Career and Technical Education (CTE) plays a vital role in preparing today’s students to be skilled for work and life in a changing, dynamic world.  Career & Technical Education has changed to keep current with the 4th Industrial Revolution. Students are now exploring careers in 3D printing, coding, and since now everyday appliances are IOT (internet of things) enabled their technical training includes learning how to work with sensors and IOT technology.  There are still many career options for students looking to enter culinary, automotive, cosmetology and the manufacturing fields.

We survey students to learn what they are looking for as they explore careers in the various technical education pathways.

  • Although the majority of CTE high school students say they have been exposed to future employers in a variety of ways (65%), the remainder say they have not yet had that contact (35%).
  • 60% of CTE students say they have affirmed or clarified their career pathway through CTE experiences.

Click on the research findings below to find out more!

Research Partners:


Manufacturing Matters! Infographic

A strong U.S. Manufacturing Sector has the potential to reduce the supply chain crisis, expand the middle class, and boost national security. Americans see manufacturing as vital to the U.S. economy. Manufacturing offers good pay and benefits. CTE Teachers across the nation agree Manufacturing holds great promise for their students and the nation. But a Skills Gap means too many of these jobs are going unfilled – more than 500K in 2021!

Today’s High School Students can help close the Skills Gap. Ask a CTE teacher how to get on track for a career in manufacturing that can strength the nation’s economy and boost your own opportunity for success.

CTE: Benefits for Diverse Goals Infographic

Today’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) attracts a broader cross-section of high school students than ever. Findings from SRF’s Fall 2018 in-class survey of students in CTE classrooms across the nation illustrate that diversity.

The overwhelming majority have at least a B average, plan to continue their education immediately after graduation, and are headed to a wide array of post-secondary institutions. They take CTE to learn skills and explore/prepare for careers. No matter their educational path, they report CTE provides critical benefits that increase workforce readiness and connect academics with the “real world.”

Still Needed: CTE Teachers!

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is commanding national attention. High school enrollment in CTE programs has increased, national legislation is making new funding available to states, and skill sets fostered by CTE are expected to play a critical role in recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet the supply of CTE teachers cannot meet demand. Attracting industry experts to these teaching jobs requires an understanding of current CTE teachers and their needs.

Will funding from Perkins V be enough to mitigate the CTE teacher shortages?