This Policy Impact Snapshot, produced by Results for America and the MDRC Center for Effective Career and Technical Education, identifies the major categories of career and technical education currently available within our nation’s secondary and postsecondary education systems and describes the existing research on whether these programs are achieving desired outcomes for students.
Career and technical education (CTE) has been part of the landscape of the U.S. elementary and secondary education system since the very beginning. It has taken different shapes and forms over that time period from apprenticeships, to specialized schools, to career pathways, to vocational education, and more. It has been en vogue, out of fashion, and everything in between. But at its core, career and technical education has always been focused on helping young people further their education in service of getting a job.