According to the report, “Career and Technical Education: States Aligning Programs To Meet Workforce Needs,” the rise in CTE programs is a result of shortages in skilled workers who possess “industry-recognized certificates.” CTE credentials could be the ticket to building the middle class. A 2012 Georgetown University study suggests that high school graduates who earn certificates earn 20 percent more than high school graduates without any additional education. Not only does a demand for skilled workers exist, but the pay is also significantly better. Students simply need the adequate resources to help them become successful.
One suggested resource is for schools to offer “Learning & Earning Exchanges,” or systems that would educate students on what careers are in demand and the training that in-demand careers entail, as well as establish relationships with companies to assist them in finding highly qualified workers. Schools also need to offer more CTE programs, give students real hands-on learning experiences, offer incentives for students to enroll in CTE programs and establish internships. It is crucial that these opportunities are offered now. According to the Georgetown University study, “The United States will fall short by 5 million workers with postsecondary education at the current production rate by 2020.”