Today’s Career & Technical Education Student

94% of high school students are part of Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs (Source: Association for Career and Technical Education).

Value of CTE for Today’s Students

Career and technical readiness. Students enter the work force and/or college with more relevant and mature skills and knowledge.

Pathways to employment. Students are exposed to various directions that lead to jobs and can get a head start in developing the needed capabilities to be effective without learning on-the-job.

Better pay and value. CTE students who pursue proficiency and expertise are able to garner better wages than their counterparts. These students also provide more value to their employers and are therefore in higher demand.

Certifications and degrees. Many CTE students earn credentials in their studies. By integrating CTE courses with academic standards, students graduate with a better understanding of what the work world requires and an increased likelihood of employability.

16 CTE Career Clusters

The United States provides education for a range of career options. Below are the 16 core career clusters:

  1. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
  2. Law, Public Safety & Security
  3. Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
  4. Human Services
  5. Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
  6. Finance
  7. Architecture & Construction
  8. Education & Training
  9. Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
  10. Health Science
  11. Government & Public Administration
  12. Manufacturing
  13. Business, Management & Administration
  14. Marketing, Sales & Service
  15. Information Technology
  16. Hospitality & Tourism

There are 79 pathways associated with the 16 core career clusters.

Closing Thoughts

CTE in secondary schools provides today’s students with a wealth of opportunity. Not only do CTE programs better prepare students for their careers and college, they provide experiences and exposures that result in the critical thinking needed to be successful post academia. Additionally, CTE programs underline the importance of maintaining a currency in your skill set and ignite the importance of perpetual education in today’s competitive work environment.