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A list of career and post high school training resources for the non traditional student

What's Here?

This guide has links to career training programs for students who do not want to start at  a four year college, but want to train for a career. 

These links will show the admission requirements, expectations, courses, schedules and costs, as well as how to apply.

This guide has links to many programs that take 2 years or less to complete.  

Private College Program vs. Community College

  • A major difference is cost. The cost at a private program is much higher than at a community college.  The private schools also usually offer less financial aide.
  • In some cases, private programs can have excellent connections with the related businesses and be more successful in helping a student land a job at the end of training.  Community Colleges also support in this area, but some private programs are able to do more in this way. Before applying, it is important to ask a program what supports they offer for landing a job when students finish, and what percentageof students are hired full time in the industry six months after completion.
  • Community College Programs meet the industry's standards for training and some private programs do not.
  • Community Colleges offer more social opportunities such as extracurricular activities and clubs. They often have facilities that are not available at private training programs such as gymnasiums, workout areas, and large comprehensive libraries.
  • It is important to visit all types of programs and compare, but almost always the community college is as good or better program than the private program and is much less expensive.


These programs offer free training or have very low cost for the trainee.  They are hands on, on the job training and are often combined with classroom training hours one or two nights a week.  Theseprograms  lead to becoming a full apprentice,  and require a certain number of hours on the job. Many are union sponsored and you become a member of that union with all the benefits of union membership. With training and experience, most workers become an apprentice in 4 years and a journeyperson in 7 years. 

Credit Certificate Programs

These programs lead to a certificate and require less time and money than a degree program.  They prepare students for entry level positions. There are hundreds of course options and offers options in most areas of study.  If you are undecided, take some time to look through all these offerings at the affordable community colleges of NH and see if there is one that is a good fit for you.

Often students will start here and earn a certificate which now allows them to get hired in an entry level position and then continue taking more classes, many times with financial assistance from an employer.  Most of these certificate class credits can also be applied toward a degree if you return for one.

It is important to ask and learn about employment options and employment rates when applying to these programs so you know exactly what your outcomes could be for employment after earning the certificate. 

Non- Credit Certification Programs

Click on this link to learn about what non credit certificate programs are:

Commercial/Private Training Programs

These are private training programs.