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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Work Experience, Well-rounded Education Are Keys to Success

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October 3, 2013

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Work Experience, Well-rounded Education Are Keys to Success

An analysis of several polls administered to the U.S. public and to U.S. hiring decisionmakers finds that a well-rounded education, accompanied by work experience, are major factors in career success.

Many respondents were strongly in favor of providing relevant work opportunities for students:

  • 89 percent of the general public, and 74 percent of hiring decisionmakers, responded that students with work experience in their field are more successful employees.
  • 60 percent of general public respondents stated that someone with no college degree but some work experience would do better in the workplace than a person with a degree but no work experience, and 62 percent of hiring decisionmakers agreed.
  • Both sets of respondents agreed that the most important step the U.S. can take to better prepare students is to expand apprenticeship and other professional work programs for college students.

In addition, more than half of the general public and 67 percent of the hiring respondents expressed concern about how well U.S. education is preparing students for the workforce, when compared to China, India and Brazil. However, respondents were divided on who bears the most responsibility for training recent graduates for success in the workplace-school, employers or the individual?

These findings add to the mounting evidence that the public is embracing CTE and work-based learning as integral to workplace success.

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