CTE Education - Findings from the Student Research Foundation

The Current State of CTE Education

The Current State of CTE Education: Findings from The Student Research Foundation’s 2018 CTE Career Interest Survey

When educators think about Career and Technical Education (CTE), they sometimes assume that opportunities are plentiful for students who choose to focus on technical courses in high school. Their thinking can fall along these lines . . .

“My students will take tech courses in high school, then specialize in a technical field of study in college, and then they will get jobs.”

There is validity in that expectation because many students are following just that path to continue their education and enter the workforce. But recent findings from the Student Research Foundation’s 2018 CTE Career Interest Survey shows that the route to productive employment in technical fields is not quite so simple.

Here are some statistics to know about how American students are preparing for technical professions.

Better Students Have an Easier Time Following the CTE Route to Post-High School Technical Education

  • 41% of “A” students are able to enter technical programs after high school, as well as . . .
  • 37% of “B” students; and
  • 18% of “C” students

State Colleges Are the Top Pick for CTE Students

  • 61% attend state schools
  • 24% attend community colleges
  • 21% say they are “uncertain” where they will continue their studies after high school
  • 16% attend technical schools
  • 14% attend private colleges

CTE Students Have Different Plans for the First Year after High School

  • 68% plan to further their education
  • 9% plan to enter the workforce
  • 6% plan to enter the military
  • 4% plan to start apprenticeships or certification programs

Some CTE-Oriented Students Choose to Abandon the CTE Path Immediately After High School

  • 41% plan to continue technical education after high school
  • 31% do not plan to continue technical education after high school

Not Everyone Expects to Benefit

  • Only 80% of CTE students believe they have benefitted from their studies at the high school level

Students Have Different Reasons for Choosing the CTE Path

  • 55% follow it to learn or improve skills
  • 35% follow it to explore careers
  • 33% follow it to prepare for careers

Students Choose to Follow the CTE Path at Different Times During School

  • 38% of CTE-oriented students choose to enter a technical field before they enter high school
  • 43% decide while they are in high school
  • 18% graduate from high school without having chosen a career

Different Kinds of Post-High School Institutions Prepare CTE Students in Different Ways

At four-year colleges:

  • 78% of students believe they understand the work environment
  • 77% of students feel they can connect their schools and the real world
  • 73% of students feel they can perceive a clear career pathway ahead
  • 72% of students are excited about their careers

At community colleges:

  • 80% of students believe they understand the work environment
  • 77% of students feel they can connect their schools and the real world
  • 74% of students feel they can perceive a clear career pathway ahead
  • 74% of students are excited about their careers

At technical colleges:

  • 85% of students believe they understand the work environment
  • 80% of students feel they can connect their schools and the real world
  • 82% of students feel they can perceive a clear career pathway ahead
  • 83% of students are excited about their careers

This data summarizes findings from the CTE Career Interest Survey, administered by the Student Research Foundation’s Research Consortium on CTE Career Pathways.

To Learn More about Career Planning and Technical Education

We invite all students to explore their career options by participating in our career and college research studies. Students who complete the free career test for high school students will receive information on college and career opportunities which match their interests.

Teachers request research materials today so your students can be counted in this year’s study.

The following infographic details the research findings:The latest research on American students who are preparing for technical professions - Student Research Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

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