There has been a lot of talk about Career & Technical Education, or CTE, in the education world lately.
But, what is CTE?
According to Advance CTE, “Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students of all ages with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners.” Out are the old “vo-tech” programs with negative reputations, and in are the newly re-branded CTE programs.
CTE programs today include a wide range of subject areas aiming to prepare students for their future careers, including health, information technology, manufacturing, agriculture, engineering and more. (Check out this helpful infographic from the Association for Career and Technical Education).
These programs are getting a lot of attention in the education world because of the promise of employment after coursework is completed. While some CTE programs aim to get students a headstart for higher education in specific career paths, others prepare students for careers that may not require a bachelor’s degree. The Hechinger Report recently reported that “the United States has 30 million jobs that pay an average of $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree.” Additionally, the article reports that the U.S. Department of Education found students who enroll in CTE courses are “slightly more likely to be employed than their counterparts with academic credentials...and significantly more likely to be working in their fields of study.”
Many schools are re-thinking the old vocational study formula in favor of CTE programs, and states are pouring money into these new programs (California alone is spending $200 million to revive vocational programs). With a growing percentage of college-bound students ending up with large student loan debts, good paying jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree can be very appealing.
Learn how one school district is using zSpace mixed reality for their CTE programs in this video.