Journal of Research in Technical Careers


career academy, career and technical education, skills gap, technical skills


Vocational Education


The purpose of this study was to explore how technical skills taught and learned in Florida engineering and engineering technology-themed career academies fit technical skills desired by local employers in technology and manufacturing. The analysis utilized the narratives of 70 students and four teachers from career academies at four high schools and 27 industry leaders from the same geographical region of Florida. Data interpretation led to understanding that employers expressed an urgent need for technical skills using appropriate equipment and technologies, teachers were teaching students technical skills by simulating the real-world work environment, and students valued their abilities to transform their classroom project ideas into tangible products.