What is a Career Pathway?
A Career Pathway is a series of educational and work-based learning opportunities within a specific industry designed to provide students with the opportunity to advance their career goals while in high school. Each step builds upon the previous and is meant to increase the student’s knowledge in their educational and career path. Career pathway offerings at the high school level are also connected to the community colleges and allow students to earn transferable early-college credit while in high school.
Career Pathways are also designed to meet the needs of labor market shortages in high-wage industries. The goal of career pathways is to help students develop the skills they need to exit high school and earn a livable wage, pursue a career path, and complete a 2 or 4 year college program or apprenticeship.
Career Pathways also provide high school students with early access to industry through guest speakers, internships, job shadows, and virtual tours. Students on a career pathway course also develop leadership skills, often compete in career technical competitions, learn soft skills to improve professional relationships, and develop resumes and skills to find a job.
Students move through the work-based learning continuum while they learn the technical and academic skills of their industry:
9th -10th grade: Career Awareness and Exploration
11th grade: Career Preparation
12th grade: Career Training
What this means is that…
1. Career pathways help students meet high school graduation requirements.
2. Career pathways help students know if they need education beyond high school and what kind of education they should get.
3. Career pathways help students understand and prepare for entry into the work world.
4. Career pathways keep students interested in what they’re learning in school.