A "meat" thermometer and a "candy" thermometer are basically the same thing, but the candy thermometer registers higher temps. It usually goes up to 400, while a meat thermo usually goes up to maybe 225 or so.
These days, it's better to buy a good instant read thermometer that will go from 0 to 500. Then you can use for meat, candy, frying, cheese, etc.
Make sure you test the accuracy of your thermometer by testing ice water or boiling water before youuse it.