California is spending $6 million to revitalize perceptions of trade schools, and $200 million to improve programs.
The national effort to promote bachelor's degrees over trade school experience has significantly affected the construction workforce. In California’s community colleges, the share of students taking vocational courses dropped to 28 percent from 31 percent since 2000, contributing to a shortage of skilled workers with at least a high school diploma, but without a bachelor’s degree, per PBS NewsHour.
The U.S. has 30 million jobs that pay an average of $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree, according to the Georgetown center. People with career and technical educations are actually slightly more likely to be employed than their counterparts with academic credentials, the U.S. Department of Education reports, and significantly more likely to be working in their fields of study.