Career And Technical Education Needs Postsecondary Priority
By Tom Chorneau, SI&A Cabinet Report, Sacramento, Ca.
The U.S. economy currently supports 29 million jobs that provide a middle class salary and require only some postsecondary education– a healthy block of employment that will not fade away even with global market demands for a better trained work force in the coming decade, a new report from Georgetown University concludes.Researchers said that career technical education programs could be the vehicle for preparing those workers by using a variety of pathways from employer-based training and apprenticeships to industry-based certifications and associate’s degrees.
“The United States faces an enormous task in preparing tomorrow’s workforce that will have dramatic implications for the nation’s future prosperity and ability to compete internationally in the world economy,” said the authors from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Work Place, and Civic Enterprises, a non-profit think tank based in Washington D.C.
“In an environment where budgets are tight, we believe that expanding (career technical education) will mean reallocating resources toward programs that have proven effective at enhancing the productivity and efficiency of the system,” the authors said.Noting that economic changes have made some post-secondary education critical – the research team said that not all workers will need a four-year college degree.
In 1973, nearly three out of four jobs required only a high school education or less. But, by 2020, two out of three jobs will require some post-secondary education or training.To plan for this need, the author said, the federal government should invest dollars “allocated toward CTE in programs of study that align secondary and post-secondary curriculum, reduce duplication and remediation, allow for dual-enrollment and create opportunities for students to learn and earn.”
Second, they said, the federal government should create a “Learning & Earning Exchange” — an information system that links high school and post-secondary transcript information about courses taken and grades with employer wage records.
“Such a system would allow all to see how successful various programs are at producing job-ready graduates,” the report said. “As a result, students would make more informed choices about what to study; educators would serve their students better; and employers would have greater success in finding the skilled workers necessary to satisfy their needs.”
To read more visit: http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/CTE.FiveWays.FullReport.pdf