Traditional colleges and universities are not the only options for those seeking higher education. Here are four other options to consider.
Career college or vocational school. A career college, commonly called a vocational school, teaches skills that are required for a specific job. Peterson’s Guide to College recommends career colleges for those who have a specific idea of what they want to do and for whom four more years of traditional schooling will not help. Career colleges offer certification, two-year degrees and four-year degrees depending on the field of study. Common vocations include accounting, automotive, cosmetology, business and culinary arts.
Institutes of technology. An institute of technology is similar to a career college or vocational school. Like a career school, an institute of technology appeals to those who may not feel four more years of traditional schooling is in their best interest and to those who have a good idea of what they want to do. An institute of technology differs insomuch that they are research-intensive universities with an emphasis on engineering, science and technology. They are sometimes called polytechnic institutes.
Junior college or community college. Not everyone out of high school is ready for a traditional four-year college. Junior colleges are two-year institutions that offer an academic curriculum or a vocational-technical program. Junior colleges offer two-year degree programs and often serve as a preparation for transferring to a four-year college. Junior colleges offer a full range of student activities, professional preparation, student government and intercollegiate sports teams. Community colleges are similar to junior colleges in regard to function. They differ in that community colleges are usually publicly funded to serve the needs of a specific community.
Corporate university. A corporate university is an educational institution that aligns its curriculum with the goals of the corporation. Corporate universities vary depending on the nature of the company, but they share general qualities, such as organizing training, supporting change in the organization, sharing a common culture, retaining employees and remaining competitive. McDonald’s Hamburger University is the most famous corporate university in the United States. Other companies that have their own university include Walt Disney, Boeing and Motorola.