Aligning higher education with the needs of the workforce and employers has become a common theme as innovation disrupts the status quo and revolutionizes the labor needs of today’s economy. Educational institutions, workers, employers and policymakers are all scrambling to address this sea of change.

Last fall, the U.S. Department of Education released data on first-year earnings for thousands of college programs. Despite this effort to improve transparency for students making decisions about their future careers, the data missed the mark by not including results for short-term career and technical education (CTE) programs, which offer degrees in nursing, business management, engineering technology, the skilled trades and much more.

We believe CTE will close that gap in this decade, and we are beginning to see several success indicators. These “green shoots” illustrate the potential that can occur when educators, workers, policymakers, business owners and community leaders work to ensure students receive quality, affordable education that prepares them for their career needs while also providing businesses with a steady pipeline of well-trained workers.

It's important to support efforts to increase visibility for CTE as a postsecondary pathway. In February, the U.S. recognized Career and Technical Education Month, an important initiative for educating and informing current and future workers. The current administration also has indicated that it will be launching a campaign to highlight the different educational pathways available for workforce development.

So, how do we build awareness for CTE’s potential? It’s up to you and me. Together, let’s make the 2020s the decade of CTE by inspiring learners to explore this path while encouraging employers to invest in programs that continue to build the CTE pipeline.

Read the full article about the benefits of career and technical education by Jeremy Wheaton at Forbes.