Career & Technology Education

1. Career and Technology Education (CTE) – it’s more than a name change! Career and Technology Education (formerly vocational education) gives students a head start on college and careers in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations organized in 10 different Career Clusters including programs in Information Technology, Finance, Construction Trades, Homeland Security, Health Professions, Pre-engineering, and more.

2. CTE is for the career and college bound. In today’s workplace, continued education and training are well known. CTE programs include a sequence of four or five high school courses taken in addition to the academic core classes of math, science, english, and social studies. Students completing both the academic requirements and a CTE program have the advantage of graduating from high school better prepared for college and the workplace.

3. CTE students are able to earn college credits and certifications to give your student an extra advantage after earning their diplomas. Most of the 40+ CTE programs offered around the state provide students with an opportunity to earn college credit, industry-recognized certifications, or both. As an added bonus, nearly every CTE program connects to a similar community college program, which makes it possible for students to transition from high school to college.

4. Students apply what they learn in academic classes – and this applied learning increases retention and understanding! For example, in the Pre-engineering program, ProjectLeadTheWay, students apply skills learned in higher level math courses to real world engineering projects, under the guidance of professional engineers/mentors.

5. Instructors are industry professionals teaching with up-to-date equipment and technology. CTE teachers have worked in their fields as a part of their certification. Industry advisory boards help schools design and equip learning labs. Here are some examples of how well-equipped CTE classrooms are:  

  • Culinary Arts students work in commercial kitchens.

  • Cisco (computer networking) students use state-of-the-art networking software.

  • Automotive Automotive Technician students hone their skills using tools, equipment, and curriculum recommended by the National Automotive Training and Education Foundation (NATEF).

6. Parents and students can save money! High school is one of the few times that an individual can obtain an education focused on career preparation without writing a tuition check! High school students can earn licenses and credentials, including the Maryland Cosmetology license and a range of computer software certifications, often at a lower cost than obtaining certifications and licenses outside of high school.

7. CTE students can also save money on college tuition by earning college credit three different ways. Students completing CTE programs obtain knowledge and skills that can help them achieve better paying jobs while they are attending college. Programs are designed for the future. Maryland industries and businesses partner with local school districts, community colleges, and the Maryland State Department of Education to create programs of study that prepare students with the knowledge and skills required for current and future careers in today’s global economy.

8. Internships and work-based learning opportunities provide “real world” work experiences and the prospect of developing a professional network. CTE programs frequently include a final internship or work-based learning experience, which helps students develop a network of co-workers and managers who may also become valuable references.

9. Leadership and interpersonal skills are expanded! Students enrolled in CTE programs can join local chapters of national student organizations such as the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) or Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Participating in Career and Technical Student Organizations like Skills USA, DECA, FFA, and other state and national career competitions builds confidence as students demonstrate their skills and knowledge.

To enroll your teen or to learn more about CTE in your community, contact your school guidance counselor or email us at

4-Year and 2-Year Industry/Technical Certification