Career Technical Education: A Perfectly Valid Alternative


  • Jared Blackwell University of California, San Diego



Career Technical Education, CTE, Vocational Education, High School Education, Vocational Education Versus General Education, Students With Disabilities, Students With Disabilities Education, Student Engagement, Education In California, American Education System, American High School Education, College Education Versus Career Technical Education


There is a pervasive stigma against career technical education in American society. Societal norms would make it seem that college education is superior to, and distinctly separate from, career technical education. Career technical education is seen as a last resort for students that were not able to attend college education, but the documented benefits that come from students attending career technical education are eye-opening. Students that attend career technical education in high school are shown to be more likely to graduate high school on time, as well as even more likely to attend post-secondary education, like two-year colleges, which is totally at odds with the perceptions created by the societal stigma against career technical education. Particularly for students with disabilities, career technical education can be a very empowering education pathway that will increase their employability, wages, hours, as well as employment benefits. The societal stigma surrounding career technical education ought be broken down through arguments such as the one, in order for awareness to spread regarding the positive effects of career technical education.


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References or Bibliography

Dougherty, Shaun M., et al. “Does Increasing Career and Technical Education Coursework in High School Boost Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes? Journal of Education Finance, vol. 44, no. 4, 2019, pp. 423-447, ISSN: 0098-9495.

Gauthier, Thomas. “A Renewed Examination of the Stigma Associated with Community College Career and Technial Education.” Community College Journal of Research and Practice, vol. 44, no. 10, 2020, pp. 870-884, DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2020.1758835.

Gottfried, Michael A. and Jay Stratte Plasman. “Linking the Timing of Career and Technical Education Coursetaking with High School Drop and College-Going Behavior.” American Educational Research Journal, vol. 55, no. 2, 2018, pp. 325-361, ISSN: 0002-8312.

Hamilton, Asia Fuller, et al. “Racial/Ethnic and Gender Equity Patterns in Illinois High School Career and Technical Education Coursework.” Journal of Career and Technical Education, vol. 30, no. 1, 2015, pp. 29-52, DOI: 10.21061/jete.v3011.712.

Wagner, Mary M., et al. “Vocational Education Course Taking and Post-High School Employment of Youth with Emotional Disturbances.” Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, vol. 40, no. 3, 2017, pp. 132-143. DOI: 10.1177/2165143415626399.



How to Cite

Blackwell, J. (2023). Career Technical Education: A Perfectly Valid Alternative . Journal of Student Research, 12(3).



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