About Career and Technical Education (CTE)
21st century career and technical education provides secondary and adult students with the academic and technical skills they need to succeed in college and in all types of high-skill, high-paying and in-demand careers.
Today’s career and technical education, or CTE, is very different from the vocational school model of the past. CTE prepares students for careers, not just a particular job. It focuses students on cutting-edge technology in their chosen fields, workplace skills and real-world learning opportunities.
It incorporates partnerships with colleges and universities, as well as employers, to provide students with a clear pathway to success.
It integrates academics in a hands-on context. High school students involved in CTE often are more engaged, perform better, and graduate at higher levels than other students. And in New Jersey, more than 75% of county vocational-technical school graduates go on to college or further technical training.
CTE addresses the needs of businesses by closing the skills gap. It provides adults with the training they need to fill jobs in high-demand industries like advanced manufacturing, health care and construction trades. And it builds a strong pipeline of well-prepared young people to meet future workforce needs in STEM, health sciences, digital media, and various trade and service careers.
Students, parents, employers, policy-makers at all levels of government, and even colleges recognize that CTE provides a tangible value-added element to the high school experience — industry credentials, work-based experiences, college credits, and a career focus that will enable students to excel in higher education and the workplace.
In New Jersey, secondary and adult career and technical education is provided on a regional basis by 21 county vocational-technical school districts. Many local high schools offer some state-approved CTE programs, and community colleges also provide credit and non-credit CTE programs.