Vocational education or Vocational Education and Training (VET), also called Career and Technical Education (CTE), prepares learners for jobs that are based in manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic and totally related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation, hence the term, in which the learner participates. It is sometimes referred to as technical education, as the learner directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques or technology.
Vocational education might be classified as teaching procedural knowledge. This may be contrasted with declarative knowledge, as used in education in a usually broader scientific field, which might concentrate on theory and abstract conceptual knowledge, characteristic of tertiary education. Vocational education can be at the secondary or post-secondary level and can interact with the apprenticeship system..
At the post-secondary level vocational education is typically provided by an institute of technology, or by a local community college..
Vocational education is simply learning about a particular trade or job which involves hands on experience and technical training. Sometimes this involves apprenticeship..
In some English speaking countries, they use Polytechnic to describe the technical education received by students doing vocational courses. But in the UK, Polytechnnic can refer to higher education institutions providing certificate and diploma level courses.