Online Trade Schools & Colleges

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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
Central Christian College of Kansas

Central Christian College of Kansas


Only 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

Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Digital Photography
  • Graphic Design and Media Arts - Web Design
  • Accounting
  • Accounting - Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business Administration:
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Healthcare Administration
    • Human Resource Management
    • Industrial Organizational Psychology
    • International Business
    • Management Information Systems
    • Nonprofit Management
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Project Management
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Finance
  • Finance - Financial Planning
  • Marketing
  • Marketing - Social Media Marketing
  • Operations Management - Logistics and Transportation
  • Sport Management
  • Criminal Justice:
    • Criminology
    • Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Computer Science:
    • Information Security
    • Software Engineering
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Game Programming and Development
  • Information Technologies
  • Information Technologies - Cybersecurity
  • Communication
  • Communication - New Media
  • Creative Writing and English:
    • Fiction Writing
    • Screenwriting
  • English Language & Literature
  • General Studies
  • History:
    • American History
    • European History
    • Military History
  • Liberal Arts
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Science - Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics - Applied Mathematics
  • Human Services:
    • Child and Family Services
    • Substance Abuse
  • Political Science
  • Psychology:
    • Applied Psychology
    • Child & Adolescent Development
    • Forensic Psychology
    • Mental Health

National Career College National Career College

National Career College


California Residents Only
  • Business Management and Accounting
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Medical Office Specialist

Florida National University Florida National University

Florida National University


Available to Florida residents
  • Accounting
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Coding & Billing Specialist
  • Criminal Justice
  • Legal Studies

Colorado Christian University Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University

  • Applied Apologetics:
    • Cultural Engagement
    • Global Apologetics
    • Innovative Evangelism
    • Practical Apologetics
  • Applied Psychology - Biblical Studies
  • Biblical Studies
  • Christian Ministry
  • Accountancy
  • Business - Entrepreneurship
  • Business - International Business
  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Organizational Management:
    • Christian Leadership
    • Enterprise Agility
    • Project Management
  • Communication Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • Applied Psychology - 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:
    • Cyber Security
    • Database Management
    • Networking
  • Computer Science
  • Data Analytics
  • Information Systems Management:
    • Cyber Security
    • System Analyst
  • Applied Psychology - Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice

Independence University Independence University

Independence University

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

Platt College Platt College

Platt College

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

Rasmussen University Rasmussen University

Rasmussen University


Only 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

ECPI University ECPI University

ECPI University

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Crime and Intelligence Analysis
  • Criminal Justice
  • Homeland Security
  • 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

Bryan University Bryan University

Bryan University

  • Human Resources Management
  • Applied Exercise and Fitness
  • Personal Trainer
  • Professional Fitness Training and Exercise Science
  • Advanced Full Stack Web Development
  • Full Stack Web Development
  • Health Information Management
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Paralegal Studies and Litigation Technologies

Waldorf University
Waldorf University

Waldorf University

  • Business
  • Business Administration
    • Communications
    • Finance
    • Health Care Management
    • Human Resource Management
    • Management
    • Project Management
  • Organizational Leadership - Global Leadership
  • Business Administration - Communications
  • Communications
  • Psychology - Communications
  • Criminal Justice
    • Forensic Mental Health
    • Forensic Psychology
    • Homeland Security
    • Public Relations
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Psychology - Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Emergency Management
    • Fire Science
    • Homeland Security
  • Emergency Management - Fire Science
  • Fire Science
  • Fire Science Administration
  • Fire Science Administration - Public Relations
  • Psychology - Fire Science
  • Business Administration - Health Care Management
  • Health Care Management
  • Organizational Leadership - Health Care Management
  • Psychology - Health Care Management
  • Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
  • Emergency Management - Homeland Security
  • Homeland Security
  • Human Resource Management
  • Business Administration - Human Resource Management
  • Global Leadership
  • Leadership Communication
  • Organizational Leadership
    • Global Leadership
    • Health Care Management
    • Occupational Safety & Health
  • Liberal Arts
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Criminal Justice
    • Forensic Mental Health
    • Forensic Psychology
  • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Fire Science
    • Health Care Management
    • Industrial Organizational Psychology
    • Mental Health and Counseling
    • Occupational Safety & Health
  • Criminal Justice - Public Relations
  • Fire Science Administration - Public Relations
  • Public Relations
  • Occupational Safety
  • Occupational Safety & Health
  • Organizational Leadership - Occupational Safety & Health
  • Psychology - Occupational Safety & Health
  • Sport Management

Laurus College Laurus College

Laurus College

  • Business Administration
  • Business Systems Management
  • Digital Arts & Computer Animation
  • Visual Design and Multimedia
  • Web Design
  • Web Design & Development
  • Medical Billing & Coding
  • Information Technologies & Network Systems

Pinnacle Career Institute - Online Pinnacle Career Institute - Online

Pinnacle Career Institute - Online

  • Tower Technician
  • Wind Turbine Technician
  • Medical Assistant

Florida Tech Florida Tech

Florida Tech

  • Accounting
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Psychology/Child Advocacy
  • Applied Psychology/Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology/Forensic Psychology
  • Applied Psychology/Organizational Psychology
  • Aviation Management
  • Business Administration
  • Business Administration/Accounting
  • Business Administration/Computer Information Systems
  • Business Administration/Healthcare Management
  • Business Administration/Management
  • Business Administration/Marketing
  • Human Resources Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Criminal Justice
  • Healthcare Management
  • Liberal Arts

Columbia Southern University
Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University

  • Business
  • Business Administration
    • Finance
    • General
    • Hospitality and Tourism
    • Human Resource Management
    • Information Technology
    • International Management
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Project Management
    • Sport Management
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice Administration
    • Arson Investigation
    • Forensics
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Health Care Administration - Emergency Medical Services
  • Fire Science
  • Criminal Justice Administration - Arson Investigation
  • Fire Administration - Fire Investigation
  • Occupational Safety and Health - Fire Science
  • Health Care Administration
  • Health Care Administration - Emergency Medical Services
  • Health Information Science - Track II, General Curriculum Emphasis
  • Information Systems and Cyber Security - Homeland Security
  • Business Administration - Human Resource Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Business Administration - Information Technology
  • Information Systems and Cyber Security
  • Information Systems and Cyber Security - Homeland Security
  • Information Technology
  • Environmental Management
  • Occupational Safety and Health
    • Fire Science
    • Oil and Gas
  • Psychology

Grand Canyon University Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University

  • Accounting
  • Applied Business Analytics
  • Applied Business Information Systems
  • Applied Entrepreneurship
  • Applied Human Resources Management
  • Applied Management
  • Business Administration
  • Business Analytics
  • Business Information Systems
  • Entrepreneurial Studies
  • Finance and Economics
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Risk Management
  • Sports Management
  • Business for Secondary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education
  • Educational Studies (Does not lead to initial 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 (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
  • History for Secondary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
  • Mathematics for Secondary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
  • Social Media
  • Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in
    • Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
    • Family Dynamics
    • Infancy and Early Childhood Studies
    • Substance Use Disorders
    • Trauma
  • Communications with an Emphasis in
    • Broadcasting and New Media
    • Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships
    • Political Campaigns
  • 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
  • Applied Technology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Information Technology
  • Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity
  • Software Development

Saint Leo University Saint Leo University

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

Grantham University Grantham University

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
  • Healthcare Administration
  • 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

Full Sail University Full Sail University

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 Development

Remington College Remington College

Remington College


Only available to residents of some states
  • Organizational Management
  • 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
  • Criminal Justice

Penn Foster Career School Penn Foster Career School

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
  • 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

Penn Foster College Penn Foster College

Penn Foster College

  • Auto Repair Technician
  • Diesel Mechanics/Heavy Truck Maintenance
  • Accounting
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Bookkeeping
  • Business Management
  • Event Planning
  • General Studies
  • Human Resources
  • Human Resources Management
  • Payroll Clerk
  • 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

Ashworth College Ashworth College

Ashworth College

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Bookkeeping
  • Construction Management
  • Landscape Design
  • Teacher Assisting
  • Dental Office Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Medical Office Receptionist
  • Nutrition, Diet and Health Science
  • Social Services Assistant: Substance Abuse
  • Sterile Processing
  • Veterinary Technician
  • AutoCAD
  • Basic Electronics
  • Automotive HVAC
  • Automotive Technician
  • Dog Obedience Trainer
  • Electrician Training
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Locksmithing

InterCoast InterCoast

InterCoast


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


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.

Many students choose to study online because it is the best option for their work-life responsibilities. Others choose online education because they simply prefer it. Of course, online learning may be the only option when public health concerns do not 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.


Online Trade Schools Make Vocational Education More Accessible

Learning remotely offers greater convenience and flexibility than attending on-campus classes, which can significantly increase your chances of success.