Career and technical education (CTE) in U.S. high schools and outcomes for students who participate in these programs.
The data shows that CTE participation — especially focusing one’s studies by taking two or more CTE classes within the same career cluster — is positively correlated with both future employment and future earnings. Yet, while 77% of students take at least one CTE class while in high school, only 37% of participants focus their studies on a single career cluster.
Eight years after their expected graduation date, students who focused on career and technical education (CTE) courses while in high school had higher median annual earnings than students who did not focus on CTE.
Among 9th-grade public school students in 2009 who went on to concentrate in CTE in high school, 94 percent graduated from high school by their expected year of graduation, and 98 percent earned their high school diplomas within three years of their expected graduation date. Among 9th-grade public school students in 2009 who were non-concentrators in high school, 86 percent had graduated from high school by 2013, and 92 percent had graduated from high school by 2016.