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Top Trade Schools in the US

For many individuals traditional college is just not a solid option. Whether it's for financial, time, job or other reasons, many of us who are seeking higher education simply can't seek out a 4-year degree. This is especially true for individuals who already know they want to enter a career that trade schools offer an path into. Trade schools, also referred to as vocational schools, specialize in relatively short-term training that prepares students for whatever career path they have chosen.

Some popular types of trade schools include motorcycle mechanics, dentistry, CNA (certified nursing assistant), fashion, cosmetics, plumbing, culinary arts and more. Training usually takes anywhere from 3 months to 2 years, depending on the school and respective program that is offered. We've composed this list of the top 5 vocational schools in the United States. Please be aware that we have left out schools that only specialize in one type of training. Instead we have provided a list of schools that offer multiple degrees or certificates for a variety of career paths. This list is in no particular order.

University of Phoenix - The University of Phoenix is, by far, the largest vocational school in the United States. This school has campuses and programs in 40 of the 50 states, as well as in Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. For those states that do not have a campus location - or for those areas where there is not a campus location within a reasonable distance, University of Phoenix offers online studies that are just as good as the campus programs - provided a student doesn't require face-to-face interaction with instructors. Popular areas of study in which a student can receive a degree from the University of Phoenix include Criminal Justice, Business and Management, Arts and Sciences, Technology, Nursing and Healthcare and more.

Everest University - Everest University is based in Orlando, FL, and provides online programs as well as face-to-face interaction at a multitude of campuses nationwide. The online programs are recognized as some of the best and most intricate of any vocational school and Everest University certainly takes pride in that fact. Everest offers Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Business, Massage Therapy, Criminal Justice, Dental Assistant, Pharmacy Technician and more. Campuses are located in 24 states. While it doesn't have the nearly total nationwide coverage that University of Phoenix has, the quality of its programs and education certainly rival those of Phoenix.

Capella University - Capella is a Minneapolis, MN-based trade school that has a wide variety of programs to offer students. Capella offers degrees that can be obtained online as well as in-person, at an actual campus. Capella University is also one of the more affordable trade schools, while not sacrificing quality of education. Capella University offers such degrees as a Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate. This school is known for its programs in Business Management, Health Care, Psychology, Information Technology (IT) and Nursing. It also offers other programs, such as Public Safety and Counseling.

Colorado Technical University - While CTU only has 5 campus locations in 3 different states (Colorado, Kansas and South Dakota) it offers online programs and degrees that can be earned right from home in any state in the nation. Colorado Technical University, often referred to a Colorado Tech for short, offers students degrees in Health Sciences, Engineering/Computer Science, Business Management, IT and Security Studies. It is a reasonably priced institution that will provide a great education, whether that be in-person or over the Internet.

Virginia College - Virginia College has actual campus locations in 11 states across the South, with 25 locations. Surprisingly only 1 of those locations is actually located in Virginia, with the majority being in South Carolina and Georgia. VC offers students who are not in these states an education over the Internet. The online courses are renowned as some of the best in the nation, so students who received an online degree or certificate need not worry that they are receiving inferior education. VC offers programs such as Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, Golf Course Management, Culinary Arts, Media Arts and Design and many more.

So if you're thinking about getting an education through a trade school, we recommend checking out these institutions first. They are renowned among most as the top vocational programs in the country. Check them out today and see what you think.