Career Readiness: One Size Does NOT Always Fit All

Jeff Parcell 2017-02-10

There are many different paths students can choose on the road to education and career readiness, and these paths will all potentially lead to a successful career. But is one direction better than another? As a continuation of our celebration of Career and Technical Education Month®, we asked our advisors to share their thoughts on the benefits of attending a CTE school over a traditional college or university. Karen has been overseeing the NTHS chapter at GI-Tech Education Center for many years, and here’s what she had to say:

After watching family and friends scramble to find work – any work, after attaining 4+ year degrees, and leaving with thousands of dollars of debt hanging over their heads, my thoughts are these:

A 4-year degree is NOT for everyone, nor should it be…

Our nation is fast losing the skills and technical know-how to actually, physically DO the practical things of life.  Where would we be if suddenly there were no plumbers, electricians, machinists, graphic designers, welders, builders, chefs, nurses and techs, mechanics, broadcasting professionals… and even cosmetologists?!  To whom would we turn when the inevitable need for those skills arose?  And it is good to remember that CTE promotes more than technical expertise.  It also focuses on character development, work ethic, employability skills, responsibility, leadership, and desire to succeed. 

We need to rethink our priorities, and if they really make sense.  A college degree is valuable and commendable - no doubt – but a career technical degree or certification is of equal value.  A well-functioning society needs both sides of that coin to remain productive and self-sufficient.

Karen Petoskey
Work Based Learning Facilitator and NTHS Advisor
at Gratiot-Isabella Technical Education Center
Mt. Pleasant, MI