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ERIC Number: ED535321
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 55
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 29
Career and Technical Education: Five Ways That Pay along the Way to the B.A.
Carnevale, Anthony P.; Jayasundera, Tamara; Hanson, Andrew R.
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
For recent high school graduates, life is tough. In the past year, one in four young high school graduates was unemployed and over half were underemployed. In the past decade, recent high school graduates' wages have fallen by 12 percent to just $19,400 annually in 2011, below the poverty threshold for a family of four. The downward plight of high school graduates did not begin yesterday. It is a story that goes back at least 40 years and represents a structural change in the United States economy, demarcated by rising educational requirements across the labor market and a smaller share of the economic pie for high school-educated workers. As jobs that require only high school or less have disappeared, postsecondary education and training on the job and in schools have become the gateways to the middle class. Most postsecondary education and training discussions focus on the baccalaureate pathway, but there has been an increasing interest in so-called "middle jobs." These are jobs that require education and training beyond high school but less than a Bachelor's degree, and secure middle-class earnings. The education and training programs that prepare Americans for these jobs are commonly referred to as career and technical education (CTE). This report has two parts. Part One explores in detail the five major CTE pathways at the sub-baccalaureate level: employer-based training, industry-based certifications, apprenticeships, postsecondary certificates, and Associate's degrees. Part Two lists the occupations for which CTE prepares American workers. Middle jobs are defined in terms of both education and earnings. The first criterion is that jobs require more education and training than high school but less than a Bachelor's degree. The second criterion is a minimum earnings threshold (MET) of an average of $35,000 a year, which was 185 percent of the poverty line earnings for a family of four in 2011. Employment of Middle-Education Workers, Average Annual Wages, and Projected Growth of Top 10 Paying Middle Jobs by Occupational Group are appended. (Contains 28 figures, 7 tables, and 50 footnotes.) [For "Career and Technical Education: Five Ways That Pay along the Way to the B.A. Executive Summary," see ED535319.]
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. 3300 Whitehaven Street NW Suite 5000 Box 571444, Washington, DC 20057. Tel: 202-687-4922; Fax: 202-687-3110; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce