It’s time to break a taboo: college isn’t for everyone. For many, there’s a better—but much less advertised—option: Career Technical Education (CTE). Let’s be more specific. A four-year stay at a traditional university won’t be the best fit for everyone. College is right for many people—but certainly it’s not right for everyone.
In today’s economy, it may not be a good fit for those who want an affordable education. It may not be the best option for those who are ready to embark on a clear career path. And it’s not for those who want to enter the workforce sooner rather than later.
For those people, CTE could be the answer. Career Technical Education, previously known as vocational-technical education, provides the skills and training needed for many in-demand careers, including:
- Mechanical Drafter
- IT Technician
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Biomedical Equipment Technician
- Legal Secretary
- Aircraft Mechanic
- Real Estate Appraiser
And a Career Technical Education doesn’t require thousands of dollars in loans.
It’s almost instinctual to think of a four-year college as a natural step after high school. After all, so many of our nation’s leaders, along with private organizations, urge young people to go to college. Although conventional wisdom wrongly suggests that a four-year degree is always better, it may not always be the case.
According to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), “Career and technical education (CTE) prepares both youth and adults for a wide range of careers and further educational opportunities.” Here’s what you need to know about Career Technical Education:
- CTE-trained workers are in demand.
- CTE leads to high-paying jobs.
- CTE is affordable.
- CTE keeps businesses competitive.
The research shows it. CTE offers industry-specific training in highly skilled trades and gives students the opportunity to earn a range of credentials:
- Postsecondary certificates
- Associate degrees
So the next time you’re thinking about going back to school, consider both college and career technical education. After all, CTE may be a better fit for you.
What about you? What led you to choose college or a career technical education? Do you have any tips for others making this decision? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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