Especially compared with a formal college education? Oren Cass, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, had some thoughts on that in a recent Wall Street Journal piece.
Elevating vocational education, and prioritizing its students, must begin with a substantial reshaping of American high schools. Vocational education will not succeed so long as culture and public policy consign it to second-class status—a dumping ground for students who interfere with what school districts consider their real mission, college prep.
It’s absolutely true that we shouldn’t be deprecating the status of those with or who prefer, for any reason, vocational educations. These folks—the VoTech graduates, the OO graduates—the trades and secretaries are critical to our economy. What road gets built, what office buildings or houses get built, what communications networks get laid out without the trades? What office is operable without the secretaries and office managers who do the actual nitty-gritty of running things?
What will a designer or an engineer or an architect do without the trades and secretaries to turn ideas into action?
Cass is spot on.