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Trends in STEM

The Proven Benefits of Career and Technical Training

As educators across the country continue to prepare their students for success after they leave the classroom, in recent years, the promotion of career and technical education (CTE) at all grade levels has grown.

In contrast to traditional pedagogies that focus on theory, CTE focuses on developing the skills needed to excel in a particular role. In practice, this means that a bulk of the training is often hands-on in nature, allowing students the opportunity to confront and overcome challenges they might face when entering the workforce.

In an article published by the Fordham Institute, Amber M. Northern and Jeanette Luna discuss some of the benefits of CTE, including:

  • Increased graduation rates: Studies from multiple states have shown that participating in CTE increases high school graduation rates. In one study published in Civic Enterprises, 81% of high school dropouts who responded to a survey said they would have stayed in school if they had received relevant, real-world learning opportunities. 
  • Increased postsecondary outcomes: Especially for women and people from disadvantaged groups, participation in CTE increases college attendance rates. Further specialization and concentration within a particular field also increases the likelihood that a student will attend college in the first place and and obtain a postsecondary credential in that field. 
  • Increased income: Many studies have shown that CTE is associated with a substantial increase in initial earnings. A Fordham University-commissioned study found that high-schoolers who earned a credential in information technology, health science, business or audio/visual arts achieved “postsecondary-success,” and either enrolled in college or earned a living wage. 
  • Enhancement of other skills: Research shows that building “soft skills” like grit, work ethic and perseverance can increase life outcomes and will benefit many areas of a student’s life. Additionally, the hands-on and collaborative nature of CTE helps teach social and emotional skills that are crucial for all careers. 
  • Helping the most vulnerable: Research shows that students who engage in CTE are more likely to avoid poverty through employment or participation in educational training programs, irrespective of the career path they pursue after high school.


CTE and the I Can Invent Mindset

Another strength of CTE is that its principles can be introduced to students at a young age. At the National Inventors Hall of Fame®, for more than 30 years, we have developed invention education programs that, like CTE, focus on the practical, hands-on application of valuable skills.

Inspired by our revolutionary Inductees, all our PreK-8 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs challenge learners to navigate real-world challenges while building the I Can Invent® Mindset. This powerful mindset, which has been demonstrated by our Inductees, will benefit students throughout their lives.

Every National Inventors Hall of Fame education program provides students with many engaging opportunities to practice and strengthen the I Can Invent Mindset, guiding them to build confidence in their problem-solving abilities and gain valuable skills for future success in any career path they choose to pursue.


Learn More About Our Programs

To learn why thousands of districts in all 50 states have partnered with us to maximize student outcomes, visit our website!

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