High-school based career and technical education (CTE) programs continue to grow, fueled by labor market demand and federal funding. Amid concerns over declining rates of economic mobility and stagnating earnings for low-wage workers, the academic landscape in America’s secondary schools now places extensive focus on workforce preparation as part of the curriculum. Nationally, CTE is the most popular type of elective taken by high school students, with roughly 80 percent of high school students taking at least one course. Using data from Massachusetts, researchers from the CTEx consortium estimated that students who participated in specialized CTE programs in high school had better attendance rates, were more likely to graduate from high school, were more likely to enroll in a two-year college, and earned more money in the seven years after leaving high school.
Dougherty, Shaun; Macdonald, Isabel Harbaugh; Ecton, Walter G.; and Kreisman, Daniel, "Increasing Individuals’ Economic Stability through Massachusetts’ Career and Technical Education" (2020). GPL Working Papers. 2.