Post-COVID studies show that the gap between what entry professionals with college degrees and those without college degrees receive is steadily shrinking. Most employers now want not just a person who spent several years in college studying disciplines that often have little to do with real work, but specialists who have at least a slight understanding of how the system works, how technology works, and they are ready to start working for a little less money. And here we need career and technical education, which began back in the 60s, then for some time they forgot about it, and now it is again becoming important, popular and gaining momentum.
Improves Academic and Increases Graduation Rates
Even now, statistics show that career and technical education students have better academic performance than students who skip this part. These students perform better at math, reading, and science and are more likely to graduate from high school. Considering the growing rates of high school drops, it is very important to have good academic performance, one of the foundations of which is career and technical education.
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Helps Students to get a Better Start
Career and technical education combine theoretical knowledge and the ability to work practically with certain areas and specializations. It can be part of a high school program or standalone programs that you can enroll in even if you are not currently attending high school. The need to attend high school to participate in career technical education depends on state laws and on the rules of a particular educational institution. So please read these rules before entering. The main task of career and technical education is to give students a good and quick start in the profession. It is not necessary to study theory for several years in order to start building a career and start earning money. Very often, students who came after career and technical education adapt much faster to the work environment and grow up the career ladder faster than college students who have only heard about how this work is organized.
Focuses on Problem Solving Skills
Unfortunately, the downside of college education is very often that they really teach you to think, reason, do research, write high-quality academic papers, but at the same time they teach you very little to work and focus on solving specific problems. In real life, we very rarely need to write an essay, research paper or discussion paper about some problem at work. We need to take this problem and solve it. And career and technical education is focused on this. Now the syllabus and curriculums, which are used for career and technical education, are being changed. They become even more practical. And the problems that are being solved there are really the problems that exist in real life and in real business conditions. Previously, career and technical education was only related to what prepares for a law grade job, but now it is a real opportunity to start in a profession that interests you and start earning good money pretty soon. If you ask a few managers about their main problems with college students, they will most likely tell you that they are very educated, they have great conversations, but they are completely unable to solve real life problems. And career and technical education will help you stand out among these candidates.
Gives Better Understanding of Your Strengths and Weaknesses
It is believed that high school and college gradually prepare students for real life and show them their strengths and weaknesses, teach them to cope with problems, to solve some daily and real tasks. This means that a person who graduated from college is much more prepared for work and career building than a person who did not graduate from college. But more and more research and evidence indicates that just more practical training, such as career and technical education, helps to see more weaknesses and strengths in the context of the profession and work organization, and select the type of work, style, and direction of work under them. You are unlikely to find a person who will say that he graduated from college, then went to work, and everything is exactly as he was told in various classes. In fact, the real working atmosphere differs from the educational one very much, as well as real work tasks. You can’t foresee them if you’ve never done them. This is the strength of this career technical education, because it not only gives you an idea of the different types of applied work, but also how you can express yourself in each type of work.
Unites Study Programs with Internship Programs
More and more companies want to hire students who have completed a career and technical education program, and therefore there is an increasing number of programs that combine this training with paid and free internships. Suppose you’re considering a career in the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry, which is a field with a rising demand for skilled professionals. HVAC technicians play a crucial role in maintaining climate control systems, ensuring they operate efficiently. And this means that it will be much easier for you to get into some good company focused on working with young specialists than if you just came to such a company from the street.
Also, the fact that companies are interested in graduates of these programs suggests that the quality of these programs has grown, as well as their value, both for students and employers. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to complete this program, then do not neglect it in order to get all those benefits in the future in high school, and, most importantly, in work and career, which we have already talked about. Consider, too, the cost of HVAC schools, as this is an important aspect to factor into your decision-making process.
We hope that all these facts will help you make a decision regarding whether to participate in the career and technical education program or not, and also use this participation to the maximum advantage for yourself. Remember that you are studying not just to learn, but precisely to find a profession you like and start in it as quickly and efficiently as possible.