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Indiana Vocational Schools and Trade Schools

Department of Education - Indiana

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.

Top Vocational Schools in Indiana

The best trade schools in Indiana include both public and private institutions. We ranked the schools based on factors like tuition and graduation rates, using data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. Based on our analysis, we came up with the following list of trade schools in Indiana worth considering.

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Methodology

Average In-state Tuition
$4,135
No. of Online Programs
235
% of Students in Distance Education
49%
Net Price of Aid
$6,423
Retention Rate
50%
Graduation Rate
16%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes

Ivy Tech Community College is the state's only public community college offering both academic degrees and career technical education. It has more than 40 campus locations that offer associate degrees, diplomas and CTE certification. Indiana students have access to a low tuition rate and can choose to study on-campus or online in many programs. Despite being the largest public college in Indiana, the school provides personalized attention and classes have an average of 22 students.

What vocational programs Ivy Tech offers: Ivy Tech offers four types of education and training programs: degrees, certificates, technical certificates and workforce certifications. These span more than 75 areas of study including popular fields such as business administration, pipefitting and medical assisting. Some programs, such as the certificate in entrepreneurship and associate degree in paralegal studies, can be earned online.

Average In-state Tuition
$18,500
No. of Online Programs
4
% of Students in Distance Education
61%
Net Price of Aid
N/A
Retention Rate
75%
Graduation Rate
56%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes

With 40 campus locations across the country, Fortis College is a private institution focused on healthcare and skilled trades training. It provides flexible learning options including evening classes and online degrees. At Fortis in Indianapolis, students are taught by qualified staff and can earn either a degree or a diploma. The school has been a part of Fortis since 2016.

What vocational programs Fortis offers: The vocational programs at Fortis College in Indianapolis cover the fields of nursing, dental assisting, medical assisting and HVACR. The school's associate degree in nursing is a hybrid program which combines on-campus and online courses. Meanwhile, the HVACR technician training program focuses on hands-on instruction that ensure graduates have the skills needed to work with the latest technology and equipment.

Average In-state Tuition
$13,960
No. of Online Programs
16
% of Students in Distance Education
N/A
Net Price of Aid
N/A
Retention Rate
90%
Graduation Rate
79%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes

Offering career-focused education programs, International Business College-Indianapolis says it wants to help its students finish first. Like other career and technical schools in Indiana, the school awards associate degrees and diplomas. However, students can learn at an accelerated pace. That makes it possible to earn an associate degree in as little as 16 months or graduate with a diploma in 10 months.

What vocational programs IBC offers: IBC-Indianapolis offer ten programs in fields such as health care and technology. Within each program, there is an emphasis on teaching practical skills and preparing students for professional credentials, when appropriate. For instance, students enrolled in the veterinary technology program work under the supervision of vet techs and faculty so they are ready to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam after graduation.

Average In-state Tuition
N/A
No. of Online Programs
12
% of Students in Distance Education
N/A
Net Price of Aid
N/A
Retention Rate
62%
Graduation Rate
50%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes

Founded in 1946, Lincoln Technical Institute operates schools in 14 states. Among these is the Lincoln College of Technology-Indianapolis, one of the best career and technical schools in Indiana. The college offers hands-on training from instructors who have demonstrated experience in their industry. Students can choose from diploma and degree programs.

What vocational programs Lincoln Tech offers: Located just 10 miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it's not surprising that automotive technology is a popular program at Lincoln Tech. Students learn in a 126,000-square-foot training center which also houses collision repair and diesel and truck technology programs. Meanwhile, those who study electrical and electronic systems technology practice hands-on skills in an on-campus smart house. Other diploma and degree programs teach CNC machining and manufacturing technology as well as welding and metal fabrication.

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.

Article Sources
Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard, we generated a list of schools that met the following criteria:

  • Institution type is less than 2 years, greater than 2 & less than 4 years
  • Accredited by at least 1 agency (institutional accreditation)
  • The school falls under one of the following classifications: (Carnegie Classification 2015: Undergraduate Instructional Program)
    • Associate's Colleges: Mixed Transfer/Vocational & Technical
      • These institutions awarded associate's degrees but no bachelor's degrees with 30-49% of awards (degrees and certificates) in career & technical programs.
  • Associate's Colleges: High Vocational & Technical

    • These institutions awarded associate's degrees but no bachelor's degrees with more than 50% of awards (degrees and certificates) in career & technical programs.
  • Special Focus: Two-Year Institution

    • These institutions awarded associate's degrees but no bachelor's degrees with typically more than 75% of awards in a single career & technical program

We ranked the resulting colleges on the following criteria:

  1. Cost of attendance, based on the average net price for students receiving scholarship and grant aid, and the total cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016-17
  2. No. of Associate degree and undergraduate Certificate programs offered, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016-17
  3. Percent of undergraduate students enrolled in any distance education classes, National Center for Education Statistics, 2017
  4. Full-time student retention rate & part-time retention rate (if full-time retention rate is not available, then use part-time retention rate), National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2017
  5. The graduation rate in 150% time, National Center for Education Statistics, 2017-18
  6. Percent of students working and not enrolled 6 years after entry, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  7. Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2017-18
    1. Academic and career counseling
    2. Job placement services for graduates
    3. Mean annual earnings for students working 10 years after entry, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  8. Mean annual earnings for students working 10 years after entry, College Scorecard, 2014-15
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Article Sources

Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2017-18, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2014-15, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
  • Indiana, Advance CTE, Accessed August 2019, https://careertech.org/Indiana
  • Industries, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Accessed August 2019, https://www.iedc.in.gov/industries
  • Major Employers for Marion County, Hoosiers by the Numbers, Accessed August 2019, http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/major_employers.asp?areaID=097
  • INDemandJobs, IndianaCareerReady, Accessed August 2019, https://indianacareerready.com/Indemandjobs?nav=jobseeker
  • About Ivy Tech Community College, Ivy Tech Community College, Accessed August 2019, https://www.ivytech.edu/about/index.html
  • Degrees & Certificates, Ivy Tech Community College, Accessed August 2019, https://www.ivytech.edu/degrees/index.html
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed August 2019, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator
  • Fortis College in Indianapolis, Accessed August 2019, https://www.fortis.edu/campuses/indiana/indianapolis.html
  • Lincoln Tech in Indianapolis, IN, Lincoln College of Technology-Indianapolis, August 2019, https://www.lincolntech.edu/campus/indianapolis-in
  • Tuition & Fees, Ivy Tech Community College, Accessed August 2019, www.ivytech.edu/tuition
  • State Financial Aid - By Program, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Accessed August 2019, https://www.in.gov/che/4498.htm
  • 2019-2020 Frank O'Bannon Grants, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Accessed August 2019, https://www.in.gov/che/files/2019-2020%20Frank%20O%27Bannon%20Grant%20Schedule%20of%20Awards.pdf
  • State Grant Aid per Undergraduate Student by State, 2016-2017, College Board, Accessed August 2019, https://trends.collegeboard.org/student-aid/figures-tables/state-grant-aid-undergraduate-student-2016-17
  • 2019-2021 Higher Education Biennial Budget Development, November 2018, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Accessed August 2019, https://www.in.gov/che/files/2019-2021%20CHE%20Budget%20Recommendation_Commission%20Meeting.pdf
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed August 2019, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator
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