Not all career paths lead you to a traditional education at a four year university. There are many jobs that require vocational or technical training that can be done at a trade institution. Students of these programs learn basic and advanced techniques in trades like culinary arts, auto mechanics, medical billing, and certain technology based careers.
The first career college arose in the United States in 1832. By the mid-1830s as many as 15 to 20 private institutes had popped up around the nation. The 1900s saw the invention of adding machines and the typewriter along with a major influx of women in the workplace, bringing more students to technical institutions for business training. Many vocational institutes, sometimes called post secondary schools, consist of only two year long programs, making them equivalent to an Associates Degree. Some are public and run by the local government or school district while others are private and require higher tuition costs. Community colleges are also known to offer technical education courses.
When searching for a proper place to learn, make sure the institution not only teaches classes in the job you desire, but is also a nationally accredited school. If your occupation requires you to move on to a four year university, accredited programs give you a higher chance of the college accepting your credits. Online courses are often available for technical education, but these can be hit or miss with even transferring credits to trade schools. Be careful where you spend your hard earned money.