Research & Advocacy Update

In this Kuder Research & Advocacy Update, we examine research on the positive impact of student engagement in Career and Technical Education (CTE), and explore the ways CTE programs can maximize those benefits for students by ensuring they consider their own career interests and develop 21st century skills.

21st Century Skills CTE

It's not enough to adopt 21st-century skills. We need a 21st-century mindset.

Rich Gates, Chief Product Officer — Kuder, Inc.

The fourth industrial revolution, still only in its early stages, presents myriad opportunities and challenges to the future of education and training that supports career development. New technologies emerging from the revolution will enable us to reform, reshape, and re-imagine core relationships among humans, work, and work environments.

The rapid pace of change will require not only adoption of 21st century skills but also a 21st century mindset. As Klaus Schwab identifies1, this mindset is informed by four key principles:

  1. systems, not technologies;
  2. empowering, not determining;
  3. by design, not by default; and,
  4. values as a feature, not a bug.

The Kuder Career Planning System® provides critical support to the framework of this mindset.

Valuing human decision-making and agency, designing systems that harness new technologies to give people more choice, opportunities, freedom, and control over their careers in a moving world begins with understanding one’s self in the context of one’s own interests and work values and the relationship of those interests and values to an array of work environments that are being associated to industries in new and changing ways.

That self-awareness empowers career wellness, enables mindful decision-making, and supports human-centered design being a key ingredient for every individual who seeks to innovate and imagine a career for the future.

1 Klaus Schwab, Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (New York: Currency, 2018), 15-16.

Quote by Rich Gates

"CTE opens students’ minds and hearts to new experiences."

Kate Blosveren Kreamer — Deputy Executive Director, Advance CTE

Advance CTE often describes Career Technical Education (CTE) as an educational option that provides learners with the knowledge and skills they need to be prepared for college and careers. We believe that CTE gives purpose to learning by emphasizing real-world skills and practical knowledge within a selected career focus. And, CTE opens students’ minds and hearts to new experiences by exposing them to a variety of careers, starting in middle school, if not earlier.

But, for CTE to reach its full promise, we must stay focused on ensuring each student has access to and the opportunities to succeed in high-quality, well-designed CTE programs of study that cover a depth of technical, academic and 21st century skills.

While students may benefit from taking a CTE course or two, as this white paper demonstrates, the true impact can be found when students complete a rigorous, intentional sequence of courses that are aligned across high school and postsecondary, validated by industry, and anchored in a credential of value. It is through these experiences and pathways that students can truly be prepared for careers, college and in the 21st century.

21st Century Skills

CTE Engagement & Student Interests

Equipping Students with 21st Century Skills to Achieve Career Fulfillment

White Paper By Ryan McGrew

This white paper examines research on the positive impact of student engagement in Career and Technical Education (CTE). It also explores how we can maximize those benefits for students by ensuring they consider their own career interests while mapping the trajectory of their CTE pathways and while developing 21st century skills.


CTE Engagement & Student Interests

21st Century Skills at a Glance

Defining the Core Competencies Students Need to Succeed in Today's World

Downloadable Infographic

21st century skills are the core competencies such as Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Communication that  students need to thrive in today's world. Some expanded definitions include: Leadership, Social-Emotional Intelligence, Conscientiousness, Global/Intercultural Fluency, Professionalism/Productivity, Career Management, and Technical Application.


Influential studies. Impactful insights.

Kuder is backed by 80 years of research, and we're not stopping now. 

Dating back to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Frederic Kuder in 1938, we continue his legacy today with our technical briefs, outcome studies, and white papers. 

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