WESTAMPTON, NJ -- Career and technical education has seen a sharp increase in popularity with the variety of career pathways being offered and the ability to earn stackable credentials and college credits, according to the Burlington County Institute of Technology (BCIT). These jobs, typically in the health science, technology, sales, manufacturing, logistics, hospitality and construction industries, among others, are typically considered high-skill, high-wage, high-demand careers.
BCIT is focusing on the range of Career and Technical Education (CTE) it offers this month, as these career paths are highlighted, often beginning in high schools, career centers, community colleges and technical schools which provide a solution to the growing gap in the workforce of qualified skilled workers. CTE programs ensure that students are prepared for whatever comes next: college, industry, workforce or additional credentials.
“CTE month is not only very important to showcase the great successes and accolades in each of BCIT’s Career Clusters, but also to highlight the passion and excitement our students demonstrate each day on campus, and while they are engaged in state of the art virtual learning opportunities," said Dr. Lisa J. English, BCIT Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. At BCIT, we are very proud to be a leader in providing innovative, student-centered, real world experiences."
Burlington County Institute of Technology offers more than 30 CTE programs to students across two campuses in Medford and Westampton. This fall, BCIT will launch new programs in Motor Sports & Small Engine Technology, Cyber-Security and other innovative Career and Technical Education programs such as Fire Science, in partnership with the Burlington County Fire Academy. Programs in Biomedical Careers are also in the developmental stages.
“We are at an important inflection point in our economy and workforce given the pandemic. Emergent technologies, geopolitical forces and quality control issues oversee all of which are driving the need to have a multi-skilled labor force here in the USA and locally, while promoting lifelong learning," said Dr. Christopher Nagy, Superintendent of Schools.
Eight years after their expected graduation date, students who focused on CTE courses while in high school had higher median annual earnings than students who did not focus on CTE, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Students at BCIT can enroll in career technical education courses that will help them be prepared for college and/or a career as well as skills for life. Students enrolled at a CTE school traditionally develop problem-solving, project completion, research, math, college application, communication, time management and critical thinking skills during their time at BCIT.
"Nowhere else can a student be in a position to earn stackable industry credentials, up to two years of college credits, an apprenticeship and school to work experiences with little or no debt and be positioned for the workforce, college or postsecondary education immediately after high school," added Nagy. "We also have a postsecondary adult division which addresses opportunities to earn stackable industry credentials, apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeship, retraining, upscaling skills or opportunities for the underemployed, unemployed or those who want to re-enter the workforce. We are a value-added solution to the future and current workforce with state-of-the-art facilities and programs. Perhaps that is why we have a waiting list of interested students.”
Career and technical education program have recently seen a sharp increase in popularity with the variety of career pathways being offered and the ability to earn stackable credentials and college credits. In fact, BCIT has had a waiting list of prospective students for the past two years with record enrollment.
Applications are being accepted for the 2021-2022 school year.