Re:Voc Tech Education

Elizabeth Homer (
Wed, 08 Jul 1998 20:49:47 -0500

Barbara, et al.

>Incidentally, most earnings tables show that at all levels of educational
>attainment, people with occupational specific education tend to do better
salary wise > than general studies graduates.

The research I am aware of shows this to be true if the students find
jobs in the specific field they were trained for (these are called
"nontransferrable skills.) But if they don't, well nobody cares if you
were in the hospitality or child care program if you are trying to get
a job in a techinical field. (But if you had a liberal arts background
of good writing, speaking, math and computer skills they would care
about that.) Many high school voc ed students do not go on to jobs in
the field they took voc ed in.

I once did a study tieing occupational fields in voc ed to entry level
wage data using cyp codes and DOT categories to link programs and wage
data and found that basically we are training students, overwhelmingly
the female students in voc ed, to be poor. That is why I am so totally
dismayed by the lack of progress for women in Trade and Industry, the
one program where women could really advance economicallyif they go on
to an associate degree. A lot of money has been (Carl Perkins Voc ED
Act) accepted by vocational education administrators to do something
about sex discrimination in voc ed and there is very little to show for
it. Is it because "awareness" activities aren't very effective, - do
you think?

> But for me, your premise fits more into race and class discrimination than
> gender.

I think it is all three. Minority women and poor women could benefit
from opportunities in the trades. The feminists I know are very
concerned about this, have worked for many years on it and have made
very slow progress, particularly in the area of Trade and Industry.
If you would like to see how Michigan is doing, check out the voc ed
section of our Title IX study:

Barbara J Tavares wrote:
> I loved all your questions, and having been in vocational equity for the
> last 14 years, these are topics near and dear to may heart.


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