A vocational or technical college is one where your program of study is specific and you only take courses that relate directly to that. At these institutions, you may not earn an Associate's degree, but instead you may be granted a license or a certification. Some programs that you could study include: cosmetology, medical coding, crane operating, and automobile repair. There isn't much of a "Student Life" experience at these colleges, however that isn't really their purpose.
The academic experience at a vocational/technical college is truly unique. These institutions are solely focused on you getting your license and using it to find the right job. The programs are highly specific and can rarely be applied to another career. While this may be intimidating, if you know what you want to do for your career and you don't want to 'waste' two to four years of your life getting a degree in something that isn't applicable to your career goals, then you should pursue the schools that offer the program you want. While some programs only last a month or two, others may take a year or more to complete. Each program is unique and has their own offerings, so be sure to research all of the places you are interested in and weigh the pros and cons of each.
Danielle J.'s experience: "I attended John Paolo's Extreme Beauty Institute to earn my cosmetology license. My experience with John Paolo's was very educational. It wasn't nearly as expensive as my SUNY education, and the time spent there was much shorter, with the goal of getting students working as soon as possible. My education was focused on precisely what I needed to know to work in the industry, which was nice not having to pay for and attend extra elective classes I had no interest in. Altogether, minimal time and money was spent at John Paolo's and I had a career within the week of my graduation."
If you think a vocational/technical school is what's most right for your future and where you want to be, then pursue it. See what is around in your community for programs and experiences and then research out into other areas to see what else is offered. Most importantly, remember that your college journey is unique to you, so be sure to follow your dreams and plan accordingly for them!
enjoy the chase,