Georgia Policy Labs Reports

CTE Alignment Across Five States

CTE Alignment Across Five States


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Celeste K. Carruthers, Shaun Dougherty, Thomas Goldring, Daniel Kreisman, Roddy Theobald, Carly Urban, and Jesús Villero quantify alignment between high school career and technical education (CTE) and local labor markets across five states: Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee, and Washington. We find that CTE is partially aligned with local labor markets. A 10-percentage-point increase in the share of local jobs most related to a given CTE career cluster is associated with a 3-point increase in CTE concentration in that cluster. Concentrators in business and service fields are more aligned with jobs requiring a college degree, whereas more technical students are more aligned with jobs that do not require college. Women and students from racial or ethnic minority groups are more aligned with college-level jobs than with high-school-level jobs. We find more limited evidence of dynamic, short-term adjustments in CTE after changes in local labor markets. Realignment lags the labor market by two to three years, is less than one-for-one, and is only observed following changes in college-level employment.


CTE Alignment Across Five States