Frequently Asked Questions
about Career and Technical Education
1) What is career and technical education?
2) What subject areas are covered by career and technical education?
3) Is career and technical education only for students who are not college bound?
4) How many career and technical students are there in the United States?
5) How many career and technical programs are there in the United States?
6) Does Career and Technical Education work?
1)Q What is career and technical education?ACareer and technical education prepares both youth and adults for a wide range of careers, from registered nurse to computer technician, that require varying levels of education - from high school to post-secondary certificates to two- and four-year college degrees.
2)Q What subject areas are covered by career and technical education?AThese are the subject areas most commonly associated with career and technical education: - Business (office administration and entrepreneurship) - Trade & Industrial (skilled trades such as automotive technician, carpenter, computer numerical control technician) - Health Occupations (nursing, dental, and medical technicians) - Agriculture (careers related to food and fiber production and agribusiness) - Family and Consumer Sciences (culinary arts, family management and life skills) - Marketing (merchandising and retail) - Technology (computer-based careers)
3)Q Is career and technical education only for students who are not college bound?ANo. Career and technical education can provide a foundation of skills that enables high school graduates to be gainfully employed - either fulltime or while in college. Nearly two-thirds of all high school graduates of career and technical programs enter some form of post-secondary program. Rigorous academic content tied to technical subject matter ensures that these students will be ready for college. And the internships and other cooperative work experiences that are a hallmark of technical education are attractive to all students who want to get a head start on a career, whether that career goal is doctor or nurse, automotive technician or computer sciences. Student career organizations for every subject area also help students acquire the employability and leadership skills that will enable them to succeed in the workplace. Tech prep programs link high school and community college curricula to help students make a smooth transition to post-secondary education and careers.
4)Q How many career and technical students are there in the United States?AThere are 11 million secondary and post-secondary career and technical education students in the United States, according to the U.S. Office of Educational Research and Improvement.
5)Q How many career and technical programs are there in the United States?AAcross the country, career and technical education programs are offered in about 11,000 comprehensive high schools, several hundred vocational-technical high schools and about 1,400 area vo-tech centers, which serve students from several "sending" high schools. About 9,400 post-secondary institutions offer technical programs, including community colleges, technical institutes, skill centers and other public and private two- and four-year colleges.
6)Q Does Career and Technical Education work?AYes, according to many state and local studies. A 1991 New York study of 76,000 secondary vocational graduates found that six to 18 months after graduation, 91 percent were productively employed, in the military or enrolled in post-secondary education. A recent large-scale study of 13,000 Ohio vocational education graduates found that seven years after high school, the vocational graduates earned significantly more than a comparable group of non-vocational graduates and the earnings gap between the two groups appeared to widen with them.