Career and Technology Education (CTE) represents a fundamental shift in philosophy away from high school “vocational” courses to highly technical and advanced courses which prepare students for both employment AND secondary education. Texas high school students need to gain proficiency in 21st century skills, and the state of Texas needs college and workforce-ready graduates for a 21st century economy. According to a study sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2006, 81 percent of dropouts responded that â??real-world learning? and the opportunity to see the connection between school and getting a job? may have encouraged them to finish high school.