Vocational schools in Japan

What kind of school are specialized training colleges?

Vocational schools aim to provide students with highly specialized skills and knowledge and the abilities required for employment. They are also educational institutions that provide backup to students to achieve their specific dreams and goals based on the abilities they want to utilize and how they want to work.

Status of specialized training colleges

Specialized training colleges are educational institutions that foster specialists in a wide range of fields by providing practical vocational education and specialized technical education.
They are established with the approval of the governor of prefectures in Japan.

Accredited schools
Vocational schools
Unaccredited schools
Cram schools, private classes, culture schools, etc.

Differences between accredited and unaccredited schools

There are many differences between accredited and unaccredited schools, such as the granting of qualifications.
It is important to make sure that the school you choose is an accredited school.

Accredited schools(Vocational schools) Unaccredited schools(Cram schools, private classes, culture schools, etc.)
Discounted student commuter pass Available Not available
Government scholarships Available Not available
Educational loans Available Not available
Academic background Recognized on a resume Not officially recognized on a resume
Diploma Granted if requirements are met Not granted
Advanced Diploma Granted if requirements are met Not granted
Qualification for transfer admission to university Possible if requirements are met Not possible
Qualification for admission to university Possible if requirements are met Not possible
Qualification for admission to graduate school Granted to those who have an Advanced Diploma Not possible
Regulatory agencies Granted to those who have an Advanced Diploma None

Three levels of vocational school courses

Courses at vocational schools are classified into “advanced courses, specialized courses, and general courses”, and vocational schools that provide “specialized courses” are called “technical colleges”.

Vocational schools
  • At least one year of study
  • At least 800 hours of class per year
  • At least 40 students enrolled at all times
Advanced course (advanced vocational school) Admission qualification: Minimum of junior high school graduation
Specialized course (technical college) Admission qualification: Minimum level equivalent to high school or advanced vocational school (3-year course) graduation
General course Admission qualification: None

Differences between technical colleges and universities & junior colleges

Most of the classes at a technical college consist of practical training with an emphasis on “skill education” that directly links to an occupation, which is different from universities and junior colleges that teach “academics” for the acquisition of a broad education.

Characteristics of learning at specialized training colleges

At specialized training college, you can often apply what you learned directly to your work. Deciding on the job you want to take in the future and your goals will motivate you to learn even more.

A foundation for becoming an independent member of society will be formed.
A detailed education and support system is in place.
You will meet others who are pursuing the same profession.
Practical classes help students acquire knowledge and skills for immediate use.
You can acquire qualifications and certifications necessary for the career you want to pursue.
Kyoto Vocational Schools Network

Digital pamphlet

Kyoto Vocational School Guide Book