Career Technical Education

Reducing Wage Inequality and Sustaining California’s Innovation-Based Economy

This analysis examines the role that skill acquisition, as measured by academic degrees obtained or average years of education, has played in rising wage inequality and how the gap can be narrowed by increasing opportunities for postsecondary career technical training. The difference in earnings for workers who receive postsecondary education compared with those with only high school education or less has widened over the past few decades. The magnitude of contributions from various sources may be debated, but the combined impact has been to reward workers who have higher skills. Career technical training will also help support California’s innovation-driven industries, where there are shortages of professionals in mid-level occupations.

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