STEM Jobs can be a Gateway to an Affordable College Degree

All that is needed is to better align the training and education offerings that already exist.  So says a new report fromtalent Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce:

According to the National Center of Education Statistics, four out of five students work while enrolled in postsecondary institutions and two of those four are working full-time. On average, students are working 30 hours per week. More than 40 percent are older than 24; almost half are financially independent, and a quarter of all postsecondary students have children of their own.3 Recent evidence suggests that “earning while learning” can lead to better employment opportunities and higher wages when school-term employment is related to an individual’s
field of study. . . .

. . . .While the American CTE [career & technical education] system has prepared workers for 29 million middle jobs, it has the potential to provide even more by increasing its alignment with education and career pathways. First, the government should invest more in CTE programs of study—which form connections between secondary and postsecondary education and employer-based training programs—with the goal of an industry-recognized credential, postsecondary certificate, or college degree.

The report describes how this approach can be used to make a 4-year degree more affordable and accessible to working students.  The full text is available here.

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