Mary Alice McCarthy was quoted in Inside Higher Ed on the reputation of career and technical education:
Career and technical education, commonly known as vocational education, has struggled for decades to overcome a well-earned reputation for tracking low-income and minority students into dead-end programs, said Mary Alice McCarthy, director of the Center on Education and Skills at New America. That said, career and technical programs have made great strides, particularly over the last decade, in improving the quality of their offerings, she said.
The challenge for apprenticeships is not a stigma, McCarthy said -- a recent New America survey showed they are as popular with the public as four-year universities and community colleges -- but the reality that there are few programs available and they are concentrated in a small number of fields, like skilled trades and manufacturing. The number of current registered apprenticeships is around 500,000.