Article Delves Into Problems with American Career Training Programs

An article in the City Journal finds that career and technical training programs in the United States fail to prepare students for high paying job opportunities.

A former Qualcomm executive who’d grown concerned about how hard it was for San Diego tech firms to find qualified workers founded High Tech High schools that use project-based learning instead of textbooks, according to the City Journal.

As described in the City Journal, other countries have career and technical training programs that draw top talent and prepare students for high-income earning positions.

By contrast, the article finds,

Career and technical training in the U.S. hasn’t evolved to keep up with the transformation of the modern economy—with many schools even slashing funding for vocational education. Worse, parents, guidance counselors, and even politicians keep pushing students to enter four-year college programs that provide no clear paths to employment. Meantime, jobs in traditional blue-collar trades—from manufacturing to automobile repair—have grown more sophisticated and demanding. A huge gap between job seekers’ skills and employers’ needs has resulted.

The article also shares how partnerships between industry and education systems can enhance career and technical training programs.

For more on this perspective, and examples of programs that are pushing a new form of career and technical training, see Vocational Ed, Reborn.

The MACo Summer Conference will feature a session on the topic of career and technical training and Maryland’s programs:

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads: Let Career Training Transport Maryland Students
It’s back to the future for Maryland’s students. Not all need a college degree to succeed, but training will be key. Schools are changing course to prepare students for a new economy. And even for those who pursue higher education, technical skills are an asset. Hear how high schools are incorporating careers into the classroom through partnership with industry experts, and programs that provide job training and certifications.


  • Rhonda Hinch, Cadet Coordinator, Harford County Volunteer Fire Department
  • Lynne Gilli, Assistant State Superintendent Division of Career and College Readiness, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Michael Thomas, Director, Office of Learning to Work, Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Kristine Pearl, Supervisor Career and Technology Education, Frederick County Public Schools

Moderator: Jim Rosapepe, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Saturday, August 19, 2017; 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: