Trade Schools, Colleges and Universities

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Online Trade Schools & Colleges

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Summary

Online trade schools offer a variety of convenient programs that help many students more easily fit their education into their busy lives. Enrollment in distance learning has been growing steadily for many years, according to Babson Survey Research Group. And with many U.S. schools closing their physical campuses because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more students are turning to online education.

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Central Christian College of Kansas


Not available to residents of some states
  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Business Administration
    • Accounting
    • Human Resource Management
    • Management
  • Business Management
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Psychology
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Healthcare Management
  • Health and Human Services
    • Community and Family Services
    • Correctional/Justice
    • Health Services
    • Psychology/Coaching
  • Criminal Justice

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Colorado Christian University

  • Applied Apologetics - Emphasis in:
    • Cultural Engagement
    • Global Apologetics
    • Innovative Evangelism
    • Practical Apologetics
  • Applied Psychology - Emphasis in Biblical Studies
  • Biblical Studies
  • Christian Ministry
  • Accountancy
  • Business - Emphasis in Entrepreneurship
  • Business - Emphasis in International Business
  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Organizational Management - Emphasis in:
    • Christian Leadership
    • Enterprise Agility
    • Project Management
  • Communication Studies
  • Applied Psychology - Emphasis in Clinical Counseling
  • Psychology
  • Early Childhood Education - Licensure
  • Early Childhood Education - Non-Licensure
  • Elementary Education - Licensure
  • Elementary Education - Non-Licensure
  • Special Education, K-12 Generalist -Licensure
  • Special Education, K-12 Generalist - Non-Licensure
  • Health Care Administration
  • Nursing - RN-BSN
  • Computer Information Technology - Emphasis in:
    • Database Management
    • Networking
  • Information Systems Management
  • Applied Psychology - Emphasis in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice

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Independence University

  • Graphic Arts
  • Health Services Management
  • Medical Assisting
  • Nursing (RN completion to BS)
  • Cybersecurity & Networking
  • Software and Mobile Applications Development
  • Web Design and Development

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Florida National University


Available to Florida residents
  • Accounting
  • Criminal Justice
  • Health Services Administration
  • Psychology

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Bryan University

  • Advanced Full Stack Web Development
  • Full Stack Web Development
  • Paralegal Studies and Litigation Technologies

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Rasmussen College


Not available to residents of some states
  • Business Management
  • Finance
  • Human Resources and Organizational Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Early Childhood Education
    • Child Development
    • Special Needs
  • Early Childhood Education Leadership
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Sciences
  • Health and Wellness
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Services
  • Criminal Justice - Leadership and Management Specialization
  • Computer Science
  • Cyber Security
  • Data Analytics
  • Information Technology
  • Information Technology Management
  • Network Systems Administration
  • Software Application Development
  • Web Programming

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Platt College

  • Veterinary Technology (Online in CA, FL, PA, and VA)
  • Business Management (Online in CA)
  • Health Care Management (Online in CA)
  • Respiratory Therapy (Online in CA, FL, PA, and VA)

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Laurus College

  • Business Systems Management
  • Professional Business Systems
  • Digital Arts & Computer Animation
  • Web Design
  • Web Design & Development
  • Medical Billing & Coding
  • Information Technologies & Network Systems

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Saint Leo University

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration:
    • Accounting
    • Logistics
    • Management Specialization
    • Marketing
    • Project Management
  • Health Care Administration
  • Human Resource Management
  • Criminal Justice:
    • Criminalistics Specialization
    • Homeland Security Specialization
  • Emergency Management - Fire Science
  • Educational Studies: Early Childhood Development
  • Elementary Education
  • Human Services
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Science: Information Assurance
  • Cybersecurity
  • Information Technology
  • Software Engineering
  • Liberal Arts
  • Liberal Studies
  • Sociology:
    • Applied & Clinical
    • Diversity & Inequality
  • Psychology:
    • Clinical/Counseling
    • Developmental
    • Experimental
    • General Studies
  • Religion

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Post University

  • Applied Mathematics & Data Science
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Accounting
  • Accounting (Post-Baccalaureate)
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Finance
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Human Resource Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Sport Management
  • Child Studies
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Human Services
  • Paralegal (Legal Studies)
  • Psychology
  • Legal Studies

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Grantham University

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration:
    • General Management
    • Human Resource Management
    • Marketing
    • Operations Management
  • Business Administration and Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Strategic Communications
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Health Information Management
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • RN to BSN Degree Completion - Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Computer Engineering Technology
  • Computer Science
  • Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology
  • Electronics Engineering Technology
  • Engineering Management Technology
  • Information Systems:
    • Cybersecurity
    • Health Informatics
    • Web Development

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InterCoast


(California Residents Only)
  • Business Administration
  • Business Office Administration
  • Computerized Accounting
  • Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies
  • Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician
  • Substance Use Disorder Counseling

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ECPI University

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Crime and Intelligence Analysis
  • Criminal Justice
  • Homeland Security
  • Hospitality Management
  • IT Management
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Cloud Computing
  • Cyber and Information Security Technology
  • Electronic Systems Engineering Technology
  • Electronic Systems Mechatronic
  • Electronics Engineering Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Mechatronics
  • Mobile Development
  • Software Development
  • Web Design & Development

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Remington College


Not available to residents of some states
  • Computer Aided Design and Drafting
  • Digital Graphic Art
  • Restaurant, Hospitality, and Retail Management
  • Health Information Management
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Database Management and Administration

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Full Sail University

  • Computer Animation
  • Graphic Design
  • Digital Marketing
  • Music Business
  • Digital Cinematography
  • Game Art
  • Game Design
  • Creative Writing
  • Media Communications
  • Audio Production
  • Music Production
  • Sports Marketing and Media
  • Sportscasting
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Information Technology
  • Mobile Development
  • Web Design & Development

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Grand Canyon University

  • Accounting
  • Applied Business Analytics
  • Applied Business Information Systems
  • Applied Entrepreneurship
  • Applied Management
  • Business Administration
  • Business Analytics
  • Business Information Systems
  • Entrepreneurial Studies
  • Finance and Economics
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Sports Management
  • Business for Secondary Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education
  • Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)
  • Elementary Education
  • Elementary Education English as a Second Language
  • Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
  • Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Christian Education
  • Elementary Education with an Emphasis in STEM
  • Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Teaching Reading
  • English for Secondary Education
  • History for Secondary Education (ITL)
  • Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in
    • Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
    • Family Dynamics
    • Infancy and Early Childhood Studies
    • Substance Use Disorders
    • Trauma
  • Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse
  • Psychology
  • Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology
  • Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
  • Health Care Administration
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Sciences
  • Nursing (Registered Nurse - R.N. to B.S.N)
  • Public Health
  • Computer Programming
  • Cybersecurity
  • Information Technology
  • Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity

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Penn Foster Career School

  • Small Engine Repair
  • Guest Service Agent
  • Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Retail Supervisor
  • Small Business Management
  • Virtual Assistant
  • AutoCAD® Essentials
  • Caterer
  • Computer Graphic Artist
  • Dressmaking and Design
  • Floral Design
  • Interior Decorator
  • Photographer
  • Child Care Professional
  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Occupational Therapy Aide
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • High School Diploma
  • High School Diploma with Career Pathways in:
    • Automotive Repair Technician
    • Carpentry
    • Child Care Professional
    • Culinary Arts Professional
    • Early College Courses
    • Electrical
    • Healthcare
    • Information Technology
    • Pharmacy Technician
    • Plumbing
    • Veterinary Assistant
  • Legal Secretary
  • Private Investigator
  • Security Guard
  • Basic Electronics
  • IT Support Specialist
  • Appliance Repair
  • Construction Trades
  • Electronics Technician
  • Home Inspector
  • Home Remodeling and Repair
  • Jewelry Design and Repair
  • Landscaping Technology
  • Locksmith & Home Security Technician
  • Motorcycle Repair Technician
  • Plumber
  • Small Engine Repair

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Penn Foster College

  • Auto Repair Technician
  • Diesel Mechanics/Heavy Truck Maintenance
  • Accounting
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Bookkeeping
  • Business Management
  • Event Planning
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Finance
  • General Studies
  • Human Resources
  • Human Resources Management
  • Marketing
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Retail Management
  • Tax Preparation
  • ABC® Certified Wedding Planner
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Construction Technology
  • Engineering Technology
  • Foundation Skills for Technology
  • Industrial Electronics and Electrical Maintenance Technology
  • Dental Assistant
  • Health Care Management
  • Home Health Aide
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Medical Transcriptionist
  • Optician
  • Pharmacy Technician Professional
  • Sterile Processing
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Criminal Justice
  • Paralegal
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor
  • Gunsmith
  • HVACR Technician
  • Industrial Supervision
  • Manufacturing
  • Residential Electrician
  • Travel and Tourism Specialist
  • Wildlife/Forestry Conservation
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Graphic Design
  • PC Maintenance Technology

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Ashworth College

  • Accounting
  • Accounting Basics
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Bookkeeping
  • Business Management
  • Construction Management
  • Finance
  • General Business
  • General Studies
  • Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Human Resource Administration
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Personal Trainer
  • Property Management
  • Psychology
  • Psychology Introduction
  • Retail Management
  • Small Business Management
  • Tax Preparation
  • Travel Agent
  • Event Planner
  • Floral Design
  • Gourmet Cooking And Catering
  • Graphic Design
  • Home Staging
  • Interior Decorating
  • Jewelry Design and Repair
  • Landscape Design
  • Personal Style
  • Wedding Planner
  • Child Care Provider
  • Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Teacher Assisting
  • Advanced Medical Coding
  • Dental Office Assistant
  • Electronic Health Records Management
  • Electronic Medical Records
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Healthcare Management
  • HIPAA Compliance
  • Home Health Aide
  • Medical Billing
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Medical Office Assistant: Admin Procedures
  • Medical Office Receptionist
  • Medical Terminology
  • Medical Transcription Fundamentals
  • Nutrition, Diet and Health Science
  • Occupational Therapy Aide
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Social Services Assistant: Substance Abuse
  • Sterile Compounding
  • Sterile Processing
  • Veterinary Assisting
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Forensic Science
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Private Investigation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Security Administration
  • Security Management
  • Security Services
  • AutoCAD
  • Basic Electronics
  • Computer Information Management
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Automotive Automatic Transmissions
  • Automotive Engine Performance
  • Automotive HVAC
  • Automotive Technician
  • Carpentry
  • Diesel Mechanic
  • Dog Obedience Trainer
  • Electrician Training
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Home Inspection
  • Locksmithing
  • Plumbing

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The Number of People Who Take Online Courses

 More than 6.9 million post-secondary students were enrolled in at least one distance education course in the fall of 2018, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). That represented 35.3 percent of all students at degree-granting institutions.

Below are the percentages of students at each type of post-secondary school who were enrolled exclusively in distance learning that same fall.

Two-year institutions

  • Public schools: 14 percent
  • Private non-profit schools: 45 percent
  • Private for-profit schools: 7 percent

Four-year institutions

  • Public schools: 9 percent
  • Private non-profit schools: 17 percent
  • Private for-profit schools: 67 percent

Why Some Students Prefer Online Courses

Flexibility and convenience are the main factors. By enrolling in trade school online, it's possible to get your education while holding down a full-time job, raising a family, or keeping up with other responsibilities. Many people enjoy being able to skip the commute and focus on their studies when it fits their schedule.

In a national survey of online students by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research, 63 percent of respondents said they decided to study online because it was the best option given their work-life responsibilities. And 34 percent said they chose online education because it was their preferred method of learning. Of course, studying online may be the only option when public health concerns don't allow for in-person classes. That could be a significant factor in students' enrollment choices.

 A wide range of online trade school programs is available, including in less-obvious areas like aviation management, cosmetology, the skilled trades, and more. Here are the shares of online undergraduate students who completed different programs, based on the results of the national survey referenced above:

The same survey found that while an overwhelming majority of online students enroll in degree programs, 14 percent go for certificates and two percent choose licensure programs.

How Employers View Online Education

Degrees and other credentials from online programs have gained a lot of mainstream acceptance. A Northeastern University survey of hiring managers found that:

  • About 61 percent considered online credentials to be equally as good as those achieved the traditional way.
  • More than 70 percent had hired a candidate who had completed a degree, diploma, or certificate online.
  • Over 30 percent expected that future technological advances will result in online education being better than in-person instruction.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online School

 Here are four suggestions to keep in mind as you focus your search:

1. Look Into How the Courses Are Structured

Streaming video and virtual classrooms are popular tools. But different online schools may take advantage of other formats. So, when doing your research, look for tutorials or "test drives." Many schools and colleges, through their websites, offer students the chance to preview their online educational experiences.

A preview might be especially important for particular fields of study. For example, business administration programs may rely heavily on group projects. That means the school should make it easy for students to contact each other via email or live chat to divide coursework quickly.

Delivery is another important word to remember. Try to find out whether programs are delivered exclusively online or through a combination of media like print, video conferencing, or CD-ROM. Ask about the nature of group work, too, since some online vocational schools may encourage students to meet in person.

2. Go Over the Technical Requirements

Technology can change quickly, so ensure that you have the hardware and software required for a particular online program. It's also a good idea to ensure that round-the-clock technical support will be just a click or call away.

Compare the specs of your home computer with the technical requirements listed on school websites. That way, you'll know whether you need any upgrades. And remember: many powerful software applications and technologies are free. So a school that uses them will help you stay up-to-date without needing to spend a bundle. OpenOffice for word processing, VLC Media Player for video, and Adobe Acrobat for document sharing are just a few basic examples.

3. Determine How Accessible the Staff and Resources Are

 Find out how easy it is to reach the people who will be evaluating you. Look for instructor email links, toll-free phone numbers, and scheduled office hours. At many schools, professors and instructors answer questions and engage in group discussions or online chat during set hours.

That goes for teaching assistants too. Many professors and instructors enlist assistants to grade assignments and lead discussion groups. You'll want access to those important resources.

And since online schools allow you to study during day or night, it's helpful to be able to take advantage of support resources at times that fit your schedule. You may not be able to speak with an instructor at 3 a.m., but access to online libraries might make completing your assignments easier.

4. Make Sure You Have the Commitment

Are you disciplined enough to thrive? Online vocational training allows you to learn at your own pace and avoid commutes. But you still have to do your part by ensuring that you have enough time in your week to complete assignments before you enroll.

Also, make sure you can create a good learning environment at home or wherever you'll choose to study. Family and friends need to know that you require alone time with no distractions.