an Executive Director of the Metropolitan Career Center/Computer Technology Institute of Philadelphia.


  1. Interview with Wendy-Anne Johnson, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Career Center/Computer Technology Institute of Philadelphia, September 28, 2015, Contact: Patricia Griffin <pgriffin@phmc.org>
  2. Leading Employers, Select Greater Philadelphia, http://www.selectgreaterphiladelphia.com/industries/leading-employers/
  3. State & County QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, Philadelphia, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/42/4260000.html
Vocational Schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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