In November of 2019, Vermont Technical College (VTC) announced that it ranks first in the state for return on investment. The study by Georgetown University looked at more than 4,500 colleges nationwide, seeking an answer to the age-old question “is college worth it?” Nationally, VTC ranked 180th, putting it in the 96th percentile. The college ranks near or above institutions like Virginia Tech, Cal Tech, and Georgia Tech (1146, 205, and 96, respectively).
VTC is in a very advantageous position at a time when alternatives to traditional four-year programs are getting increased attention. Higher education costs are exploding (according to CNBC, tuition increased by an average of 37% from 2008-2018), and many are unwilling, or unable, to take on the debt. On top of that, Forbes reports that the cost of higher education is increasing almost eight times faster than wages. For a lot of people, a four-year program is not worth it.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that between 2012 and 2022, there will be 50,557,900 job openings for CTE graduates. Of those jobs, 15,627,500 (30.9%) will be new. And these are well-paying jobs. According to the Association of Career Technical Education, technical and applied science graduates earn $2,000 to $11,000 more per year than those with a bachelor’s degree. It’s good for the state as well; for every $1 of government funding in CTE, taxpayers earn as much as $12.20 in benefits in return.
It is time for our legislature to make a meaningful investment in Vermont Technical College and career technical education in general. VTC is well-positioned to lead modern, accessible, and affordable education in Vermont. Without it, we will move even further away from being able to offer the sustainable lifestyles needed for a prosperous future.