Gone are the days when it wasn’t cool to consider community college programs or technical school! For many years, messaging to high school students and families said going to a four year college was the best option. Because fewer students were attracted to community college and technical programs, many industries now face a shortage of workers. Interestingly, statistics reported by Getting Smart show 81% of high school dropouts say relevant, real-world learning opportunities would have kept them in school.
Career and technical education programs are working hard to correct the constricted labor force issues for high-demand occupations and rebrand the career and technical education sector.
The outlook for graduates of career and technical schools is extremely promising as job growth and wages for skilled jobs is projected to increase over the next several years. One major factor assisting career tech schools prove their worth is cost comparisons. According to VocationalTrainingHQ, the average cost of attending vocational school is about $33,000 total versus $127,000 for earning a bachelor’s degree.
It takes a team to make a difference in easing the labor shortage and it can start simply by sharing the positive messages about career and technical education. These training programs do not happen in one setting. Schools, workplaces, workforce professionals, adult education programs, funding sources and others work together to facilitate success in implementing opportunities for interested parties of all ages and stages.
The importance of these programs will not decrease anytime soon. Between 2020 and 2030, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that about 60 percent of new jobs in the economy will be in occupations that don’t typically require an associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate degree.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires adult education programs to facilitate integrated education and training – a form of career and technical education. KET’s Workplace Essential Skills can help meet these requirements by offering adult learners academic content contextualized to high demand careers as well as soft skills. Preview Workplace Essential Skills lessons. Meet the needs of adult ELL students with ENGEN, a language upskilling platform that offers real-world content and work readiness skills for learners and meets WIOA standards! To learn more about CTE integration into adult education, check out this excellent professional development webinar housed in the COABE Adult Education Resources repository.