The roots of career education have taken hold in the United States, and career education is flourishing across the nation. From the first recorded school to teach vocational subjects — founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1749 — to Foster’s Commercial School of Boston in 1832, the first established school specializing in training for commerce, students around the country were seeing the value of career-specific learning.
By the mid-1850s, about 20 private career schools were teaching business-related subjects in the states. Most of these were located in the major trading centers along the Atlantic coast, such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Charleston. With the invention of the steamboat, western cities, such as St. Louis and New Orleans, became important trading centers, and schools were established in those cities, too.