ERIC Number: ED300884
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: 0
Occupational Training in High School: When Does It Pay Off? Working Paper #88-09.
Since about half of all youth neither complete high school nor opt to go to college, schools need to decide what form of occupationally specific education and training (if any) should be offered these youth. This paper first provides a literature review organized around several questions concerning: (1) the economic benefits of occupationally specific education; (2) the number of youth getting training-related jobs; (3) reasons why the occupationally specific skills learned are not used on the job; (4) whether vocational education generates noneconomic benefits or lowers dropout rates; (5) substitution of basic skills for occupational skills; and (6) whether higher rates of skill obsolescence have drastically lowered the payoff to occupationally specific training. Research clearly implies that occupationally specific education very positively influences labor market success when training-related jobs are obtained. If jobs are unrelated to training, high school graduates receive no economic or noneconomic benefits from their vocational education. Part II of this paper discusses policy implications for high school vocational education. Although some opinion leaders want job-related training to be phased out of high schools and made the responsibility of postsecondary institutions or even employers, in practice this is unfeasible. Occupational specific education offers dropout-prone students a chance to succeed at something difficult and superior to fast food restaurant work. Ways to organize and pay for this education are discussed at length, and recommendations are made to ensure success. Included are 15 endnotes and 34 references. (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Ithaca. School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell Univ.