Why Choose a Vocational Education?

Why Choose a Vocational Education?

Why Choose a Vocational Training Institute? There are big advantages to earning a vocational diploma over a traditional university degree. Here at Swiss Hotel Management School, we train students in both practical experience and academic excellence, and graduates earn two certifications which demonstate their readiness for a career in hospitality.

#Career advice

By Swiss Education Group

4 minutes
Vocational Education, what is a vocational training institute, Vocational diploma


Not too long ago, a university degree was considered rare and elite, and it all but guaranteed an illustrious future. Due to that implied guarantee, acquiring a university degree became an obsession for students and a requirement by employers. However, as any Economics 101 class will teach us, all markets rely on supply and demand. As demand for a university degree rose, it was met with increasing supply via easier accessibility both in price and university entrance requirements. This was a boon to students, schools, and employers for a time. However, over time, these freshly printed diplomas lost their value, just like freshly minted fiat currency in a recessive market. Printing more money doesn't increase goods, and minting more graduates does not create more jobs. As a result, a diploma was no longer enough to lay a career path or even secure a good job post-graduation.

Vocational diploma vs university degree

Churning out more graduates at a lower price with decreased university entrance qualifications resulted in another unexpected side effect that employers noticed. Under pressure to acquire a university degree, new graduates were lacking in soft professional skills, relevant vocational skills, and often had chosen an area of study with no clear career objective in mind. This combination of factors has resulted in an unfortunately high unemployment rate among young graduates.

Today, we are seeing increased demand for vocational education and an increase in vocational training institute options which emphasize vocational skills. Educational institutions such as trade schools, vocational schools, and hybrid university-level solutions like the vocational training institute, Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS), where graduates receive both a vocational degree and a university degree at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels are becoming more popular.

SHMS Event

The advantages of vocational training


What is vocational education, and how does it differ from a traditional university education?

A traditional college or university, particularly at the undergraduate level, offers broad education applicable to various professions within a field. A vocational training institute focuses on direct knowledge and instruction in a specific area or role, omitting unrelated subjects.

Historically, vocational education was intended for trades and crafts involving manual work, like plumbing, baking, or car repair, and students went to trade schools to gain vocational training. This practical education focused on developing the skills and knowledge necessary for everyday tasks in a specific field, emphasizing hands-on learning rather than abstract concepts and theories. These schools were often considered non-academic, but vocational education has evolved to cover industries ranging from business management to information technology and computer programming.

Today's trade schools cater to a wide range of traditional and modern careers, offering in-depth training in creative industries such as photography, culinary arts, cosmetology, and design arts such as fashion, graphics, interior, and video game design. They also provide training for essential trades in construction and the automotive industry, as well as training in important professional jobs such as accounting, medical or dental assistant, and court reporting.

In short, a vocational training institute aims to prepare students for immediate employment by equipping them with practical industry skills which facilitate a smooth transition into their chosen profession. This is achieved through classroom and hands-on training, ensuring students grasp concepts and develop the necessary competencies for their trade. This approach is different from a university path of study which aims to provide a broad education based on theory, which may or may not produce a well-rounded graduate who is ready to work.


If I attend a vocational training institute, will I receive a certificate, diploma, or a degree… and what is the difference?

Certificates, degrees, and diplomas certify an accomplishment in higher education, and each has its own requirements, job prospects, and significance. It is crucial to consider which option aligns best with your career goals. By comparing the paths and outcomes associated with each achievement, you can adequately prepare for your desired career.

It is prudent to note that any educational institution can offer its own certificate or diploma, so looking for an accredited school or program is important. Accreditation is an assessment process performed by a third-party accrediting agency. It validates your program of choice, offering assurance of a quality education. It is wise to be wary before registering with an unaccredited school or program. That said, not all reputable schools are accredited. Many religious schools and other schools that do not want to be restricted by regulations may choose not to be accredited. It is also important to note that some trade schools, where the career does not require an accredited degree, may not see the benefit of going through the grueling accreditation process.

A general rule to follow is the higher the graduate level, the more critical accreditation becomes. A certificate from a non-accredited vocational education program is still recognized as a completion of study, as would be a diploma. However, be aware that credits from an unaccredited schools or programs usually will not transfer to another school. In all cases, whether traditional university or vocational education, the accreditation adds solid value for a long-vision career path.

Another point to consider when assessing schools is that not all vocational training institutes will offer the same graduation level.

A certificate is a vocational education certification obtained after completing a program without a degree. These programs are shorter than degree programs, usually concentrate on a specific skill set, and do not require completion of core classes. They can be earned from community colleges or vocational schools.

A diploma is awarded for both secondary and post-secondary studies. Typically, a diploma takes around two years to complete. A high school diploma is an example of a secondary-level diploma. Vocational training institutes are considered post-secondary education and may also grant a diploma instead of a certificate upon completion.

A degree is earned by completing an undergraduate or graduate program at a college or university. A bachelor's degree usually takes three to four years. It requires students to take general courses in addition to courses in their major or area of study, including subjects like mathematics, science, or language. After obtaining a bachelor's degree, some students may pursue further education with a graduate degree such as a master's or Ph.D.

How does Swiss Hotel Management School compare?

Swiss Hotel Management School is the best of both educational models. It is an accredited vocational program where, upon graduation, you will receive a Bachelor's (in chosen specialization) from Swiss Hotel Management School and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (in chosen specialization) from the University of Derby, UK.

The curriculum is unique in that students receive a well-rounded university-style degree with a vocational foundation of strong professional and soft skills designed with a clear career path in mind. For students who wish to take their education even further, Master level diplomas are available including a Master of Arts in International Hospitality Business Management and a Master of Science in International Hospitality Management from the University of Derby.

The benefit of getting a degree with an emphasis in hospitality is that the education is based on core classes similar to any business degree but also includes the soft skills of hospitality. These skills are lacking in a pure university education model and are highly sought after by recruiters and employers across most industries. This is why over 90% of our students are employed before or shortly after graduation, and many actually never work in a hotel! It is a degree that opens many, many doors for our graduates.

Swiss Hotel Management School is a unique vocational training institute. An accredited vocational education program, preparing students for an illustrious career anywhere in the world – in a wide variety of industries. Swiss standards are high in hospitality, business and education. Swiss Hotel Management School exemplifies these standards in its education and its graduates.

SHMS graduation, Swiss Education, vocational program, university degree

If learning by doing sounds like you, apply for the programs at Swiss Hotel Management School. Be the best you can be and kickstart your future career with us.

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#Career advice


By Swiss Education Group