Career education? Attend technical school online
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Online Technical Schools Position Graduates for High-Growth Careers

Are you considering changing careers? If so, you probably are wondering which industries will be adding new jobs in upcoming years. Surprisingly, many of these jobs require only a short-term training program--the exact education you can expect through a technical school.

The unemployment rates from late 2010 were very high, between 9.6 and 9.8 percent. If you're investing time and money into your future career, it makes sense for you to find a high-growth career to boost your chances of continued employment. A few of these careers pay more than the national average of $22.75 per hour.

U.S. industry growth and fastest-growing jobs

Once every decade, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects which industries are expected to grow the most. The 2008-2018 projections include 15.3 million new jobs, only 4 percent of which will be in "goods-producing" sectors. The remaining 14.6 million will be service-related jobs, including:

  • 4.2 million business and professional services jobs
  • 4 million health care jobs in physicians' offices, nursing homes, and among service providers to the disabled and elderly
  • 1 million jobs in the construction industry

The BLS also makes career-specific projections. About half of the new jobs require training or education beyond a high school diploma. If you've been considering a career change or have the opportunity to get some formal job training, doesn't it make sense to pursue a high-growth career?

Get career training through a technical school

What are technical schools? Unlike academic or university programs that involve a core curriculum and broad education in a number of academic disciplines, technical schools teach a very focused, vocation-specific curriculum to give you hands-on skills you actually need to do your job. You've probably heard these schools called trade or vocational schools. With the hands-on training and experience, you also get up-to-date information on new technologies in your field or developments in the industry--two critical items that on-the-job training may not provide.

Technical schools offer a variety of programs, not just automotive repair or welding like some people think. There are technical schools that specialize in certain trades, such as beauty schools or culinary schools, but many technical schools offer a variety of programs in business, criminal justice, technology, health care, or traditional trades such as welding or carpentry.

Depending on the program, you may be able to attend technical school online. Examples of online technical school programs include:

  • Computer forensics
  • Construction technology
  • Health information technology
  • Paralegal studies

The technical schools that offer online options usually regard the campus and online programs as academically equivalent. However, online programs can vary--some have online discussion, firm deadlines, and instructor-driven lessons, while others are self-guided study. If you attend technical school online, you may not have to wait until a new semester begins, as many online programs have rolling start-dates.

Your concentration of study will determine how long you are in school, as certificate or diploma programs can take several weeks to a year or more. Some technical schools offer associate degrees, which typically take two years to complete.

Need another reason to attend technical school? According to the Association for Technical Education, students with career and training education earn 8 to 9 percent more and are 10 to 15 percent more likely to be employed compared to academic program graduates.

Get career training for high-growth jobs

Technical school won't provide the education you need for some of those top 30 high-growth careers like "doctor" or "accountant," but it can help you qualify for more than half of the jobs on the list. The three high-growth jobs below give you an example of the new career you could pursue once you had the right education.

Dental assistants act as a dentist's extra set of hands and perform office and lab duties. Dental assisting jobs are among the fastest-growing occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) figures, with projected growth from 2008 to 2018 of 36 percent. As of May 2009, the BLS shows dental assistants earned an average annual salary of $34,000. The highest-paid dental assistants were in Alaska, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C.

Carpenters repair, build and remodel buildings, homes, furniture and more. The BLS reports that from 2008 to 2018 carpentry jobs should increase by 13 percent, though growth will be geographically targeted and dependent upon economic conditions. According to the BLS, as of May 2009 carpenters earned $43,640 on average.

Truck drivers need special knowledge to obtain a commercial driver's license and endorsements so that they can operate certain commercial vehicles. The BLS projects that heavy truck and tractor-trailer driving jobs will grow 13 percent between 2008 and 2018. Truck drivers earned in $39,260, on average, as of May 2009.

Keeping an eye on future labor trends is smart if you're in the market for a new career. There's no reason why you shouldn't pursue a high-growth career with a great chance of employment and find a nearby technical school or a technical school online for the career training you'll need.