The Workforce Series (6): Career and Technical Education

workforce blog seriesAs part of the Greater Mankato Growth Talent Initiative, GMG is publishing a guest blog series highlighting the programs, tools and resources that are available in our marketplace. This series can serve as a catalog or library for businesses to address workforce issues. 


Career and Technical Education: What is it and why is it so important?

Written by: Gwenn Wolters, Regional College and Career Readiness Coordinator, South Central Service Cooperative

There are a lot of definitions of Career and Technical Education. The most comprehensive definition I found is: Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students of all ages with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and become lifelong learners. Here’s another facet to CTE that this definition missed: CTE prepares youth and adults for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, high-demand jobs.

CTE classes in high schools or secondary schools help students connect what they’re learning to the real world. These classes can help students gain key skills to help them get a job after graduation. CTE classes are also a great way to explore career options and meet the people who work in them. When the perfect storm hits, students can also earn college credits. This is a win-win situation! Some examples of CTE classes include: Welding, Accounting, Web Design, Culinary, Small Engines, and Woods, just to name a few. If you look at this list, I think you can see a trend. These classes fall neatly into the Career Wheel.

gwenn wolters blog

Now that we know WHAT it is, why is this so important? Today’s CTE is innovative. It’s cutting-edge, technologically exciting and prepares students of all ages and abilities for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers that graduates can start quickly. CTE programs educate students for a range of options integrating academics and application, they prepare students to be college- and career-ready by providing core academic skills, employability skills and technical, job-specific skills. The best CTE programs provide the opportunity to earn stackable industry-recognized credentials along well-defined career pathways, allowing students to enter the job market quickly while maintaining the option for further education and training to enhance career prospects and earnings.

To learn more, follow this link:


es_MXEspañol de México