What is CTE?

  • The term “career and technical education” or “CTE” evolved from “vocational education,” which traces back more than 100 years. Today that education is much broader than agriculture and homemaking. Students can select from courses in 16 different Career Clusters and hundreds of different careers requiring varying levels of education.

    Cutting-edge, rigorous and relevant career and technical education (CTE) prepares youth for high-wage, high-skill, in-demand careers in established and emerging industries. CTE offers clear pathways to industry certifications as well as postsecondary programs and degrees. It prepares students to be college-and career-ready by providing core academics skills, employability skills, and technical, job-specific skills.

    National research shows that high school students involved in CTE are more engaged, graduate at higher rates and typically go on to postsecondary education.  CTE works for students, families, businesses, and the economy. 

    Learn more from the Association for Career and Technical Education, including Basic FactsPolicy and Advocacy Publications, and State CTE Profiles.