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Benefits of Vocational Education

Written By onci on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | 10:31 AM

The long term benefits of vocational education might surprise you, there are plenty of myths around which are just not true.
There have always been plenty of myths circulating about vocational education, but the reality is often very different. Vocational Education can have some real long term benefits and a four year college degree is not necessarily the best way to go.

"Voc Ed Doesn't Pay Off!"

On the contrary-it does. A range of studies show that vocational graduates are more likely to be employed and earn more than their nonvocational counterparts, particularly vocational graduates who worked part time during high school (Stone 1993). There is strong evidence that the generic technical skills and occupationally specific skills provided in vocational education increase worker productivity, skill transfer, job access, and job stability when vocational graduates find training-related jobs (Bishop 1995).

"But a Four-Year College Degree Is the Ticket!"

A related set of beliefs about the labor market may reinforce the traditional negative image of vocational education. Assuming that technical training is inferior to academic programs (West 1996), parents want their children to go to college and get a four-year degree because it will assure them a job (Vo 1997). Indeed, there is a widespread belief among parents that a four-year college degree will guarantee their children a place in the middle class. Students themselves are often quite confident on this point; in one study, half of male and 68 percent of female high school students believed that with a four-year degree, they would have a nice, professional job by the time they were 30 years old (Gray 1997). Such beliefs are often attributed to numerous reports in the 1980s that American industry would suffer severely in the 21st century from shortages of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians (Berliner and Biddle 1996).

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