After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more tradespeople
From PBS NewsHour – Matt Krupnick, The Hechinger Report. August 29, 2017
Research by [California’s] 114-campus community college system showed that families and employers alike didn’t know of the existence or value of vocational programs and the certifications they confer, many of which can add tens of thousands of dollars per year to a graduate’s income.
“We needed to do a better job getting the word out,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, the system’s vice chancellor for workforce and economic development.
High schools and colleges have struggled for decades to attract students to job-oriented classes ranging from welding to nursing. They’ve tried cosmetic changes, such as rebranding “vocational” courses as “career and technical education,” but students and their families have yet to buy in, said Andrew Hanson, a senior research analyst with Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.
Federal figures show that only 8 percent of undergraduates are enrolled in certificate programs, which tend to be vocationally oriented.