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February is Career & Technical Education Month. Orleans Technical College is considered a Career & Technical school because we are focused on teaching real-world, technical skills that prepare adults for employment opportunities in growing careers.

People come to Orleans Tech for a number of reasons. For one, Orleans delivers results. Another is that our school has been in business, serving the Philadelphia region, for nearly 45 years. Hundreds of students will walk through our doors this year pursuing a career and technical education so that they can get ahead, support their families, and earn a credential that will make them very marketable in the trades workforce.

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Here are seven reasons to consider career and technical education at Orleans Tech:

1. Job placement

Orleans Tech has a great track record of assisting students to begin their careers. In fact, this is a main component of each training program. For example, the residential and commercial electricity daytime training program has a job placement rate of 83%*.  Employment specialists work one-on-one with each student to ascertain his/her strengths, put together a résumé that highlights training and skills, then match the student with a local employer offering job openings. Each month, company presidents and HR managers contact Orleans looking for qualified students to come join their teams. This provides an excellent advantage to our students. (*Based on 47 graduates that completed their program between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 and obtained training related placements.)

2. Learn by doing

Aristotle said, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Students are taught practical, hands-on skills that are essential for the jobs they want. They get right in there–and get dirty!–experiencing first-hand how to accomplish a task or technique. Instructors teach students the tricks of the trade and how to use their tools and equipment properly. This gives Orleans students a head start in the workforce because they’ll know why and HOW to get a job done. They leave the classroom with the confidence and readiness to jump straight into the workforce.

3. Industry-experienced instructors

Trade school teachers are teaching theory and going through content in the textbook. True. But, their experiences working in the field become invaluable to students’ classroom lessons. Orleans Tech’s instructors bring knowledge and skills from learning on the job. They share their successes and talk to students about how things get done in the real world. Nothing beats an instructor who is passionate about their craft (and enjoys sharing it with others).

4. Job demand

Orleans Tech is a vocational school that provides training in areas that are in high demand in the regional workforce. Orleans currently teaches five different courses in the building trades industry where job openings are due to increase by 10% or more over the next decade. Wondering which of these trades might be best for you? Take our quick, fun quiz to see. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” 2016–17 Edition)

5. Cost

For the 2013–14 academic year, the average cost for one year of a bachelor’s degree education (including tuition, fees, room, and board) was estimated to be $15,640 at public institutions. This is comparable to the cost to complete a building trades training program at Orleans. What a return on investment! With the concerns these days of keeping student loan debt low, a trades education may be a wise, and more affordable, choice for many. (Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016)

6. Time

An associate degree can take 2 years, a bachelor’s 4. Orleans offers 6-month programs of intense training. This quick turnaround is very doable for those whose current jobs or family obligations may prevent them from going to school for years on end. Plus, our trade school offers training during the day or evening to accommodate life’s busy schedules!

7. Rolling admissions

Unlike traditional academic calendars with classes starting in September and January, every month Orleans Tech is starting a new class. This means that applications are accepted and reviewed all year long. Admissions and financial services representatives work with each student individually to help them navigate the enrollment and financial aid processes so that they can focus on starting their training sooner rather than later.