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Vocational education: who, what, and where
General education enriches any career, but vocational
classes prepare students for specific work. A February
2000 report by the U.S. Department of Education, ďVocational
Education in the United States: Toward the Year 2000,Ē
reports on trends and statistics concerning occupational
One-fourth of all high school students took three or more
classes in a single occupational program in 1994,
according to the report. Nearly one-third continued on to
a 4-year college, and half went on to community college.
Students took vocational classes after high school, too.
In fact, nearly half of all posthigh school students who
werenít working toward a bachelorís degree had
enrolled in vocational education in 1996. The most popular
programs were business, health, and engineering and
science technology. And the most popular place to study
them was community college.
For a free copy of the report, call 1 (800) 433-7827 or
view the report online at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2000/2000029.pdf.
This and other related reports are also available through
the Department of Educationís new Data on Vocational
Education (DOVE) system at http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/dove.
Linking jobs to the classroom
Now, itís easier than ever to get a first-hand
account of what it takes to succeed on the job.
The Library of the Workplace, an ongoing project of the
Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD),
profiles occupations, career paths, and job skills. On the
Libraryís website, workers explain how they use concepts
from physics, mathematics, English, government, and other
academic subjects in their careers. On one page, an
engineer describes how she applies the Fourier analysis
techniques she learned in math class to the work she does
now. On another, an Internet solutions consultant explains
why writing concisely is essential for his job.
Workers also discuss the importance of a well-rounded
education, basic math and English skills, and other
abilities, such as teamwork, research, troubleshooting,
and dealing with irate customers.
Call CORD, (254) 772-8756, or browse the Library of the
Workplace at http://cord.org/workplacelibrary.
Report on teen workers
If youíre a high schooler with a job, youíre part
of a majority. Most people 14 years old and older perform
some kind of paid work, although the youngest usually donít
work during school months, according to the BLS Report on
the Youth Labor Force.
The report summarizes the results of several studies.
Among the findings:
- Between 1994 and 1997,
more than half of all 14-year-olds and over 60 percent of
15-year-olds worked, most as freelancers.
- Thirteen percent of
high schoolers participated in job shadowing in those
- More than 70 percent of
workers between the ages of 15 and 17 made more than the
minimum wage in 1998.
- Teens from low-income
families were less likely to work than other teens were
from 1994 to 1998.
- Sixteen- and
17-year-olds who worked fewer than 20 hours during school
weeks were more likely to go to college by 1994 than those
who didnít work.
Also discussed are types of jobs held, child labor laws,
and the condition of young agricultural workers.
For a free copy of the report, mail a request to the
Office of Publications and Special Studies, U.S.
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2
Massachusetts Ave. NE., Room 2850, Washington, D.C., 20212Ė0001;
call (202) 691-5200; or read the report online at http://www.bls.gov/opub/rylf/rylfhome.htm.