At most high schools in the Houston area, members of Generation Z can take Career and Technical Education classes that prepare them to immediately be employed after high school.
First, who is Gen Z? If you were born after 1995, you are Gen Z. If you are 16 to 23, you are Gen Z. Gen Z was born into a world of technology, and they are the best multi-taskers you’ll ever meet. They can do research on their phones while they are taking notes on their iPads, eating their lunch, and talking with friends on social media. They also don’t want to acquire a lot of debt while going to college. That means that CTE classes are perfect for them.
It may be that they take cosmetology because they love to style their friends’ hair and want to make it their career. It may be that they want a job that can pay for them to go to school so that they don’t need college loans. They can learn, practice and get certified at most high schools throughout the state.
There are many more post-high school careers that one can pursue in automotive technology, health science, veterinary science, aviation, transportation, culinary arts, marine science and the list is almost endless.
If college is still in their plans, seniors at most schools can receive CTE scholarships and their CTE studies will definitely give them a head start when they get to college.
Gen Z is known for being more entrepreneurial - 72% say they want to start their own business. “According to Gen Z marketing strategist Deep Patel, “the newly developing high tech and highly networked world has resulted in an entire generation thinking and acting more entrepreneurially.”” Many of them are working on “side gigs” right now and aren’t looking for the traditional retail jobs. The CTE department is the best place to learn the skills for filling a niche that may not even be defined yet. Generation Z will actually define and fill that niche.
CTE helps this generation become work-ready in terms of behavior and attitude, but it also makes job ready a priority so that they have specific knowledge for success. It makes students college ready because of the detailed emphasis on learning that CTE has given them. That means that they are career ready as well. The decisions that they make about their future are based on precise knowledge of the field they are choosing. In some ways, it’s like the old apprentice system where knowledgeable people took newbies under their wings and helped them learn. That pretty much describes the instructors in these programs
CTE programs are different in almost every high school, and the classes are diverse. The one thing that is always the same is that the opportunities represented in these classes are a great way to make graduates successful whether their plans do or don’t include college. The world needs more drivers and electricians and plumbers and hair stylists. We need more veterinary tech and airplane mechanics and mechanics. When you realize all of the benefits that Career and Technical Education presents to high school students, you know that these programs are a perfect match for Generation Z and for the rest of us who need these talented people.