In this week’s episode, Carole speaks with Scott Palmer, Executive Director of Adult Workforce Education at Butler Tech, about Career Tech education and how it has changed in the last decade. While many still believe have a view of adult education that is separate and lesser than a path like college. Through our conversation with Scott, we discover that career technical education provides a multitude of options and opportunity for students.

“The tide is turning. Especially with the rising cost of college, and we hear of people who graduate with college with hundreds of thousands or at least tens of thousands of dollars in debt and no practical skills where they can earn a sustainable wage for them and their families.”

Not Your Dad’s Career Tech

Manufacturing in the United States had transitioned to be geared much more toward technology, and robotics. Career tech these days really focuses on building those skills and creating multiple paths, experiences and resources to students. People are starting to see that career technical education is much different than they thought. Many think that it is a vocational school, for less gifted students, but students in career tech are earning college credit and are set on multiple paths that can lead to college, vocations and careers.

Recruiting: Start them Early

Career tech is introduced to students at the elementary school level, to educate the students and parents about what manufacturing jobs are like today. Some students are recruited and begin career tech classes in middle school. In those beginning experiences, students are exposed to real life applications of the concepts and skills they have been learning.

There are two types of adult students in career education. The first type is looking for a direction and they want to get out of the cycle of working minimum wage jobs. They visit and look for a career path. The second type is looking for a career change, like someone who was a cop and wants to transition into a IT job. Career tech provides training that garners certificates and education that can be applied to a myriad of professions and allow students to transition quickly into a new career.