Vocational education or Vocational Education and Training (VET), are also called Career and Technical Education (CTE). It prepares learners for jobs that are based in manual or practical activities. It is generally non-academic in nature, totally related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation. It is sometimes referred to as technical education, as the learner directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques or technology. Examples of specific vocational classes might include the following:
Vocational courses and classes are available in many different career fields like computer technology, health care, office management and skilled trades. These courses are offered by vocational schools, career colleges, trade schools, and community colleges. Vocational classes provide job-focused training for specific roles or careers. In many cases, vocational courses have the potential to lead to skills certificates or associate degrees.
Vocational education can be at the secondary or post-secondary level and can interact with the apprenticeship system. Increasingly, vocational education can be recognized in terms of recognition of prior learning and partial academic credit towards tertiary education (e.g., at a university) as credit; however, it is rarely considered in its own form to fall under the traditional definition of a higher education.
However, as the labor market becomes more specialized and economies demand higher levels of skill, governments and businesses are increasingly investing in the future of vocational education through publicly funded training organizations and subsidized apprenticeship or traineeship initiatives for businesses. At the post-secondary level vocational education is typically provided by an institute of technology, or by a local community college.