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Career and Technical Education Today - Student Research Foundation

Career and Technical Education Today

CTE Today . . .

What you and your students need to know about the Career and Technical Education pathway to starting a career

A stand-up comedian once said, “By the time something becomes an acronym, forget it! It is already too late to take advantage of it.”

That might be true sometimes. By the time Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing was being called by the acronym CAD/CAM, for example, there were already tens of thousands of people sitting at terminals working CAD/CAM jobs.

But at other times, it is decidedly not true. Read more

Are Alternative Colleges a Solution for All Students who Don’t Quite Fit the Mold - Student Research Foundation

Are Alternative Colleges a Solution for All Students who Don’t Quite Fit the Mold?

If you’re a high school college guidance counselor, chances are you are thinking that a certain number of your counselees should apply to non-traditional, alternative colleges. You might already be an expert on those colleges and what they offer. If you are not, you are probably thinking that when you have the time, you will investigate non-traditional colleges and make some recommendations about where your students should apply.

That is all well and good. After all, a guidance counselor’s job is to help students refine the lists of colleges where they will apply. However, doing just a little research into colleges makes it abundantly clear that . . .

There are dozens of kinds of “alternative” schools

In fact, the entire concept of an “alternative” college is almost certainly flawed, because there are so many different kinds. For just a quick overview of how different they are, consider the fact that a so-called alternative college could be any of these things . . .

  • Nurturing of independent study like Evergreen College, where students can design their own programs of study.
  • Focused on creativity like Bennington College where students can focus on writing, dance or other arts.
  • Environmentally committed, like Oberlin College.
  • Rooted in one educational philosophy like Deep Springs College, where students learn through a rigorous program of academic study combined with physical labor.
  • Supportive and humanistic like Wayfinding College, which is dedicated to developing the whole person and not treating students as “numbers.”
  • Dedicated to innovation like Olin College, a unique engineering school with an emphasis on developing innovative and creative products with the potential to succeed.
  • Supportive of students with special learning needs like Daemen College, which has a special emphasis on educating students who have autism.

There Are Many Kinds of Alternative Students Too

A high school guidance counselor we know reports that among her counselees is one ”late bloomer” who has no idea what she wants to do with her life and will need a college that can help her define her career options. But that same counselor is also counseling a student who is already completing advanced engineering projects and who needs a tech school that will let him dig in and learn more about the career path he has already chosen. And she is also counseling students who want to explore pursuing careers in modern dance, screenwriting, culinary arts, and automotive design.

Are all those students in need of an alternative college? In a sense, yes. But they are very different, and the colleges they attend should be very different too.

To Learn More about How Students Plan Careers

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

Explosive Growth Rates in Technical Careers - Student Research Foundation

Explosive Growth Rates in Technical Careers

CompTIA’s Cyberstates 2019 Guide Predicts Explosive Growth Rates in Technical Careers

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has released its 2019 Cyberstates Guide, based both on its own research and data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report points to an explosive rate of job creation in STEM and technical fields between now and 2026.

If you are currently helping students plan their careers, Cyberstates contains information you should know. Read more

The Great Robotics Switcheroo - Student Research Foundation

The Great Robotics Switcheroo

Ah, robotics!

Few areas of CTE training and education are so full of romance. When you say the word “robot,” students start to think about anthropomorphic robots that walk around in sci-fi movies. They think about battle robots that fight each other on cool television shows. Or they think about teaming up with fellow students to enter a robotics competition by designing a robot that will walk around on Mars, perform surgery on patients in operating rooms, or enter a building and defuse a bomb. Read more

Skills-Based Training

Skills-Based Training Plus a College Degree Add Up to a Better Career

Freelancers Find that Skills-Based Training Plus a College Degree Add Up to a Better Career

The 2018 Freelancing in America study from UpWork Global reports that freelancers are a fast-growing segment of working Americans. The study, which polled 6,000 U.S. workers, found that freelance workers now make up 56.7  million members of the American workforce. That is a growth of 3.7 million Americans since 2014.

Read more

How Valuable Is an Associate's Degree - Student Research Foundation

What Are the Top-Paying Two-Year Degrees?

Money isn’t everything. But if you or a student you know is interested in starting to work in engineering or a related field after only two years of college, it is worth knowing which jobs promise the highest earnings. Read more

Research on Manufacturing Day by the Student Research Foundation

Manufacturing Day: Opening Doors and Minds

Manufacturing Day, an initiative of the Manufacturing Institute, is the nation’s largest one-day celebration of manufacturing.  This annual event, taking place on October 5, 2018, focuses on showing young people, parents and educators the modern dynamics and opportunities a career in manufacturing offers.  For those who can’t make it to a live Manufacturing Day event, or who don’t have any in their area, there’s always the possibility of a virtual event.  Learn more about Manufacturing Day and the significant impact this event has across the nation here.

Read more

Vocational Education from 1992 How Things Changed Today - Student Research Foundation

A Snapshot of Vocational Education from 1992: How Have Things Changed Today?

As recently as 1992, most public high schools had extensive vocational training programs, many of which operated in the same buildings as college-preparatory programs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 97% of American students who graduated high school in 1992 had completed at least one vocational education course. And the average high school graduate in the U.S. had completed as many as four full-year vocational training courses. Read more

How Valuable Is an Associate's Degree - Student Research Foundation

How Valuable Is an Associate’s Degree?

Associate’s degrees could represent one of the most significant educational bargains today. Some students are saving money by earning these degrees at community colleges, then transferring to state schools and private universities. The result is a big reduction in educational costs. Still other students are earning associate’s degrees, then going on to matriculate in colleges after they have worked for a few years and saved enough money to pay for tuition and other costs. And then there are students who simply earn associate’s degrees, start working, and never feel the need to return to college. Read more

How Are Certifications Affecting the Lives of Working Americans? - Student Research Foundation

How Are Postsecondary Certifications Affecting the Lives of Working Americans?

How are CTE certificates affecting the way people work in America?

We recently spent some time researching current CTE data compiled by the National Center for Educational Statistics. They provide some thought-provoking insights into how certifications are changing the way Americas live and work. Read more