ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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By 2018, the U.S. will need at least 4.7 million new workers with postsecondary certificates.[i]
This month’s entry in our blog series on data and research as tools for CTE advocacy highlights the mounting importance of certificates. The above data point estimates the number of new workers with a postsecondary certificate as their highest credential who will be needed by 2018 in order for the United States to meet talent demand. This statistic refers only to new positions in the workforce, on top of the many certificate holders already contributing to the economy. As you know, CTE programs provide stackable credentials, including postsecondary certificates, to help students meet their educational and professional goals.
When sharing this statistic with policymakers, media or the public, follow it up with information on certificate earnings in high-wage, high-demand fields and describe CTE’s role in preparing students for those careers.
As always, you can access CTE facts and figures online any time you need them with ACTE Fact Sheets.
[i] Carnevale et al., Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2010
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 05/28/2015 at 12:13 PM in Data and Research | Permalink
By 10 years from college completion, Colorado certificate and AAS holders in key fields are earning more than the statewide median wage.
Education Pays in Colorado: Earnings One, Five and Ten Years After College from College Measures joins the organization’s research on postsecondary workforce outcomes in Tennessee, Virginia, Texas and Florida.
Among the findings, author Mark Schneider finds that by a decade from college completion, bachelor’s degree holders in Colorado are earning $55,287 on average across all fields of study, followed closely by those with associate of applied science degrees ($54,146) and certificates that took one year or less to complete ($53,940).
Earnings are particularly high for certificate and AAS degree holders in certain fields of study:
This research is helping to shed light on how subbaccalaureate credentials in CTE fields can reap long-term benefits.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 05/24/2015 at 02:37 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
This week, the ManpowerGroup released its annual Talent Shortage Survey for 2015 – a decade after the survey was first conducted. The report includes data representing the input of more than 41,000 hiring managers around the globe on the issues related to talent acquisition, skills training and workforce development. The 2015 survey demonstrates the depth and breadth of the skills gap affecting business and industry around the globe, and underscores the need for greater emphasis on CTE to train the next generation of talented professionals in high-need industries.
The survey data show that the number of global employers facing difficulty filling jobs has increased for the sixth consecutive year, to 38 percent. Furthermore, skilled trades professionals such as mechanics, electricians and chefs were listed as the hardest positions to fill for the fourth year in a row. Other positions listed as the most challenging included engineers, technicians, accounting and finance staff and IT staff – all of which are directly connected to high-quality CTE programs, as demonstrated by ACTE’s Sector Sheets. Survey respondents also cited a lack of technical competencies (34 percent) and lack of workplace competencies (17 percent) as key reasons for difficulty filling available jobs.
The challenges posed by the skills gap have serious ramifications for employers’ ability to meet strategic goals and reach their full potential. Some 42 percent of employers stated that these issues resulted in a reduced ability to serve their clients, and that it negatively impacts their competitiveness and productivity. In addition, 25 percent also noted that it reduced their workforce’s creativity and innovation, which are critical to driving growth.
These trends are mirrored by data specific to the United States, with minor exceptions – 32 percent of American employers have noted difficulties in filling jobs, and additional CTE related fields including nurses were included on the list of the most difficult positions to fill. By increasing access to high quality CTE for America’s students, we can help to overcome these skills gaps to ensure our workforce is well equipped and our economy continues to grow.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 05/20/2015 at 02:52 PM in Career Readiness, Data and Research, In the News | Permalink
President Obama recently delivered a commencement address to the graduating class of 2015 from Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) in Watertown, South Dakota. LATI serves more than 2,000 students enrolled in 29 programs, including fields like Computer Information Systems, Financial Services and Robotics. LATI has gained national recognition for its highly successful program outcomes - 98 percent of graduates from LATI are employed or enrolled in continued education, and they enjoy nearly 50 percent higher earnings than the national average.
During his address, President Obama emphasized the tenets of successful CTE programs that have helped to drive LATI’s success:
This is not an accident. It's the result of a relentless focus on teaching real-world skills that lead directly to a job. In your time here, you've done hands-on work with companies across the upper Midwest. Employers even help design the curriculum. You work direct with the tools and the technology that you'll encounter in the workforce -- from car engines to welding equipment to your new MakerSpace, with 3D printers that were actually built by Lake Area students. And your instructors haven't just taught you new skills -- they've helped place you in new careers.
President Obama also used the address as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of his America’s College Promise initiative, which would provide free community college tuition for qualifying students. He noted that postsecondary CTE programs like LATI can provide economic mobility for students that are willing to work hard while overcoming challenges posed to business and industry by the skills gap. Obama reiterated that, “In just two years, schools like this can change lives, change careers, grow our economy. It can change our country. All of us are better off when our businesses have access to the best-trained workers in the world.”
Posted by Sean Lynch on 05/19/2015 at 04:27 PM in Executive Branch, In the News, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
Four scenarios for how the credential landscape will look 10 years from now are presented in a fascinating brief from KnowledgeWorks.
In the most likely scenario, educational credentials are still the gold standard, but pathways have multiplied and students gain certifications and micro-credentials, such as badges, to stand out from the crowd.
Then, author Jason Swanson stretches his imagination to envision futures that break more startlingly from the past:
Which scenario do you think is the most likely?
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 05/18/2015 at 11:51 AM in Career Readiness | Permalink
The National Journal featured a series of articles praising CTE as a promising opportunity to engage students and promote college- and career-readiness outcomes as a part of its Next America project. The articles, written by Staff Correspondent Sophie Quinton, highlighted secondary CTE programs such as comprehensive high schools and technical centers’ unique ability to help students explore their career aspirations at an earlier age. These opportunities allow students to identify their interests and obtain the education necessary to achieve those goals.
The first piece, “What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up 101,” spotlighted T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria Virginia. There, Quinton visited a surgical technologist class that boasts a partnership with local Inova Alexandria Hospital and an articulation agreement with Northern Virginia Community College. Quinton noted the many motivations and interests among T.C. Williams’ students for enrolling in CTE programs, including personal interests, college preparation and career exploration.
The second piece examined West Virginia’s Simulated Workplace initiative, a CTE program model that puts students in the driver’s seat of their program’s industry sector. Students in courses at United Technical Center in Clarksburg, Virginia leap into their field of study headfirst by treating their classroom like a job, including clocking in and out, running “staff” meetings and working in assigned positions – for example, students in the school’s machine tool technology program take turns in positions including shop foremen and safety coordinators. All of these steps are intended to more fully immerse the student in their CTE curriculum and help them to better understand their chosen career path, as well as putting their skills to the test in a safe and supportive environment.
Positive coverage of CTE programs helps to spread awareness of the role that CTE has in every student’s education to prepare them for 21st century careers. To learn more about how you can attract positive coverage of your CTE program, click here to visit ACTE’s Advocacy Toolkit – and if you want to go above and beyond, consider organizing a media tour in your state using our newly published how-to guide here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 05/15/2015 at 11:44 AM in Career Readiness, In the News | Permalink
Adults without a college degree are unsure of what benefits they would receive from postsecondary education and overestimate college costs, according to an American Enterprise Institute brief.
High Costs, Uncertain Benefits shares findings from a nationally representative survey of adults who do not hold a college degree:
Author Andrew P. Kelly concludes that postsecondary advocates have not sold adults with less than a degree on the benefits of higher education, particularly when it comes to sub-baccalaureate credentials, due at least in part to misinformation common in the general public.
To find out if providing respondents with information on educational pathways available, tuition costs and financial aid changes their beliefs and aspirations, a follow-up study is underway.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 05/14/2015 at 11:41 AM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
Recently, the U.S. Department of Education announced the second round of funding for the First in the World (FITW) grant program. FITW grants are intended to support innovative approaches to increasing postsecondary student retention and completion, particularly among students from low-income backgrounds, first-generation college students, working students and adult learners. Colleges, universities or a consortium of institutions of higher education will compete for a share of the $60 million that is available through FITW this year. Eligible applicants will be able to apply under one of two different grant categories: “development” or “validation.” The development grants will fund novel and innovative projects that are backed by “strong theory,” while the validation grant category will focus on expanding projects supported by strong evidence of effectiveness. Projects must address one of three priority areas to receive funding through a development grant, which include improving teaching and learning, developing and using assessments of student learning, and facilitating pathways to credentialing and transfer. To receive a validation grant, projects should focus on improving success in developmental education, improving teaching and learning, improving student support services, or influencing the development of non-cognitive factors. The deadline for applications is June 30, 2015
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 05/13/2015 at 10:30 AM in Federal Funding | Permalink
On Wednesday, May 6, the Department of Education (ED) held a briefing for administration staff and other interested stakeholders titled “Family and Consumer Sciences: Foundational Career Readiness Education.” The event, organized in part by the National Association for State Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences (NASAFACS), featured speakers from the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) community outlining the opportunities that their classrooms offer to prepare students for personal and professional success.
A major component of the briefing was identifying the ways that FACS classrooms teach skills that can give students a leg up in today’s competitive job market. The presenters noted the connections between FACS curriculum and highly sought STEM skills through teamwork-intensive and project-based lessons, as well as the unique opportunity FACS classrooms have to engage female students in nontraditional fields. In addition, NASAFACS President Gayla Randel emphasized in her remarks the employability skills that are taught through FACS curriculum, including critical thinking, problem solving and communication.
The briefing provided attendees with critical information about how FACS and CTE classrooms are preparing students to graduate college-and career-ready. To learn more about ACTE’s FACS division and the opportunities available to students in these programs nationwide, visit its webpage here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 05/11/2015 at 12:48 PM in Career Readiness, Executive Branch, In the News, STEM | Permalink
POLITICO Pro Labor and Employment hosted the first of a series of events related to issues affecting the American job market and economy this week titled “The Skills Gap: Fact or Fiction,” presenting an in-depth discussion of the skills gap among leading economists and policy thought leaders. Panelists included Rosario Marin, former U.S. Treasurer and Co-chair of the American Competitiveness Alliance; Betsey Stevenson, a member of the White House Council on Economic Advisers; Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Chauncy Lennon, Head of Workforce Initiatives, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase.
The panelists discussed the skills gap and its implications for the nation’s labor and employment policies. While the economic recession posed an enormous challenge for American labor markets, the consensus among attendees was that economic indicators don’t point to the skills gap as a contributing factor. However, Stevenson noted, employers’ needs for a skilled workforce have put increased pressure on policymakers to increase students’ educational attainment. She later referenced the proliferation of high school education for all students as one of the factors that drove America’s economic power in the past, and pointed to the need for all students to gain additional skills training in what she called the “college movement.”
Another topic discussed was whether the skills gap is a demonstrable issue necessitating congressional action, particularly in light of research that suggests Americans are already obtaining higher education in high numbers yet not experiencing rising wages.
“I think it’s important when we’re talking about the skills gap, to move away from the idea of the skills gap as a broad phenomenon that describes the economy at large. We need to look into particular sectors, we need to look into... the way that technology and (sic) that skills can get behind technology, how that can get caught up in lots of labor market friction, especially for jobs that you often call middle-skill jobs,” Lennon said. “This is not a problem that is undermining the economy at large, this is not a problem which is a huge contributor to unemployment, but it is a reality and in particular it’s a reality for certain kinds of workers who do not have the kind of skills that are really in-demand and that get them traction in the labor market.”
ACTE advocates for effective policies that will equip students with skills today for the careers of tomorrow, and that will help connect qualified workers to opportunities in growing sectors. To view the archived webcast of the event, click here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 05/07/2015 at 04:10 PM in In the News, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
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