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Career and Technical Education Clears New Pathways to Opportunity

Education Next

Americans, including Gen Z, want more career and technical education (CTE) options in schools, as the “college for all” approach hasn’t served all students. CTE programs prepare students for high-wage, high-skill careers in fields like advanced manufacturing, health sciences, and IT, often without needing a college degree. These programs offer recognized credentials and opportunities for further education. Federal funding for CTE exceeded $1.462 billion in 2023. CTE rejects the biased sorting of vocational education, combining academic coursework with technical and career skills. The National Career Clusters Framework organizes academic and technical knowledge into coherent sequences and pathways. 98% of public school districts offer CTE programs, with 85% of high school students

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