Career and Technical Education

Careerand Technical Education

Careerand Technical Education

Careerand Technical Education (CTE) is an academic program that is offeredin institutions that specialize in skilled trades, applied sciences,career preparation, and applied technologies. Inherently, theprograms offered in CTE provide both academic and career-orientedcourses, and allow students to gain experience via internships,training, and certification opportunities. CTE may be offered inmiddle/high schools, community colleges, and various otherpostsecondary institutions. In some high schools, it is integratedinto the regular academic programs, while others consider it separatefrom the normal curriculum and students may take it as an option(Packard,Leach, Ruiz, Nelson, &amp DiCocco, 2012).In such a way, career and technical education is a vital element inboth presecondary and postsecondary learning. This paper highlightsthe strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitativemethodologies and designs for investigating Career and TechnicalEducation.

of Envisioned Methodologies and Designs

HypotheticalDesign of the Quantitative Study

Hypothesis.Careerand Technical Education (CTE) curriculum lacks essentialinstructional element to reflect the shifts in workplace andworkforce needs accurately.

Methodology.Inquantitative design, the causes are described or characterized byindependent variables. Inherently, independent variables explain whatis being influenced or affected through the perspectives of others.In this regard, in understanding the hypothesis statement, one mustunderstand the three key components to support educational andvocational outcomes, which are career navigation, work ethics, andinnovation this comprises the methodology of the qualitative designof the study.

ResearchProblems. Essentially,the research problems of this approach are as follows:

1.How do existing course content and programs reflect the threecomponents and apply to educational and vocational outcomes?

2.How does revising course content and creating new programsemphasize the results of post-secondary educational goals?

3.Do the career and technical education experience prepare highschool students for post-secondary educational goals?

4.Has the CTE curriculum kept up with the demands on currentworkplace functions?

Purposesof the Quantitative Study. Theobjectives of this design are as follows:

  • To explore and understand the relationship between educators and current students using as a secondary approach to future education, or career goals

  • To explore the current instructional curriculum and determine how it relates to current industry standards based on market changes

Overall,the significance of this study is to understand how CTE courses canprepare college students for post-secondary education. Intrinsically,the expertise of curriculum designers, educators, and organizationscan use this study to explore, design, and implement new curriculumstandards based on state and industry-wide changes.

HypotheticalDesign of the Qualitative Study

Hypothesis.Thequality of the instruction and the correlation of career satisfactionare key factors of success for high school students who take careerand technical education courses.

Methodology.Thisapproach will employ several different methods including literaturereviews, surveys, blogs, articles, and questionnaires to gatherinformation for analysis. The study will explore and examine theframework for career and technical education to include elements ofdesign and instructional methods. Correspondingly, the implementationframework will be used to explore career satisfaction andpost-secondary educational goals for students who complete CTE duringhigh school. Using this approach will assist in assessing careergoals compared to job planning using vocational instruction as thebase. It is only feasible to evaluate the benefits of these programsif educational facilitators are willing to discuss the limitation andrestrictions for professional training programs. Innately, thismedium will also include costs, budgets, and instructional designthat consist with current industry trends.

ResearchQuestions. Theresearch questions for the approach are as follows:

1.How do existing course content and programs reflect the threecomponents and apply to educational and vocational outcomes?

2.How does revising course content and creating new programsemphasize the results of post-secondary educational goals?

3.Do the career and technical education experience prepare highschool students for post-secondary educational goals?

4.Has the CTE curriculum kept up with the demands on currentworkplace functions?

Purposesof the Qualitative Study. Notably,the objectives of the design are as follows:

  • The possible design for this qualitative study would serve as baseline standardization for instructions design concerning Career and Technical Education courses.

  • This study would also assist educators in understanding how to design best a curriculum that would suit the basic needs as well as changes occurring within the workforce due to increased skills sets, technology, or new and emerging markets.

  • Through this design model, it is possible to examine how the curriculum is influential to students and post-secondary needs.

  • The theoretical framework will also be useful to explore additional requirements and offer analysis of the effectiveness of different programs.

Strengthsand Weaknesses of Envisioned Method and Design 2

QuantitativeDesign and Methodology

Strengths.First,quantitative data is suitable for making quantitative predictionsthis makes it a better choice than qualitative data, which isunsuitable for such use. Second, this design is useful for studyingmany people. In essence, this makes it useful for collecting theopinions of a large sample of people regarding whether the Career andTechnical Education curriculum is deficient of instruction orotherwise. Third, the numerical data that is generated using thismethod is precise and quantitative, which makes it possible to get anaccurate picture of the matter at hand. In this case, it allows theresearcher to determine accurately the ratio or percentage of thesampled people who find the instruction element of CTEunsatisfactory.

Fourth,unlike qualitative data, the findings of this study can begeneralized if it is replicated on multiple populations andsubpopulations. In such a way, the findings of this approach can alsobe used to study the effect of instruction on career satisfaction instudents of postsecondary institutions. Fifth, data collection usingthis method is quick for instance, substantial information can becollected over the phone or via interviews. In this regard, it iseasier to determine the influence of instruction on the futurecareers of students than using the qualitative approach. Besides,statistical software can be used to compute the numerical results,which makes the process relatively less time consuming.

Weaknesses.Aswith most approaches to research, the quantitative method also hasvarious disadvantages. First, the researcher might miss importantphenomena because of focusing too much on theory (hypothesis testing)instead of hypothesis generation. Inherently, this phenomenon, whichis known as the confirmation bias, compromises the accuracy of thefindings, making it difficult to understand and solve the problemsatisfactorily. Second, the data produced through this design mightbe too abstract, making it hard to apply it directly to specific CTEsituations, contexts, and stakeholders. Third, the study’sparticipants might fail to understand the researcher’s categories,which in turn might cause them to provide misleading informationabout .

QualitativeDesign and Methodology

Strengths.First,the qualitative nature of the design makes it easy to conductcross-case comparisons and analyses. In essence, this is importantfor comparing and contrasting the quality of instruction and successrates for high school students who take career and technicaleducation programs. Second, a quantitative analysis allowsidiographic causation this means that it facilitates thedetermination of the causes of the problem at hand (Johnson&amp Christensen, 2006).Correspondingly, this approach makes it easy to determine the reasonsof career dissatisfaction among individuals that took career andtechnical education courses in high school.

Third,the approach makes it easier to determine how the participants ofcareer and technical education interpret the program’s constructs.Essentially, this is important in order to determine whether theattitude of students, in correlation with the quality ofinstructions, affects career gratification among high schoolstudents. Lastly, the qualitative approach allows data to becollected within the naturalistic setting, which makes it easier tounderstand the underlying problem without disrupting the system thatis under study (Johnson&amp Christensen, 2006).Intrinsically, the qualitative design and methodology will allow thedetermination of the correlation between the quality of instructionin high schools and academic success.

Weaknesses.Despiteits advantages, the qualitative design and methodology have variousweaknesses as well. First, data analysis is time consuming because itentails consulting a wide variety of references. Second, it isdifficult to make quantitative predictions using the findings of suchan approach. Besides, it takes time to collect data when comparedwith the quantitative method. Inherently, this is a disadvantagesince it would make it difficult to estimate the extent to which thequality of instruction in affects the career ambitions of high schoolstudents. Third, it is hard to test the hypothesis with a largeparticipant pool essentially, this downgrades the credibility andapplicability of the findings. Lastly, the discoveries of qualitativestudies might not generalize to other people or things, and thislimits their use (Amaratunga,Baldry, Sarshar, &amp Newton, 2002).In this case, the study only applies to high school students hence,it might not be effective for secondary and postsecondaryinstitutions.

Justificationof Methods and Designs

Theuse of the qualitative approach to determine the influence of thequality of instruction on career satisfaction in high school studentis a suitable choice. Inherently, this is because quality isabstract, not physical, which makes it impossible to measurequantitatively. Besides, high school students constitute one groupamong the demographics that receive CTE courses, which make themappropriate participants in the study. Furthermore, since one of thevariables, in this case, was specific (high school students), therewas no need for generalizing the findings hence the qualitativeapproach was appropriate.

Onthe other hand, the quantitative approach was best for determiningthe impact of the lack of instruction on shifts in workplace andworkforce needs. Fundamentally, the testing of this hypothesisrequires the evaluation of the participants in at least oneinstitution that offers the CTE curriculum. In such a way, itincludes a quantitative element, which is measuring workplace andworkforce needs. In this regard, it was more suitable for testing thehypothesis than a qualitative design and methodology were. Besides,the hypothesis in this case was not specific to a particulardemographic, such as high school students therefore, it wasessential to use a methodology/design that can produce generalizedresults — the quantitative method was perfect for this purpose.

Overall,both methods were applicable for the hypothesis that they weredesigned to evaluate, respectively. Additionally, they provedbefitting for their target population, which further justifies theiruse. They also addressed all their respective research questionsappropriately, further demonstrating their relevance in testing thecorresponding hypothesis.

WhyAlternative Methods/Designs Would be Less Desirable for the Study

Asimplied in the previous section of this paper, various reasonsjustify the designs/methodologies that were used in the study. Thissection highlights alternative options for each instance anddemonstrates why those options would not be suitable for thecorresponding hypotheses. In the first scenario, one could have usedthe qualitative methodology/design to test whether the lack of aninstructional element in the CTE curriculum is responsible for shiftsin workforce and workplace needs. Essentially, the potentialmethodology in this case would entail looking for information aboutthe research problem in books and the Internet among other secondarysources (Blenker,Trolle Elmholdt, Hedeboe Frederiksen, Korsgaard, &amp Wagner, 2014).Particularly, the researcher would have to find existing data aboutthe shifts in workplace and workforce needs in educational centersthat offer CTE courses nevertheless, this approach would have faileddue to several reasons. First, such shifts are static in nature,meaning that they occur frequently therefore, relying on past ordocumented information about the phenomenon is likely to yieldmisleading results (Howard,2008).Inherently, it would be best to study such changes in real-time inorder to get a concrete picture of the patterns of change.Correspondingly, this would allow a more precise determination ofwhether a deficiency of clear instructions in the CTE programinfluences workforce and workplace shifts — this can beaccomplished easily using the quantitative design/methodology.Besides, as mentioned earlier, the quantitative methodology is moresuitable for generalized populations than the qualitative method is.

Onthe other hand, there was an option of using the quantitative methodto determine the impact of instruction quality on career satisfactionamong high school students. However, this option would not have beenprudent due to several reasons. First, both the independent andnon-independent variables in the corresponding hypothesis areabstract in nature in other words, they entail things that that arenot physical, hence, would be difficult to measure quantitatively. Inparticular, the variables in question are “the quality ofinstruction” and “satisfaction”, the latter being moreemotional, hence, difficult to measure. In this regard, thequalitative option was more suitable than the quantitativemethodology. Second, the quantitative approach is often used in caseswhere generalized results are required (Rashid,2011)nevertheless, in this hypothesis, a specific population was beingtargeted — high school students. This means that the study wasinterested in only determining the impact of instruction quality onthe career satisfaction of only high school students, not any othergroup in such a way, the quantitative approach was appropriate sinceit is generally suitable for specific people or things.

Overall,the designs/methodologies that were developed to test eitherhypothesis were the most appropriate among the alternatives.Additionally, the two methodologies/designs were used together in thestudy in order to avoid the precariousness of the one legged stool.Inherently, this means that each methodology diluted the weaknessesof the other, increasing the chances of the study’s success.


Careerand Technical Education (CTE) is common in high schools, communitycolleges, and other postsecondary institutions that offer eitheracademic or career-oriented courses in the form of internships andtraining among others. Innately, some schools integrate the CTEcurriculum into their normal program, while others allow it to bedone separately. In such a way, the CTE curriculum is an essentialaspect of academic and career-oriented courses today.Correspondingly, CTE constitutes a good research topic that can beapproached via a variety of methodologies. This paper entails twopossible methodologies/designs in correlation to the topic of CTE.Notably, the first approach is a qualitative study that is aimed atdetermining whether the quality of instruction in institutions thatoffer CTE courses influences career satisfaction in high schoolchildren. Conversely, the second approach is purely quantitative andinvolves measuring the influence of instruction quality on shifts inworkplace and workforce needs.

Principally,prevailing research supports using two differentmethodologies/designs in research. Particularly, some researchersexplain that using multiple methodologies in research circumvents theproblem of the precarious one-legged stool. Nevertheless, each of theapproaches that were chosen for this study has its individualstrengths and weaknesses.

Notablythe merits of the quantitative methodology are that quantitative datais suitable for making both quantitative and qualitative predictions,the design is useful for studying many people, and the numerical datathat is generated using this method is precise and quantitative,which makes it possible to get an accurate picture of the matter athand. Moreover, unlike qualitative data, the findings of this studycan be generalized if it is replicated on multiple populations andsubpopulations, and statistical software can be used to compute thenumerical results, which makes the process relatively less timeconsuming. In regards to the weaknesses of the method, the researchermight miss important phenomena because of focusing too much on theory(hypothesis testing) instead of hypothesis generation, or the dataproduced through this design might be too abstract. Additionally, thestudy’s participants might fail to understand the researcher’scategories consequently causing them to offer misleading informationabout .

Conversely,the strengths of the qualitative design are that its design makes iteasy to conduct cross-case comparisons and analyses, it allowsidiographic causation, and it makes it easy to determine the reasonsof career dissatisfaction among individuals that took career andtechnical education courses in high school. Additionally, theapproach makes it easier to establish how the participants of careerand technical education interpret the program’s constructs, and itallows data to be collected within the naturalistic setting, whichmakes it easier to understand the underlying problem withoutdisrupting the system that is under study. However, it isdisadvantageous in the sense that data analysis is time consumingbecause it entails consulting a wide variety of references, and it isdifficult to make quantitative predictions using the findings of suchan approach. It also takes time to collect data when compared withthe quantitative method. Moreover, it is hard to test the hypothesiswith a large participant pool, which downgrades the credibility andapplicability of the findings, and the discoveries of qualitativestudies might not generalize to other people or things, which limittheir use. Overall, the designs/methodologies used in this papercomplement each other, making them suitable for studying CTE.


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