The Importance of CTE Programs


Jaden DeSavage

CTE Office at Portsmouth High School

Jaden DeSavage, Paper Clip Staff/Writer

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs are designed to prepare students for success in the workforce. These programs offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a specific field, which can be invaluable when it comes time to enter the job market. In today’s fast-paced world, employers are looking for candidates who have both academic knowledge and practical skills. CTE programs provide students with the opportunity to develop these skills in a real-world setting.


CTE programs allow students to explore their interests and discover what they are truly passionate about. By participating in a CTE program, students can gain a better understanding of what a particular career entails, and whether it is a good fit for them. This can be especially beneficial for students who are unsure of what they want to do after high school.


CTE programs are also important because they can help address the skills gap that exists in many industries. According to the National Skills Coalition, more than half of all jobs in the United States require some form of postsecondary education or training beyond high school, but only 47% of working-age adults have the necessary skills and credentials. By providing students with the skills and training they need to succeed in the workforce, CTE programs can help bridge this gap.


Unfortunately, many CTE programs have been underfunded in recent years, which has limited their effectiveness. According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, federal funding for CTE programs has declined by 30% over the past decade. This has made it difficult for schools to provide students with the resources they need to succeed in these programs.


To address this issue, policymakers need to allocate more funds to CTE programs to ensure that they are adequately funded. This would help to ensure that all students have access to high-quality CTE programs, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. Additionally, schools should work to strengthen their partnerships with local businesses and industries to ensure that their CTE programs are aligned with the needs of the workforce.


CTE programs are a vital part of our education system. They provide students with the skills and training they need to succeed in the workforce, while also helping them to explore their interests and passions. By investing in CTE programs, we can help ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in the twenty-first century economy.