Vocational Education

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Also known as career or technical education, vocational education refers to formal training and instruction for technical, paraprofessional, skilled, or semiskilled occupations, usually without requiring or providing a bachelor’s degree. RAND researchers have examined the relationship between vocational education and effective workforce planning and development, state policies influencing vocational education, vocational education quality, and more.

  • Workers inspecting machinery in a factory, photo by Yozayo/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Job Training Is More Effective When All Parties Work Together

    Jul 6, 2021

    The United States is facing economic gaps wider than have been seen in a century. To keep the nation economically strong and able to provide citizens with middle-class lifestyles, educators, government, and private industry need to work together to shape training opportunities.

  • Female teacher helping students training to be electricians, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Commentary

    If College Isn't the Pathway to the Middle Class It Once Was—What Is?

    Apr 5, 2022

    Is college still the best path to the middle class? It's complicated. College credentials still do lead many to increased earnings, but the rapid increases in college costs, coupled with a strong labor market, have made the payoff for a college degree no longer a sure thing.

Explore Vocational Education

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Performance Standards for Vocational Education: National, State, and Local Implications : Reference Materials

    This publication contains diverse background information on performance standards.

    Jul 1, 1991

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Who Gets What and Why: Curriculum Decisionmaking at Three Comprehensive High Schools

    This Note documents work conducted during the first year of a two-year investigation of curriculum decisionmaking--particularly with respect to vocational education--in comprehensive high schools.

    Jun 1, 1990

  • Report

    Report

    Who Gets What and Why: Curriculum Decisionmaking at Three Comprehensive High Schools

    Documents work conducted during the first year of a two-year investigation of curriculum decisionmaking — particularly with respect to vocational education — in comprehensive high schools.

    Jan 1, 1990

  • Report

    Report

    Vocational Education and the Work Establishment of Youth: Equity and Effectiveness Issues

    Assesses the equity and work establishment effects of secondary vocational education for youth in general and selected subgroups.

    Jan 1, 1980

  • Report

    Report

    Industrial Training in Soviet Russia

    A discussion of Soviet vocational training since 1921. In particular, this study considers the magnitude of the industrial training program, the forms of direct factory training, the formal vocational education, and the...

    Jan 1, 1955

  • Report

    Report

    Industrial training in the Soviet Union.

    A discussion of Soviet vocational training since 1921. In particular, this study considers the magnitude of the industrial training program, the forms of direct factory training, the formal vocational education, and the dissemination of technical in...

    Jan 1, 1955

  • People

    People

    Dwayne M. Butler

    Senior Management Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ed.D. in adult & continuing education, Rutgers University; Ph.D. in organization and management, Capella University; M.S. in administration, Central Michigan University; B.A. in economics, Rutgers University; B.A. in Spanish, Rutgers University

  • People

    People

    Lindsay Daugherty

    Senior Policy Researcher
    Education Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.A. in applied economics, University of Michigan; B.A. in economics, University of California, Berkeley

  • People

    People

    Fatih Unlu

    Director of Labor, Workforce Development, and Postsecondary Education Program; Senior Economist
    Education Ph.D. in economics, Princeton University; M.A. in economics, Princeton University; B.S. in electrical engineering, Bilkent University

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