Why Career-Technical Education (CTE)?

A recent study released by the Fordham Institute indicated that students who were exposed to CTE were more likely to attend college and earn higher wages. “CTE coursework is now strategic and sequenced. It entails skill building for careers in fields like information technology, health sciences, and advanced manufacturing” (Dougherty, 2016, p. 2).

Key findings include:

  • Students with greater exposure to CTE are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and earn higher wages;
  • CTE is not a path away from college: Students taking more CTE classes are just as likely to pursue a four-year degree as their peers;
  • Students who focus their CTE coursework are more likely to graduate high school by 21% points compared to otherwise similar students (and they see a positive impact on other outcomes as well);
  • CTE provides the greatest boost to the students who need it most – boys, and students from low-income families.


Dougherty, S. (2016, April). Career and technical education in high school: Does it improve student outcomes? Retrieved from Fordham Institute: goo.gl/AYxyVF