Career and Technical Education (CTE) students are on a career path that provides unique opportunities and advantages. The unique training and guidance they receive give them a leg up when pursuing certain professional careers, especially skilled trades.
This article explores the advantages of being a CTE student, outlines the unique opportunities available, and provides resources and tips for finding those opportunities in the United States.
Advantages of Being a CTE Student
CTE programs provide students with a hands-on approach to learning that is designed to prepare them for success in their chosen career paths. These programs offer a variety of career options that cater to a diverse range of students.
CTE students gain real-world experience and develop essential job skills, such as problem-solving, communication, and teamwork, which prepare them for the workforce.
This competitive edge is highly desirable for employers. CTE students gain specialized skills in their chosen field, and they are better equipped to work in a professional environment due to internships and other work-based learning programs. As a result, CTE students may enter the workplace with more complete skills than their peers who pursued traditional academic paths.
Unique Opportunities For CTE Students
CTE programs offer many opportunities that help students to get hands-on experience in their fields of interest. Some of the unique opportunities that CTE students should consider taking advantage of are internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing.
These experiences provide students with the opportunity to gain practical knowledge and build professional relationships within their industry. Students can also participate in career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) that provide opportunities to develop leadership skills, participate in competitions, and network with professionals in their respective fields.
How to Find Opportunities in the United States
Finding opportunities for CTE students in the United States can be challenging. But SkillHero and other organizations are working to change that. With the right resources, students can locate work-based learning experiences that enhance their educational journey.
Leverage your school’s resources
Students should always research and leverage their school's resources like job boards, career centers, and academic counselors. These resources are usually available but may not be advertised as well as they could be. They can help students to identify internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing opportunities.
Ask about work-based learning opportunities
Students can search for work-based learning opportunities using online resources such as the US Department of Labor's CareerOneStop, Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor. These sites allow students to search for internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing opportunities using various keywords and filters.
Attend local networking events
If you live in or near a city you should have access to a variety of networking opportunities. Networking events allow students to interact with potential employers or professionals in their industry, develop professional relationships and build a reliable network that can help them navigate their future.
Career and Technical Education is a smart step into skilled trades
Participating in internships, apprenticeships, job shadowing, and other work-based learning opportunities offers students the opportunity to gain practical experience and develop essential job skills early in their career. With the right resources and networking options available, CTE students can take full advantage of the benefits and opportunities of their respective programs.
The Skillhero app is a great tool for finding opportunities in the skilled trades and maintaining and sharing your resume. Sign up for a free account to get started today!