Most research on the effects of participation in career and technical education (CTE) in high school has looked exclusively at labor market outcomes, overlooking potential educational benefits. In this study, we capitalize on rich statewide administrative data and a change in graduation requirements in Arkansas to understand how increased CTE exposure affects high school graduation, college going, and labor market outcomes, including initial employment and wages. Under a policy shift, students were required to take six elective courses in high school that aligned with career readiness, a category that includes all CTE courses. We document that in response to this policy, schools changed their course offerings, and that change in offerings induced subsequent changes in CTE course taking. We use this variation in offerings to estimate the effects of CTE course taking and find that taking more CTE coursework in high school positively impacted educational and labor market outcomes.


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pp. 423-447
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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