Preparing for Career Success

A landscape analysis of secondary CTE and career pathways data

Success in college remains critical to many young people’s life outcomes. And we’ve seen that indicators of college success (such as enrollment, persistence, and remediation) have value for parents and students in helping them understand what’s working in high schools. But college-related outcome metrics do not capture all the educational experiences that can set students on the road to successful and fulfilling careers. In fact, evidence suggests that students exposed to career and technical education courses and work-based learning experiences are not only more likely to complete high school, but they may also be more likely to enroll in college and earn more over their lifetime. Despite this promising evidence, there remains little information accessible to families about the availability and quality of career pathways at the secondary level.

This is likely the result of both the simple fact that a college degree remains the goal for most students and their families, as well as the unfortunate reality that data on the availability and caliber of career and technical education (CTE) programs and career pathways is uneven at best. To understand what information is available and if it can be used to assess high schools’ CTE and pathway programs, GreatSchools conducted a national landscape analysis of publicly available, school-level, career-specific data. Download report.

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