What Are Online Vocational Courses?

Online vocational courses are classes offered on the Internet that train you for jobs in areas such as homeland security, computer technology, education and many other careers. Read on to learn more about how these courses work.

How Online Vocational Courses Work

Students in online vocational courses get their learning materials and assignments over the Internet. They turn in assignments and take tests via the Web. There's typically lots of reading and often videos to watch. Some courses meet at a scheduled time. At that time, students use a Web browser to visit the class website. With a headset or speakers and microphone on, they can listen, discuss and ask questions. Courses usually have active online discussion boards where students chat with each other and the professor.

Important Facts about Online Vocational Courses

Common Courses Basics of accounting, interior decorating, payroll, computer programming, AutoCAD, substance abuse, psychology, anatomy, nutrition
Programs Certificates, diplomas, associate's, bachelor's
Online Availability Many select schools
Concentrations Healthcare, criminal justice, business, education, creative services, trades, technology, dental, nursing, commercial driving, entrepreneurship, social work, human resources

Usefulness of Online Vocational Courses

Some employers worry about online education because 'diploma mills' and other fake schools have given it a bad name. If you take online courses from a reputable, regionally accredited college or university, the career training program is as good (and as difficult) as its on-campus offerings. Frequently, people who earn vocational certificates from state community colleges or degrees from top universities don't say they earned it online.

Tips for Choosing Online Vocational Courses

If you learn well visually, are motivated and well organized, enjoy using the Internet and e-mail, and have support from your housemates or family, you can succeed in online vocational courses. Here's how to choose a good program:

  • Find a vocational certificate or degree program in your desired career that's offered online.
  • Study the school you're considering. It should:
    • Provide a physical address and phone numbers, not just a website and e-mail.
    • List faculty, often with their credentials.
    • List departments with unique contact phone numbers.
    • Charge for education by credit hours or classes, not a fixed price per degree.
    • Require significant work and time investment.
    • Be accredited by one of the regional accrediting organizations (see CHEA and the U.S. Department of Education).
  • If the program requires on-site internships, clinicals or other work experience, ask the school about sites near you.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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