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ERIC Number: ED557078
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 45
Abstractor: ERIC
Career-Technical Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from California Community Colleges. A CAPSEE Working Paper
Stevens, Ann; Kurlaender, Michal; Grosz, Michel
Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment
This paper estimates the earnings returns to vocational, or career-technical, education programs in the nation's largest community college system. While career-technical education (CTE) programs have often been mentioned as an attractive alternative to four-year colleges for some students, very little systematic evidence exists on the returns to specific vocational certificates and degrees. Using administrative data covering the entire California Community Colleges system and linked administrative earnings records, this study estimates returns to CTE education. We use rich pre-enrollment earnings data and estimation approaches including individual fixed-effects and individual trends, and find average returns to CTE certificate and degrees that range from 12 to 23 percent. The largest returns are for programs in the healthcare sector; among non-health related CTE programs estimated returns range from 5 to 10 percent. An appendix provides a supplementary figure and two supplementary tables.
Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment. Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street Box 174, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212.678.3091; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED); Smith Richardson Foundation; University of California, Davis. Center for Poverty Research; University of California, Davis. Interdisciplinary Frontiers in the Humanities and Arts (IFHA) Program
Authoring Institution: Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE)
Identifiers - Location: California
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305C110011