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OECD Report: CTE Strategies Embraced Internationally

Career Technical Education (CTE) is a major vehicle for educational attainment internationally, and countries continue to embrace CTE in an effort to increase their skilled workforce.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released yesterday its annual Education at a Glance report to broadly examine the state of education across the globe. The report reaffirms that the U.S. is falling behind in education compared to other countries; for example, the average high school graduation rate for OECD countries is 84 percent, while the 2010 U.S. rate is 77 percent. This ranks the U.S. 22nd out of 27 countries for 2010 high school graduation rates.

However, the report shows that education in the U.S. has a larger payoff than any other country. The average U.S. college graduate earns $19,000 more than a high school graduate, while the average advantage for college graduates across OECD countries is $8,900.

Internationally, CTE is widely embraced as a method of preparing highly-skilled workers. Countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Denmark have historically embraced CTE approaches and continue to rely on CTE. Others, such as the United Kingdom, have introduced policy initiatives to strengthen their CTE systems.

The study also notes that, in many countries, women represent a substantial portion of individuals with secondary and postsecondary CTE degrees or certificates. In Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland, the proportion of 25-64 women with CTE degrees or certificates is slightly greater than the number of men with CTE degrees or certificates.

CTE has been embraced in many OECD countries as a means of preparing knowledgeable, highly-skilled workers. As the U.S. continues to reform its education system, CTE strategies should be considered and more widely valued to increase secondary and postsecondary attainment and provide better opportunities for individuals.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

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