Job seekers have plenty of career options in Indiana. The state's key industries include diverse fields such as aerospace, agriculture and cybersecurity. It also leads the nation in job creation for the manufacturing sector, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
Major employers in Indianapolis include healthcare provider Community Health Network, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and biotech firm Roche Diagnostics. Many high demand jobs at these and other employers statewide are open to those without a bachelor's degree.
The State of Indiana says general and operations managers, medical assistants and plumbers are among the hottest occupations in the state. These can be high-paying jobs, and you don't need a four-year degree to fill them. Overall, 55% of good jobs in Indiana - those with median incomes of $55,000 and that pay workers younger than 45 at least $35,000 - are held by people without bachelor's degrees, says the non-profit Advance CTE.
Why is Indiana Good for Vocational Schools?
About a third of all degrees and postsecondary awards in Indiana in 2017 were associate degrees and certificates, according to Advance CTE. What's more, 96 percent of career technical education graduates had a job, were enrolled in additional education or had entered the military within six months of finishing their program.
A solid job placement rate is only one reason to attend one of the best vocational schools in Indiana. You're also likely to pay less tuition at public technical schools. In online trade schools in Indiana, you can even eliminate commuting and room and board expenses. Other perks of a trade school are the opportunity to start your new career in less than half the time it takes to earn a bachelor's degree. In the case of some certificate programs, you may only have to go to school for one semester.
Highest-Paying and Fastest-Growing Careers in Indiana
Financial Aid for Vocational Students in Indiana
Affordable tuition is one benefit of career colleges in Indiana. For instance, Ivy Tech Community College says its cost is less than half that of other colleges and universities. Since students usually attend a technical school for no more than two years and commute rather than live on campus, that further reduces the overall price tag of their education. Those attending online trade schools in Indiana can eliminate commuting costs by studying from home.
Indiana scholarships and other financial aid programs can reduce the cost of attendance even further. In Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019, the State of Indiana set aside more than $686 million for state financial aid support. The state ranked 11th in the nation when it came to state grant aid per undergraduate student for the 2016-2017 school year, according to the College Board.
The following are a few of the student assistance programs available. To receive financial aid in Indiana, you first need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. For more about the FAFSA and how to apply for financial aid in Indiana, check out the RWM Financial Aid Guide.
- Frank O'Bannon Grant: This need-based grant is one of the main financial aid programs in Indiana. It provides eligible students with up $3,400 for propriety and Ivy Tech colleges in 2019. There are also additional award incentives for students who have achieved certain performance measures such as earning an associate degree or enrolling on an accelerated schedule.
- Adult Student Grant: This Indiana grant provides up to $2,000 to independent students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled in a certificate, associate degree or bachelor's degree program.
- Workforce Ready Grant: Students enrolled in certain high-value certificate programs at Ivy Tech Community College can have their tuition and fees covered by a Workforce Ready Grant. The program currently covers certificates in five fields including advanced manufacturing and health sciences.
Initiatives for Vocational Students in Indiana
Students at career schools in Indiana are supported in a variety of ways, such as through the following funding and initatives:
- For 2019-2020, Indiana provides state schools with CTE course funding that ranges from $150 for apprenticeships to $680 for high value programs in fields such as automotive service technology and precision machining.
- Compared to Fiscal Year 2019, Indiana state funding for Ivy Tech Community College is increasing 1.5% for Fiscal Year 2020 and 3.4% for Fiscal Year 2021.
Indiana policies that benefit vocational students
- Through the 21st Century Scholarship program, Indiana students can receive up to four years of undergraduate tuition by completing 12 college readiness activities during their high school years.
- EARN Indiana is a work-study program that pays students for internships and similar experiential learning opportunities.
School-specific program initiatives in Indiana
- Dual credit programs are offered by both public and private colleges in Indiana. They allow high school students to earn college credit early.
- Online trade schools in Indiana aren't limited to the postsecondary level. The Indiana Connections Career Academy offers online CTE classes for high school students in the state.
Resources for Vocational Students and Vocational Job Seekers
- The Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation for colleges and universities in Indiana. You can search its website for accredited institutions.
- For information on Indiana scholarships, grants and tuition-free training programs, visit the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
- Explore careers, prepare for college and research costs on the Learn More Indiana website which is maintained by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.