MALTA - February marks Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month and Kishwaukee College, along with institutions across Illinois, are celebrating the initiative.
CTE focuses on providing students with the skills and training necessary to fill in-demand roles in the local workforce. Support for CTE is critical as technical and vocational careers are anticipated to play a large role in helping the economy recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. CTE programs can be adapted to local workforce demands, and Kishwaukee College has already played an active role in modeling its courses based on the needs of the community.
Kish actively works to create and offer vital health science programs as demand for skilled health care employees - such as nurses or medical assistants - continues to rise. The College created a Contact Tracer program when more people were needed to track the spread of COVID-19 infection. Kish is adjusting its Computer Information Systems courses to better meet the job skills needs for today’s information technology environment.
During the last major economic downturn in 2008, many displaced workers chose to change industries when re-entering the job market, and the demand for CTE courses steadily increased. Today, many who lost jobs because of the pandemic are considering career changes with a majority of American workers saying they prefer skill-based education and training to enhance their employability.
Both nationally and locally, CTE students have shown strong employment results upon graduating or earning a certificate from a program. After completing their program, 86 percent of adult CTE learners in the U.S. either continue their education or are employed within six months, according to the U.S. Department of Education. At Kish, 73 percent of CTE graduates have found work in a related field as of 2020, according to a Technical Graduate Survey, and 96.6 percent of those graduates are employed within the state of Illinois.
Kish’s CTE programs offer flexible scheduling, work-based learning and stackable credentials that provide a pathway from education to employment. One short-term training or certificate can lead to new job opportunities in 16 weeks or less, but also gives students the option to continue their education and pursue a degree, while working in a new field.
For more information about Kish’s post-secondary career and technical education programs, visit www.kish.edu/cte.