Negative Myths Surrounding Vocational Education
Despite the growing popularity and proven benefits of vocational education, negative myths continue to circulate throughout the education industry.
The most prevalent of these rumors is the idea that vocational education is for people that can’t get into college. Nothing could be further from the truth. Research shows that some of the smartest, most able intellectuals graduating high school choose vocational programs over four-year universities and end up reaping amazing benefits from that choice in the long run. Vocational studies provide students with something that “higher learning” universities can not- a hands-on, apprenticeship-style system of learning that gives them the chance to gain actual job experience in their chosen trade.
The second most common myth about vocational education is that it doesn’t pay off, or that it’s not worth the investment. On the contrary- students run a much higher risk of not getting their money’s worth when attending a four-year university. Many of those students graduate swamped in debt, and, even if they’re able to get a job within their field of study within the first few years of graduating, struggle for a long time before breaking even and actually being better off from attending college.
Finally, the most hindering myth surrounding vocational education is the idea that only four year universities help students find jobs. Although some college graduates do make higher incomes than the average high school graduate, this is due less to the level of education and more to the laws of supply and demand in the labor market than anything else. Professional occupations requiring a four-year college degree and post-graduate education make up only 20% of the American work force. Vocational education programs focus on the larger 80% of the labor market share and prepare their students to not only get those jobs, but to excel at them.