High schoolers who take career and technology education courses achieve the same college success as students who focus on more academic courses, and they are only slightly less likely to enroll in college in the first place, a study published Tuesday by Education Next found.
Researchers Daniel Kreisman, an assistant professor of economics at Georgia State University, and Kevin Stange, an associate professor of public policy at the University of Michigan, reviewed data from nearly 4,000 participants in the 1998-2015 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and found that for each upper-level CTE class a student took in high school, they earned about 2 percent more annually, even if they didn't go to college, compared to people who took more academic courses without going to college, who had no such return.
“The returns when you get a job from taking upper-level academic courses are all explained by whether you went to college,” Kreisman said. “College increases your earnings, but having taken an academic course does not, necessarily. It doesn’t look like the workforce really values doing well, simply, in math, for example.”
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