Positive results are found in long-term educational, workforce participation, and family formation effects in this examination of career academies for adolescents transitioning to adulthood.

"This report presents findings on the long-term effects of Career Academies on outcomes associated with the transition from adolescence to adulthood – particularly on labor market participation, educational attainment, and family formation – over the eight years following scheduled graduation from high school" (p.1). (Abstractor: Author)

Full publication title: Career Academies: Long-term Impacts on Labor Market Outcomes, Educational Attainment, and Transitions to Adulthood 


Major Findings & Recommendations

"This study provides the most rigorous evidence to date that investing in career-oriented programs and experiences for high school students can have a long-term payoff in the labor market. Notably, the employment and earnings gains did not come at the expense of postsecondary enrollment and completion; Academy participants and students in the control group had similar levels of academic achievement. These findings suggest that pitting academic preparation against career development in high schools may be a false dichotomy" (p.ix). "The Career Academies produced sustained earnings gains that averaged 11 percent (or $2,088) more per year for Academy group members than for individuals in the non-Academy group — a $16,704 boost in total earnings over the eight years of follow-up (in 2006 dollars). These labor market impacts were concentrated among young men, a group that has experienced a severe decline in real earnings in recent years. Through a combination of increased wages, hours worked, and employment stability, real earnings for young men in the Academy group increased by $3,731 (17 percent) per year — or nearly $30,000 over eight years. Overall, the Career Academies served as viable pathways to a range of postsecondary education opportunities, but they do not appear to have been more effective than options available to the non-Academy group. More than 90 percent of both groups graduated from high school or received a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, and half completed a postsecondary credential. The Career Academies produced an increase in the percentage of young people living independently with children and a spouse or partner. Young men also experienced positive impacts on marriage and being custodial parents" (p.iii). (Abstractor: Author)