June 14, 2018
Now more than ever, the decision about what career field to pursue after high school is critical to a student’s future employability and debt management. With the increasing costs of post-secondary education, many families are finding college is becoming unaffordable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 74% say U.S. higher education is not affordable for all. Students and parents are finding themselves wondering how they are going to fund post-secondary education and training, not to mention feeling the uncertainty about getting a well-paying job when completing that education.
More data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 40% of Bachelor of Arts degree holders earn more than the average graduate degree holder and 30% of Associate of Arts holders earn more than Bachelor’s degree holders. Many one-year certificate holders earn more than Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts holders. This is yet another piece of evidence that indicates the importance of making a wise decision about a future career and the education and training that would be needed. The public must be informed about the advantages of programs that are available to prepare students for a future career. A four-year Bachelor’s degree may not be as beneficial or profitable as it once was.
All of these statistics overwhelmingly support the necessity of high quality Career & Technical Education (CTE) in Nebraska. With the increasing number of jobs in high paying, fast growing technical fields CTE programming in Nebraska high schools has become a critical investment worth supporting. In a CTE program, students are provided an opportunity to explore potential careers as well as learn valuable technical and workplace readiness skills. Some schools are even expanding the curriculum to include work-based learning opportunities. What better way to prepare youth for a future career that enables them to be a responsible and productive citizen?
Career and Technical Education in Nebraska is producing some amazing results. Did you know...
• 90% of NE CTE Concentrators (students who have completed 3 or more one semester-long coursers within a single career cluster) graduate high school
• Less than 1% of NE CTE Concentrators drop out of school
• 91.81% percent of CTE Concentrators passed technical skill assessments aligned with industry recognized standards
I encourage every parent, grandparent, business owner and interested citizen to visit their local school district to see what is happening in Career and Technical Education programs and partner with them to help ensure students graduating high school are college and career ready.
-by Kelly Clapp, Teaching & Learning Coordinator