On July 31st, Donald Trump signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. Focused on career and technical education (CTAE), the legislation reauthorizes a previous law and “allows states to set their own goals for career and technical education programs without the education secretary’s approval [and] requires them to make progress toward those goals,” according to Education Week

CTAE is widely supported across the country and is increasingly the focus of schools as job markets become tighter and the skills necessary for employment have become more technical and complicated. Gone are the days of shop class. Today, the pathways available are diverse, practical, and advanced: from graphic design to nursing.

GPB and PBS LearningMedia

At GPB Education, we offer a relaunched series of STEM-related career videos, Fast Forward. With close looks at jobs across the state, Fast Forward shows students the myriad of careers throughout Georgia, along with lessons for further exploration. See our blog for more details on our revamped site and all of the newest features! Similarly, if you want updates on Georgia's workforce, our blog Georgia @ Work has the latest news on career education and Georgia's developing labor market. For a more specific look at careers, our virtual learning journey through Georgia's forestry industry is an excellent resource.

For a more guided approach to STEM careers in the classroom, see the PBS LearningMedia collection STEM Career Lab. It features engaging videos on twelve different jobs and teacher tips to support direct instruction. PBS also hosts a great collection called Career Connection. Although based in Ohio, the series offers interviews with professionals in nearly one hundred different careers from commercial truckers and gym owners to the designers of tire treads and printers of 3-D prosthetics. 

Discovery Education and CTAE

Over at Discovery Education, our partners have developed a robust collection of resources that go beyond stoking interest in specific careers and challenge students to try their hand at tasks directly related to those jobs. In their “Browse by Topic” feature, under Streaming Plus, the content area “Career/Workplace Skills” has 17 different job categories from aerospace engineering to television broadcasting.

Additionally, their STEM Career Challenges “engage students in scenario-based learning” about various jobs like finding low cost and efficient method to filter water and test its quality to devising a plan to reduce the noise pollution emitted from an outdoor concert venue. And every job description comes with resources to explore, the skills and classes necessary to move into the field, and a look at potential salaries, something every student is eager to know!  They’ve even worked to collaborate with Gloaballab, a student laboratory that allows students to pose questions and investigate solutions together, to build an experience where students can explore STEM jobs in their communities more deeply.

For a great personalization and extension activity, check out their awesome virtual field trips showing students behind the scenes of huge companies like Lockheed Martin, Toyota, and John Deere, to the work being done to decode cancer, better understand opioid addiction, and keep college athletic fields in their best shape. Ag Explorer has a wonderful Career Finder Interactive while the Tiger Woods Foundation boasts an entire curriculum around college and career readiness. So however you want to inspire students to do work that fits their passion or support them in landing their first job, we’ve got resources that will, well, WORK!