Why Career & Technical Education Is So Important

Robert Moore | Virginia DECA

The question that many people including educators, legislators, or your average Joe may ask is, “What is CTE and why is it so important?”

Many of us students may know that we are in a Career & Technical Education (CTE) class or organization, but most definitely could not answer that question. I can tell you firsthand that the CTE educators certainly could. If you were to ask the what this importance of CTE is to them they would say something like this:

“CTE or Career and Technical Education give students the academic, technical and employability skills needed for postsecondary and workplace success.”

But what does this mean you may ask?

In modern education we tend to focus on our main subjects – math, science, history, and english. You could have a 5.0 GPA, perfect SAT or ACT score, yet find it very difficult to find and maintain a job. In reality, what do any of those subjects mean if they are not applicable to modern jobs?

CTE classes give us (students) the ability to learn the skills in order to help us gain and maintain a job in the future. We are given real-world examples to help us understand our academic classes, and they give us the chance to work as part of a team which is a crucial element of any career.

I have had unique opportunity to join other chartered association presidents from HOSA, FFA, SkillsUSA, TSA, FCCLA and FBLA to meet with the Governor of Virginia regarding Career & Technical Education. This opportunity has opened my eyes to see that we truly all are in it for the same purpose. Each of these organizations aim to prepare their members for their future careers in their subject of interest.

Our country and world does not revolve around marketing, finance, hospitality or management (even though sometimes we tend to think so). The world revolves around skilled workers that are passionate, dedicated and prepared for their careers. Whether you want to be a welder, contractor, business executive, lawyer, farmer, or shoe retail manager, we all play a critical role in our nations success and economy.

The sooner children can begin their career exploration, the better. Having a 1st grader excited about becoming an astronaut or NFL player is better than not knowing. Exposing students to career options will increase their likelihood in pursuing their passion and understanding that their future is truly #Limitless (do you see what I did there #DECA).

In America we tend to focus on the motto, “go big or go home.” As a nation, we need to stress that it is okay if college is not your calling, that it is okay to be passionate about about something going against society’s norm of success.

This article was written by Virginia DECA President, Robert Moore. You can follow Robert on Twitter @robbie_moore99.

Categories: Advocacy, Chapter Development, Chapter Resources