The month of February is recognized as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. Previously known as Vocational Education, CTE prepares students for the workforce across a wide range of industries and occupations. Those who are involved in the CTE work have an up-close view of the benefits that CTE offers students daily.
Benefits of pursuing Career and Technical Education
- CTE is associated with higher levels of student engagement and reduced dropout rates. In fact, the average high school graduation rate for CTE concentrators1 is 94.3% compared to the national rate of 85%.
- Concentrators are slightly more likely than non-concentrators to enroll in postsecondary education2 and are just as likely to earn a degree or certification.
- High School CTE concentrators are more likely than non-concentrators to be fully employed and have higher average annual earnings eight years after graduation.
- Postsecondary CTE programs lead to careers in high-demand occupations. About 77% of employers from in-demand industries report hiring an employee because of the knowledge and skills gained from their CTE experience.
- Associate degree holders (two-year degrees) in CTE fields such as architecture and engineering, healthcare, skilled trade, and computer occupations can earn more than $2 million over their lifetime, and up to $2.8 million, the same average lifetime earnings for workers with bachelor’s degrees.
- A majority of U.S. workers, both employed and unemployed, report seeking additional career development or reskill3 opportunities. More than half of Americans looking to develop job skills prefer CTE-related programs and credentials.
1 Concentrator - Student who enrolls in and completes multiple courses in one CTE program of study.
2 Postsecondary education - Learning that takes place beyond high school graduation, including trade schools, two-year community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities.
3 Reskill- learning new skills to secure a different job/position
CTE opportunities in Lauderdale County
Endless opportunities are available for LCS CTE students. These opportunities include:
Hands-on, real-world experiences
4 Dual credit - students completing a single course to earn academic credits that are recognized by two or more institutions
5 Dual enrollment - students taking courses simultaneously at two separate institutions
During CTE month, both Ripley and Halls High School will be sponsoring events on Thursday, February 16th, focused on CTE enrollment and future career opportunities.
Ripley High School will host a Career Fair Showcase. From 12:00PM-3:00PM, local business and industry partners have been invited for career-field exposure and networking opportunities for our students. Each of these community partners aligns with a program of study offered at RHS, allowing students to interact with career field experts. From 4:00PM-6:00PM, the Showcase will be open to our current community workforce, which includes families and recent graduates. Our community partners will make connections, collect applications, and potentially conduct formal interviews for current job opportunities.
Halls High School will host a Program of Study Showcase from 4:00PM-6:30PM. This showcase provides insight on program offerings and opportunities to connect with educators. Rising freshmen will attend the showcase during the day to consider course selections for the 2023-2024 school year. Families are invited to attend the evening showcase from 4:00PM-6:30PM.
“These partnerships and showcases are a small, yet integral part of the work that the LCS Career and Technical Education Department does”, said Latonya Jackson, Director of Secondary and Career-Technical Education. “Our scope of work is to support the expansion of our local workforce and to provide a continuous workforce-ready pipeline.”
LCS offers a variety of programs and pathways to enhance our students’ skills and productivity. The LCS CTE department urges families and community members to become informed about and involved with the career and technical education programs in our district as we continue to support our local workforce-ready pipeline efforts.