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Career Technical Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from California Community Colleges

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  • Ann Huff Stevens
  • Michal Kurlaender
  • Michel Grosz

Abstract

Career technical education (CTE) programs at community colleges are increasingly seen as an attractive alternative to four-year colleges, yet little systematic evidence exists on the returns to specific certificates and degrees. We estimate returns to CTE programs using administrative data from the California Community College system linked to earnings records. We employ estimation approaches including individual fixed effects and individual-specific trends, and find average returns to CTE certificate and degrees that range from 14 to 45 percent. The largest returns are for programs in the healthcare sector; estimated returns in non-health related programs range from 15 to 23 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Ann Huff Stevens & Michal Kurlaender & Michel Grosz, 2015. "Career Technical Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from California Community Colleges," NBER Working Papers 21137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21137
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James E. Rosenbaum & Janet Rosenbaum, 2013. "Beyond BA Blinders: Lessons from Occupational Colleges and Certificate Programs for Nontraditional Students," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 153-172, Spring.
    2. Duane E. Leigh & Andrew M. Gill, 1997. "Labor Market Returns to Community Colleges: Evidence for Returning Adults," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 334-353.
    3. Christopher Jepsen & Kenneth Troske & Paul Coomes, 2014. "The Labor-Market Returns to Community College Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 95-121.
    4. Julian R. Betts & Laurel L. McFarland, 1995. "Safe Port in a Storm: The Impact of Labor Market Conditions on Community College Enrollments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 741-765.
    5. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1999. "The Community College: Educating Students at the Margin between College and Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 63-84, Winter.
    6. Kane, Thomas J & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1995. "Labor-Market Returns to Two- and Four-Year College," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 600-614, June.
    7. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey A, 1999. "The Pre-programme Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Programme. Implications for Simple Programme Evaluation Strategies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 313-348, July.
    9. Louis Jacobson & Robert J. Lalonde & Daniel Sullivan, 2005. "The Impact of Community College Retraining on Older Displaced Workers: Should We Teach Old Dogs New Tricks?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 398-415, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin M. Marx & Lesley J. Turner, 2019. "Student Loan Nudges: Experimental Evidence on Borrowing and Educational Attainment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 108-141, May.
    2. Holzer, Harry J. & Xu, Zeyu, 2019. "Community College Pathways for Disadvantaged Students," IZA Discussion Papers 12319, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Xu, Kun & Guan, Zhihua & Xu, Wenli, 2015. "省级财政支出效率空间溢出效应研究:基于超效率dea和gsm模型
      [Study on Spatial Spillover Effect of Provincial Fiscal Efficiency: Based on Super-Efficient DEA and GSM Model]
      ," MPRA Paper 71132, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Hanni, Michael, 2019. "Financing of education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Latin America and the Caribbean," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 200, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    5. Fairlie, Robert W. & Bahr, Peter Riley, 2018. "The effects of computers and acquired skills on earnings, employment and college enrollment: Evidence from a field experiment and California UI earnings records," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 51-63.
    6. repec:spr:empeco:v:57:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s00181-018-1433-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:tpr:edfpol:v:13:y:2018:i:2:p:119-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Michael Coelli & Domenico Tabasso, 2019. "Where are the returns to lifelong learning?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 205-237, July.
    9. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:65:y:2018:i:c:p:18-30 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Peter Leopold S. Bergman, 2016. "The Effects of School Integration: Evidence from a Randomized Desegregation Program," CESifo Working Paper Series 6119, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Nicholas Turner, 2019. "Gainfully Employed?: Assessing the Employment and Earnings of For-Profit College Students Using Administrative Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(2), pages 342-370.
    12. William N. Evans & Melissa S. Kearney & Brendan C. Perry & James X. Sullivan, 2017. "Increasing Community College Completion Rates among Low-Income Students: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluation of a Case Management Intervention," NBER Working Papers 24150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Margaret Leighton & Jamin Speer, 2017. "Labor Market Returns to College Major Specificity," Discussion Paper Series, School of Economics and Finance 201709, School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews, revised 21 Dec 2017.
    14. Turner, Lesley J., 2016. "The returns to higher education for marginal students: Evidence from Colorado Welfare recipients," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 169-184.
    15. Michael Coelli & Domenico Tabasso, 2015. "Where Are the Returns to Lifelong Learning?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2015n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    16. Susan Dynarski & Brian Jacob & Daniel Kreisman, 2018. "How important are fixed effects and time trends in estimating returns to schooling? Evidence from a replication of Jacobson, Lalonde, and Sullivan, 2005," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(7), pages 1098-1108, November.
    17. Baker, Rachel & Bettinger, Eric & Jacob, Brian & Marinescu, Ioana, 2018. "The Effect of Labor Market Information on Community College Students’ Major Choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 18-30.
    18. Böckerman, Petri & Haapanen, Mika & Jepsen, Christopher, 2015. "Back to School? Labor-Market Returns to Vocational Postsecondary Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9079, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education

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