For Parents Only: Are Your Kids Looking at College? | Career Training | The Salter School
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For Parents Only: Are Your Kids Looking at College?

Category(ies): Student Life

alternatives to college, career training, vocation trainingConsider career-focused training as an alternative

In these days of high college tuition and student debt, many parents get anxious when their children reach college age. This article looks at career-focused training as an alternative to a four-year college, as well as the kinds of jobs that you can get without a college degree.

What is career-focused training? It is an accelerated program where students focus on the career skills they need to get ready for the workforce. The programs do not have as many academic requirements as colleges do, but rather they focus on developing key skill sets that will be needed in the workplace. Most programs can be completed in one year.

Some common job training programs that career-focused schools offer include: medical assisting, dental assisting, culinary arts, massage therapy, paralegal, medical billing and coding, pharmacy technician, nursing assistant, surgical technology, graphic design, and computer networking management.

When choosing a post-secondary education option, only you and your children know what is best. But as you are planning the best course of action, why not try looking at some alternatives to college? Here are some of the benefits of career-focused education:

1. Career-focused training can be completed in less than one year.
Career schools offer a range of training programs that can be completed in one year. If your child is interested in healthcare or allied health, he or she might like a program for becoming a medical assistant or nursing assistant. Or if they like working with their hands, they might choose an HVAC/R program or a massage therapy program. Other young people are so tech savvy that they might prefer a computer networking and security program. Many of these programs can be completed in one year’s time, which will get your child career-ready in just a short period of time.

2. Career-focused training costs less than a four-year program.
It may seem obvious, but a one-year program will simply be less expensive than a four-year program. If your child is not sure what he or she wants to do, a four-year program can be an expensive experiment. A one-year program may be a better fit. Make sure the programs you are considering can accept financial aid. Many career-focused schools do accept financial aid, but not all do, so be sure you are choosing a school that will be possible for you financially.

3. Career-focused programs provide students with marketable skills.
At career schools, the curriculum focuses mainly on the workplace skills that are needed in that particular field. There are very few extra academic courses required. If you are worried that a four-year liberal arts degree won’t prepare your child with tangible workplace skills, then you might want to consider whether a career-focused program would be a good fit.

4. Career-focused programs can open the doors to additional training.
If your child is unsure about his or her career, a one-year training program could be a good place to start. For example, some people start out with a medical assistant training program and work for a few years in that role. Later, they decide that they want more challenges and decide to attend nursing school. Others may decide that they’d rather go into the administrative side of health care, and enroll in an associate’s degree program at their community college. Trying out a one-year program is a lower-risk way for your child to find out what he or she really wants to do.

With these thoughts in mind, we hope you are better able to help your child make a decision about his or her future education and career. Being a high school graduate is an exciting time of life, and we wish the best for your child!


This article was provided by the Salter School. We are a private career-focused school located at three campuses in Massachusetts. For more information about our accredited programs, contact us online.

The Salter School Malden campus is no longer accepting new enrollments.