Career And Technical Education News & Updates: Why CTE Is An Alternative Path For High School Graduates Who Think College Education Is Irrelevant

By Kristine Walker, Parent Herald May 16, 08:06 pm

Formerly known as vocational education, career and technical education is currently deemed as an alternative path for high school graduates who think college education is irrelevant. The reason? This educational program prepares the youth for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill and in-demand careers.

What Is Career And Technical Education?

Career and technical education (CTE), formerly and commonly called vocational education, is an educational program that specializes in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies and career preparation. According to The Glossary of Education Reform, CTE provides both academic and career-oriented courses as well as offers the opportunity to gain work experience through internships, job shadowing, on-the-job training and industry-certification prospects.

Career and technical education may be offered in middle schools, high schools, community colleges and other postsecondary institutions or certification programs. It offers an extensive array of learning experiences from diversified career fields and industries including agriculture, architecture, automotive technology, construction, culinary arts, electrical contracting, engineering, fashion design, filmmaking, forestry, healthcare, personal training, plumbing, robotics or veterinary medicine.

Why Career And Technical Education Is Important

Career and technical education is significant because it prepares students for the world of work by introducing them to workplace know-hows. In addition, CTE also makes academic content accessible to students by providing it in a hands-on context, notes.

Why Teenagers Need A Third Path To Prepare For Today's Job Market

Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce director Anthony Carnevale said high school graduates in the United States don't need college admissions slip today, noting the expensive cost of college. Instead, they need a middle path with a different kind of instruction dedicated on real-world knowledge, as per NPR.

"We need a middle path with a different kind of pedagogy focused on real-world knowledge," Carnevale said. "It has to be an on ramp to more education with labor market value. We now live in an economy in which a huge number of technical certificates that take a year to complete, pay more than a [four-year] college degree."

The Changing Face Of Career And Technical Education

Over the years, the long-standing career and technical education program has evolved to meet student interest and industry demands. The new face of career and technical education has also improved to serve both students without higher-education ambitions and those with such plans.

Despite the fact career and technical education is poorly funded and often perceived as a "second rate" education, school officials stressed it is not dead. In fact, CTE has continuously evolved when STEM became popular, Winston-Salem Journal reports.

Would you want your son or daughter in a career and technical education program? Sound off below and follow Parent Herald for more news and updates.

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