ARLINGTON, VA – Today CNA Education released a report that explores whether the jobs that career and technical education (CTE) programs are preparing students for are in high-growth/high-wage career fields, or not. In other words, will students + programs = good jobs for CTE graduates?
CTE programs play an important role in preparing high school students for life after graduation. The CTE Equation maps CTE Career Clusters to high-growth/high-wage jobs for the states of Florida and Tennessee. (The U.S. Department of Education defines career clusters as “occupational categories with industry-validated knowledge and skills statements that define what students need to know and be able to do in order to realize success in a chosen field.”)
This information can be used to assist educators, policymakers, and employers throughout the nation to identify whether the CTE programs that schools and colleges offer are well aligned with current and future labor market needs. This is important because previous research shows that many states struggle to align education and training with workforce trends.
“We hope this research will inform local educators and policymakers about how CTE programs can expand and align with current and future labor market needs and trends,” said Stacey Jordan, vice president and director of education at CNA. “CTE and workforce alignment is an area where states have typically struggled. The CTE Equation demonstrates how CTE programs, if designed and administered effectively, can prepare students for good jobs and provide the local and national economy with highly qualified workers.”
- Specific to Florida, The CTE Equation reports that between 2014 and 2022, new jobs are projected to increase by 12.4% statewide (or about 338,000 per year), but this rate varies by region. The greatest number of annual high-growth, high-wage jobs projected for Florida will fall into the Health Science Career Cluster (4,458 jobs annually). The second greatest growth area will be in the Business Management and Administration Career Cluster.
- Specific to Tennessee, The CTE Equation reports that between 2012 and 2022, new jobs are projected to increase by 13% statewide (or about 39,000 per year), but this rate varies by region. The greatest number of annual high-growth, high-wage jobs projected for Tennessee will fall into the Business Management and Administration Career Cluster (4,900 jobs annually). The second greatest growth area will be in the Health Science Career Cluster.
The CTE Equation also spotlights the need for education/training that is appropriate. In order for students to be more competitive in the marketplace, it is essential that they receive the education/training that provides for sustained and successful career development. This can be accomplished through alignment, collaboration, and innovation.
- Research reinforces the importance of using labor market data to make informed decisions about student preparation for high-growth/high-wage jobs.
- The employer, secondary education, and postsecondary education communities should be engaged through partnerships on the development of coherent common professional standards.
- States should look at evidence-based strategies and promising innovative solutions to create CTE systems that are responsive to job market trends.
The researchers stress that education and workforce systems should use labor market data to identify the high-growth/high-wage career areas that would enable CTE students to increase their number of Industry Recognized Credentials (IRCs), postsecondary certifications, and degrees.
CNA is a nonprofit research and analysis organization dedicated to developing actionable solutions to complex problems of national importance. With nearly 700 scientists, analysts and professional staff, CNA takes a real-world approach to gathering data. Its one-of-a-kind field program places analysts on carriers and military bases, in squad rooms and classrooms, and working side-by-side with a wide array of government decision-makers around the world. In addition to defense-related matters for the U.S. Department of the Navy, CNA’s research portfolio includes criminal justice, homeland security, energy security, water resources, enterprise systems and data analysis, and education.
Note to writers and editors: CNA is not an acronym and is correctly referenced as "CNA, a research organization in Arlington, VA."