CTE October Newsletter

Mary Shumway, State Director of Career and Technical Education

Mary Shumway, State Director of Career and Technical Education

A new report released by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce outlines five areas where students can focus in order to obtain education and train for careers.

The report, Career and Technical Education: Five Ways That Pay Along the Way to the B.A., found that there are 29 million jobs (21 percent of all jobs) that pay great middle-class wages and don’t require an expensive Bachelor’s degree.

The report lists five alternative paths to middle-class jobs: employer-based training, postsecondary certificates, registered apprenticeships, industry-based certifications, and associate degrees.

The report recommends more investment by the government in Career and Technical Education programs to strengthen our workforce: jobs for those with just a high school diploma are quickly disappearing or offer very low wages.

Dr. Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce and lead author of the report, said Career and Technical Education represents a series of missing rungs on the ladder of postsecondary education.

“We go from high school to Harvard,” Carnevale said. “That’s always been the American system. There [are] too many rungs in between that are just not there.

We know that programs that have strong applied focus, like career and technical education, that those programs prevent dropouts from high school; they improve math scores and improve the chances of going onto postsecondary and training.”

The report recommends more investment by the government in Career and Technical Education programs to strengthen our workforce: jobs for those with just a high school diploma are quickly disappearing or offer very low wages. But there are jobs out there for those with skills beyond high school but without a Bachelor’s degree.

CTE programs are more affordable than traditional college programs and can give graduates access to on-the-job training that help them succeed in the labor market. The research also shows that CTE programs provide a good return on public investment. In fact the average employment rate of a person with a CTE upper secondary degree is 75.5 percent, 4.8 points higher than for those with a general upper secondary degree.

In Utah, the school districts, the Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT) and higher education institutions are working together to ensure that these five areas are developed and accessible for students throughout the state. CTE Pathways provide the foundation for meeting Utah’s goal of having 66 percent of the population with some postsecondary education degree. The Georgetown University report shows the importance of CTE programs but also provides some areas where we might need to fill the gaps.
Read fill report HERE. Read Press Release HERE.

Mary Shumway is the Director of Career and Technical Education at the Utah State Office of Education. You may reach her via email at or by calling 801-538-7500. Learn more about Career and Technical Education on the UtahCTE.org website. This is a cross-post from the CTE Directions newsletter, October Educator Edition.

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