Technical-Focused Pathways through CTE Across America

Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares students to enter the workforce job-ready in growing fields such as information technology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: employment in computer and information technology occupations will grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares students to enter the workforce job-ready in growing fields such as information technology. CTE provides pathways for growing professions that do not require a four-year college degree. The CTE Information Technology (I.T.) program focuses on the design, implementation, and management of linked systems of computers, peripherals and associated software and prepares students with the technical skills required to support networks and network users.

The IT sector is at the forefront of American innovation; it includes software and hardware development, cloud and mobile computing, cybersecurity, data management, and more relying on highly skilled employees helping to improve productivity in the United States and across the globe.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: employment in computer and information technology occupations will grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. These occupations are projected to add about 667,600 new jobs. Demand for these workers will stem from the greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $91,250 in May 2020, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $41,950.

Here are the top 5 coding focused occupations covered by the CTE information technology cluster:

Computer and Information Research Scientist: Computer and information research scientists design innovative uses for new and existing computing technology.

Computer Programming: Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly.

Database Administrators and Architects: Database administrators and architects create or organize systems to store and secure data.

Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers: Software developers design computer applications or programs. Software quality assurance analysts and testers identify problems with applications or programs and report defects. 

Web Developers and Digital Designers: Web developers create and maintain websites. Digital designers develop, design, and test websites or interface layouts, functions, and navigation for usability. Educational requirements for web developers and digital designers vary, ranging from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree.

Participating in CTE information technology programs opens opportunities for all types of students. It can help them discover a wide variety of IT career options, from writing simple scripts as Junior Developers to writing more complex applications that would someday allow them to pursue more senior-level programming roles across almost any industry vertical. The experience students gain help them to determine whether IT is a career path they might enjoy and want to explore further.

Achieving a Knowledge Pillars coding or web-editing credential help students create a pathway to success whether they are ready to jump into the labor market or planning to head off to college. ECMC Group together with Vice Media surveyed 2.200 high-school students and discovered that 74% agree that an education focusing on trade skills, nursing, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is beneficial. However, 64% are concerned about how they will pay for higher education. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is why CTE programs are so valuable for individuals faced with any barriers to postsecondary educational opportunities. It allows these individuals to plan for work or a career path after high school. Being a part of Gen A, a modelled life-long learner, this works in their favour.

Eduniversal Evaluation Agency (EEA) says: “by the time generation Alpha reaches the job market, a bachelor’s in business administration will be as unique as having an Instagram account. Generation Alpha will spend more years learning than any generation before as technology will move even faster. All-purpose diplomas that were very popular with the millennials will have a zero-face-value on the job market.”

Already the National Center for Education Statistics projected that there would only be a 6% increase between 2017 and 2028 for enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions of students aged 14-24. That percentage has dropped from the previous increase of 32% percent experienced in the previous reporting period between 2000 and 2017.

Conclusion

The federal Department of Education has released national and state-level enrollment information and highlighted several key-national-trends concluding that Information Technology remained one of the top four career clusters among secondary and postsecondary CTE concentrators. Teachers and CTE Supervisors of K-12 and middle schools are aligning the Knowledge Pillars industry-needs-and-priorities focused certification exams to their state career and technical education programs, preparing their Gen A students for the future of work.

Engage with the Knowledge Pillars sales team to learn more about how other teachers have successfully implemented Knowledge Pillars live-in-the-app certification exams and practice tests into their various subjects and curriculums.

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