*This post summarizes the key points and lists all direct links to resources, data, and graphs presented in the Emerging CTE Pathways: High Pay, High Growth Careers that start NOW! Webinar from October 2020. Watch the recording here.
While it may be easy to quickly look up surveys like the 2018 OECD Study of 15-year old “Dream Jobs” worldwide or the bi-annual National Society of High School Scholars Career Survey, or many others to get a handle on the kinds of jobs teenagers think they want to work toward, Career and Technical Education programs are directed by Perkins V to think about the needs of the national economy and emerging workforce. CTE programs may begin in 6th-9th grade, providing career exploration curriculum and activities that need to predict industry trends 6-10 years in advance when these students will actually enter the world of work.
In addition to fortune-telling, CTE administrators need to FIRST engage students in a career pathway and keep them in it for their high school career. The OECD PISA Survey of 2018, recorded that out of 600,000 15-year-olds around the world, students were much more likely to agree that school will help them get a job if they spoke to a career advisor at their school. Speaking to someone about their career plans more than tripled the students’ chance of agreeing that school will help them get a job than students who completed an internship but did not speak to a career advisor.
Therefore, to successfully choose course alignments and career pathways for CTE programs, we need to be able to:
Anticipating the Future requires being in touch with local industry partners as well as up-to-date on national CTE education and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment information. We can’t rely on one set of information as the Perkins Data Explorer tracks CTE Concentrator Enrollment and not necessarily total enrollment or interest from students in CTE and CTE-related courses. While Labor Statistics must be extrapolated to state and regional needs and take into account wages, growth rate, job openings, risk of replacement due to automation, and emerging industry needs.
Recent trends show that three areas are meeting most if not all of the job outlook information CTE administrators search for AND are aligned with growing student interests:
Setting up Programs for Perkins Funding Success entails an understanding Perkins V, which was re-signed into law in July 2018. However, CTE administrators can safely build out their programs knowing they will help meet Perkins Indicators if they focus on the following questions for each of their Career Pathways:
Each state may very well have tools to help districts offer these pieces of their programs, from state listings of careers that meet the state’s threshold for high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand like Nebraska’s h3 site, to approved industry certification or credentials lists (Ex. Florida CAPE List), to nontraditional occupations resources (Ex: Kansas DOE) and WBL planning tools (Ex. CareerWise Colorado). Some key national tools to use for any state are linked in the list above.
Keep in mind that many industry certifications are too-high a level for High School CTE students, even focused and engaged ones, and may have age restrictions. When looking for industry certifications to align to your courses and programs, consider the following questions:
A great resource to start thinking about industry certification is to check our Industry Certification Brochure to see which industry certifications our titles and digital resources align to and how MindTap, the online solution for CTE courses, which offers virtual simulations, practice questions, and more to prepare students for their exams.
There are many ways to Encouraging the Career Journey for students from offering a more robust and hands-on career exploration curriculum, to virtual simulations, or in-person work-based learning experiences and Career and Technical Student Organization (CSTO) competitions. But one way that is easy to add to conversations with a work-based learning advisor or career counselor is to offer Professional Role Models for students that they would otherwise never have met in their personal lives. CTE teachers are used to incorporating their own real-world experiences and offering job shadowing in-person or virtual class speakers, or interview projects as part of the student’s grade. National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage CTE curriculum almost always includes in-text and digital features with the goal of offering real-world experience and a professional perspective for students to truly understand what it’s like to work that job.
Videos, virtual simulations, or branching, decision-making scenarios are often integrated into MindTap, the online learning solution for CTE courses to offer some real-world experience from the pros. This ExploreInside Blog is now offering a new series of blog posts called the CAREER JOURNEYS blog series that highlights real professionals in careers aligned to the 16 (soon to be 17) Career Clusters, with O*Net Career Outlook information as well as their answers to the following questions:
With Career Journeys, we hope to expose more professionals to the CTE student journey and more CTE students to real-world examples of what it’s like to train for find and work in modern careers with an eye to the future changes coming our way.
WATCH the October 8th webinar where I investigate the top Career Pathways offered in Middle through High School that lead to high paying, high growing jobs. From an exploration of public data from the Department of Labor and published Career Education trends, to recorded interviews of real-world professionals on the job, and conversations with hundreds of teachers—learn about emerging opportunities for updating, changing, or rebuilding CTE Career Pathways. This session focuses on recommendations that are in line with Perkins V Performance indicators by highlighting Secondary Career Pathways and emerging courses that offer opportunities to encourage students to achieve CTE Concentrator Status and engage in Work-Based Learning experiences.