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List of Best Technical Colleges

Updated on October 1, 2012
Graduate from one of the best technical colleges.
Graduate from one of the best technical colleges. | Source

Technical colleges across the United States are some of the best facilities worldwide. People have different perceptions of what makes a school the "best". For example, you may consider the most affordable college to be the best one, while your friend thinks the facility that receives the most publicity or the highest ranking by a renowned magazine is the best.

This list considers a range of desirable features, including the ones just mentioned. As technical colleges span a variety of study areas, so does this article. Technical programs range from computer-related areas to graphic design, culinary arts, and automotive training.

Five of the best technical colleges are the California Institute of Technology, ITT Technical Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Institute of Culinary Education, and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

California Institute of Technology

Caltech is what most people call the California Institute of Technology. These people would also likely agree that the strongest departments at the college are science and technology. The school is in Pasadena, California.

There are many great research facilities, with exclusive grants from powerhouses such as NASA and the National Science Foundation. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is right on campus.

Graduates have gone on to found ground-breaking companies such as Compaq, Hotmail, and Intel. There is more Nobel Prize winning professors and alumni per capita than any other US school. As well, the California Institute of Technology has a low faculty-student ratio of 3:1.

Note that admission is competitive, as generally only 13 percent of Caltech applicants are accepted. Students are from across the US and 62 other countries.

Information Technology Program

There are computer-related programs at technical colleges.
There are computer-related programs at technical colleges. | Source

ITT Technical Institute

ITT Technical Institute is one of the best technical colleges as there are online programs in addition to on-campus programs. College Crunch calls ITT Tech "a leader in electronics and drafting programs".

Online programs are great for students who need flexibility in their schedules, such as parents and people who day jobs in addition to course work. For students who do want in-person instruction, there are over 100 campuses across the US. The wide locations mean that students are able to find schools closer to home and pay less for travel costs.

Popular degree programs at the technical college are Information Technology, web development, computer programming, computer drafting and design, and electronics. One ITT Tech student, Cara from Saint Charles, MO, writes:

"I am learning many tasks that I would use in the field quickly in the degree I am attending ITT-Tech for. There are breaks in between quarters which helps me obtain the knowledge I have received..."

Graphic Design

The College of Fine Arts is a graphic design school. Press colour management.
The College of Fine Arts is a graphic design school. Press colour management. | Source

Carnegie Mellon University

For graphic design schools, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is one of the best technical schools in the US. The college in received the spot of 21 overall in Times Higher Education's list of the Top 200 World Universities. Among US universities, CMU placed number 15.

CMU stands ahead of competition as students choose which of the seven colleges and independent schools within the university to attend. Graphic Design students choose the College of Fine Arts.

In 2008, US News and World Report awarded the College of Fine Arts the number one spot for its Master of Fine Arts program. The program focuses on hands-on learning as well as analyzing both the cultural and historical influences of designs new and old.

In 2010, job recruiters ranked Carnegie Mellon University as number one in computer science, based on results of a Wall Street Journal poll.

Institute of Culinary Education

The Institute of Culinary Education is one of the Best Culinary Schools in America, according to EDinformatics. The facility is located in New York City and students travel from across the United States and the world to attend the school. In 2008, the technical college won the International Association of Culinary Professionals' Award of Excellence for Best Vocational Cooking School.

Accreditation for the college is by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Programs are Pastry & Baking Arts, Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and Hospitality Management. The programs range from 8-13 months.

There are also recreational cooking classes for the general public and continuing education programs.

ASE Logo

The logo is for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
The logo is for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. | Source

National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is known well across the United States. The non-profit technical college tests and certifies students to work professionally in the automotive industry. Over 350,000 professionals have ASE certifications. The blue seals of ASE often illustrate certification.

To become ASE-Certified Technicians, students take one or more of the close to 50 ASE exams. At least one passed test and at least two years of relevant experience gives a student certification. The school website explains that only one or two people out of three pass a test on the first try, on average. Recertification is also available at the school; recertification is required every five years.

Graduates work in all areas of the automotive industry in positions such as collision repair technicians, engine machinists, parts specialists, auto specialists, and auto service consultants.

There are many great technical colleges spread across the United States. The one to choose depends on financial restrictions, locations, and most importantly field of study.


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    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi Jessy, yes with the way technology is evolving it's great to stay on track with the updates. I wish you success if you pursue more education.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Oh teaches, I can just see you at the culinary school! I hope that when you have more time you will be able to focus more on your baking :) Thanks for your supportive comments.

      @Audrey, thank-you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Great list Christy!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      ITT has always been a big draw for the midwest area. It is located in the heart of the area and offers a quality program and education. I myself would have loved attending a culinary institute to learn all about using herbs and sauces. Interesting read and very informative.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @flashmakeit, I hope you find an affordable alternative soon. Take care

      @Janine, I remember you mentioned your friend but I did not realize that the school was the NYC one. That's great! Thanks for the shares and votes, I will be reading your work soon too!

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      I wish I could afford to go to ITT Technical Institute.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Christy, a friend of mine actually did go to the The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. I think I mentioned this in your last article and he ended up getting a wonderful job in a 5 star Hotel Chain in NYC too. So I have to agree with your list especially the Culinary Arts School you listed here. Nice job and have voted and shared all over as usual!!