Why Career and Technical Education?

A career and technology based education will help your child to be more than just an average student. Career and technology education can give your child what’s needed to succeed for life: technical skills, academic skills and employability skills. In addition, career and technical education helps students see how what they’re learning applies to the needs of employers.

Regardless of whether students are headed for college or the workforce, this type of education will help them prepare for the future. In fact, college-bound students can get job experiences to help them define their career plans, identify an appropriate course of study and help pay for tuition.

Just think of the benefits your child will receive by gaining not only a solid foundation in academics, but also hands-on, technical experience and know-how.


But wait! There’s more!

Add SkillsUSA to career and technology based education, and you’ll give your child further advantages!

SkillsUSA activities develop positive attitudes, build self-esteem and empower students to excel. They give students a head start in developing valuable professional skills such as communications, interpersonal abilities, time management, teamwork and more. Because SkillsUSA works hand-in-hand with business and industry, students get the skills employers want.


SkillsUSA and career and technical education continue to play a vital role in enhancing American education and the future of America’s skilled workforce. Stay up to date on the latest research about CTSOs and CTE.

Additional Research

Research from Advance CTE.

Downloadable Resources

STEM and CTE Alignment

Career and Technical Education is an important part of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) educational goals established by the Department of Education.

CTE is a catalyst for STEM education. We know there are unfilled STEM jobs and the gap for students in STEM fields is widening.

Often times when individuals think about STEM, they think of scientists and engineers which is right target. However, what doesn’t come to mind are the numerous high wage, high skilled, high demand careers that for which CTE is preparing students.

The magic of CTE is the definition of STEM not just Science or Technology, Engineering or Math but the integration of two or more of these topics in the context that students are passionate about. Without the combination of two or more of the STEM components you are not teaching STEM. That is why CTE is a perfect fit for STEM education.

This is an exciting time for CTE teachers and SkillsUSA advisors. The country needs highly-trained employees in both technical and employability skills to begin to bridge the skilled labor gap. There has never been a better time to be skilled in America and we believe there has never been a better time to be involved in CTE and SkillsUSA.

Downloadable Resources

STEM and Manufacturing

Contrary to public perceptions, U.S. manufacturing would rank today as the world’s 8th largest economy, and U.S. leadership in high-tech manufacturing continues to offer some of the best opportunities for financial reward and professional challenge. Take a look at this infographic about today’s manufacturing realities

Click to view full size.

U.S. Skills Gap

The skills gap in the United States is a growing crisis for our nation. Our friends at WorkBoots.com developed the Infographic below to illustrate the problem.

Other CTE Websites

Below are some links to career and technical education, adult and general education websites:

Advance CTE 
The longest-standing national non-profit that represents State Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across all 50 states and U.S. territories.  Advance CTE was formerly known as the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc).

Association for Talent Development
Formerly known as the American Society for Training and Development, ATD helps others achieve their full potential by improving their knowledge, skills and abilities in the workplace.

Association for Career and Technical Education
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers. It’s mission is to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce.

Association for Skilled and Technical Sciences (ASTS)
The Association for Skilled and Technical Sciences (ASTS) is an organization for all instructors, administrators, teacher educators, industry representatives and others interested in the skilled trades.

National Association of Manufacturers
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states.

National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO)
The National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO) is a coalition of national career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) serving career and technical education students and teachers in one or more of the 16 Career Clusters® identified in The National Career Clusters® Framework.

National Research Center for Career and Technical Education
The NRCCTE is committed to providing evidence-based solutions to the most vexing problems confronting CTE today, including how to better engage students in the school experience; how to improve academic as well as technical achievement; and how to improve the transition of college and career ready young people from high school to continuing education beyond high school.

Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)
SME promotes advanced manufacturing technology and develops a skilled workforce. Its purpose is to advance manufacturing and attract future generations.

U.S. Department of Education
ED’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.