Vocational education in public community colleges has been touted as an attractive alternative to the bachelor's degree. Arguing that vocational education has been developed in response to the rising educational aspirations of the working class and the decreasing opportunities for young college graduates to find employment, Fred Pincus reviews the history and controversies surrounding its establishment and growth and examines available data about its economic payoff for students. The data raise serious questions about the likelihood of such rewards, and these findings make it difficult to promote vocational education as a prerequisite to satisfying, well-paid jobs.

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