Apprenticesby Denise Felder ~

Vocational Education. Tech Prep. Career Technical Education.

The type of career training offered in schools and to whom it is offered has changed a lot over the years.

Once upon a time career training in high schools was separate from the academic programs that college-bound students took. Today, ACTE reports that more than 70% of high school CTE concentrators pursued postsecondary education shortly after high school.

In the past, vocational education was limited to preparing for work in a few jobs, such as carpentry or auto mechanics for men, and clerical  or appeal arts classes for women.

Today, CTE programs prepare high school and college male and female students for high-paying careers in all areas, including in-demand careers in Information Technology, Agriculture, Health Care, Business Management, and many other career pathways.

CTE students today are college ready and on their way to getting hired in the high-paying, challenging careers of their choice.

This isn’t your mom or dad’s CTE, because the workplace and U.S. economy has changed. Today’s CTE graduates know how to use technology and gain the skills employers want.

Vocational Education (Past) vs. Career Technical Education (Present)
Past Present
For some students For all students
Preparation for limited number of jobs Preparation for all types of careers
In lieu of academics Aligns with academics
High school focused Focused on high school to postsecondary partnerships
Terminal – leads to entry employment only Focused on lifelong learning and career advancement

Source: The Career Pathway Effect, CORD & NASDCTEc

Whether a student wants to earn a graduate degree, bachelor’s or associate’s degree, enter an apprenticeship or earn an industry recognized credential, CTE courses help prepare the student to succeed in college, the workplace and in life.

Celebrate National CTE Month on Facebook and Twitter.

Denise Felder is a career adviser and the Director of Professional Development for Minnesota Career Technical Education.