Seattle Public Schools

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Programs and Career Pathways

CTE Career Pathways

Career and Technical Education offers students the chance to explore course work and plan for life after graduation in the pathways listed below. A “pathway” is a series of learning opportunities within a field that students and families can use to explore and prepare for life after high school. In addition to taking rigorous courses in the pathways below, students have the opportunity to participate in leadership opportunities, earn dual college credit, and earn certificates and credentials that give them a strong sense of what it would be like to enter a job in the pathway they are exploring after high school.

SPS student earning scholarship with CTE teacher and Superintendent Brent Jones

Outside of the typical school day, teachers and Career Connected Learning Coordinators connect students with internships, worksite tours, job shadows, career fairs, field trips, and much, much more.

Learn more about our nine pathways in the dynamic and growing fields below. Click the button at the bottom of each section to learn more! Still have questions? You can contact us at

Agriculture classes ground students in the essential elements of life: food, water, land, and air. Students who pursue this pathway are interested in understanding how to preserve our environment, maintain food and water for communities, and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Cabbage and three different kinds of peppers in bins

In agriculture classes, students run experiments, cultivate plants and spend time in the greenhouse. Examples of careers in this pathway include environmental engineering, forestry, crop growers and managers. 

Students have the opportunity to earn dual credit with Seattle Colleges in Agriculture classes.

Business and Marketing classes prepare students for further education and employment in a critical sector that employs millions of people and keeps our economy running. Students in business and marketing classes combine math, economics, and psychology concepts. Examples of careers in this pathway include entrepreneurs, financial advisors, creative directors, and accountants. 

Students around table, one on laptop

Students have the opportunity to earn dual credit with North Seattle College and Seattle CEntral College in Accounting, Business and Financial Management, General Management, and Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Students may also earn their WA State Food Worker Card and Adobe InDesign.

Culinary and Hospitality classes educate students in the management, marketing, and operations of restaurants and hospitality service organizations. Students acquire knowledge and skills focusing on communication, time management, and customer service that meet industry standards. Examples of careers in this pathway include restaurant management, catering, food photography, and pastry chef.  

Students can earn their WA State Food Worker Card when they enroll in classes along this pathway.

Education and Human Services classes prepares students for employment in careers related to Early Childhood Development and Services, Education Industry, Family and Community Services, Personal Care Services and careers that relate to families and human needs. Examples of careers in this pathway include social worker, psychologists, childcare provider, counselor, or educator. 

High school students leading a lesson at an elementary school

By taking classes in this pathway, students can earn First Aid/CPR certificates, WA State Food Worker Card as well as dual college credit with Seattle Colleges.

Health and Medical classes use applied math, biology, anatomy, and chemistry to prepare students for employment and post-secondary educational opportunities in the health care industry. Students receive hands-on, technical instruction in the classroom, experiential education in the laboratory, clinical settings, and professional and leadership skills development. Examples of careers in this pathway include dental hygienists, doctors, surgical technicians, and radiation therapists.  

Students can earn credentials including First Aid/CPR certification, and dual college credit by completing classes in this pathway.

Information Technology classes teach students the basics of computer science, including the development, support, and management of software, hardware, and systems integration services. Information Technology is a growing pathway that leads to careers in every sector of the economy such as programmers, game designers, and software engineers.  

Students on a field trip to Amazon HQ.

In this pathway, students can earn certificates including Unity Certified User and dual college credit.

Media Arts courses instruct students in digital arts and interactive media. Students apply artistic talent to practical problems and learn visual arts principles that prepare them with skills and techniques to work in any number of creative design and entertainment fields. Examples of careers in this pathway include graphic designers, publishers, audio and video technicians, broadcast announcers and photographers. 

Two monitors with graphic design software open on them

By completing classes in this pathway, students can earn credentials including Adobe Premier Certification, Marketron Traffic Certification, Zetta Automation Certification, GSelector Music Scheduling Certification and Adobe Suite Certification. There are also dual credit opportunities in various classes.

Skilled Trades courses are about using skills in design, planning and management to work in careers building and maintaining structures such as buildings, homes, bridges, or machinery. These courses emphasize hands-on instruction, problem-solving skills, and creative thinking. Examples of careers in this pathway include carpenters, electricians, plumbers, woodworkers, welders, automotive technicians and theater designers. 

Student holding wrench working on car in automotive class

Students can earn a variety of credentials including OSHA 10, First Aid/CPR, Flagger and Forklift Training, ANEW Pre-Apprenticeship Certification, S/P2 Automotive, Boater Certification, Backstage Exam as well as dual college credit.

Students conducting experiment using micro bit outside of school

STEM courses offer opportunities for inventive, science- and data-loving minds to solve complex problems for a wide variety of products and industries. STEM workers are employed by diverse industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications, construction, and agriculture. Examples of careers include robotics, aerospace, mechanical and electrical engineers.  

Students can earn dual college credit for completing select classes in this pathway.