Seattle Public Schools

Programs and Career Pathways

Information Technology Pathway

Is this the right pathway for me?

  • Do you enjoy problem-solving and logical thinking? 
  • Are you interested in technology and staying updated and controlling the latest advancements?  
  • Do you thrive in a dynamic and fast-paced environment? 

What is Information Technology?

Information Technology is a field all about computers and technology. People in Information Technology work on various things, like fixing computer issues, creating websites, and designing apps for phones. They also focus on keeping computer systems safe and functional. This pathway is a great fit for those who enjoy using computers, solving problems, and imagining future uses for technology. 

Superintendent Brent Jones during Hour of Code with elementary school students

What sort of work would I do

Information Technology is a vast and dynamic field. There are many different exciting jobs that cater to different interests and skills. IT specialists, often known as computer support specialists, help people with their computer problems, ensuring everything runs smoothly. Web developers create and maintain websites, while software developers design applications and programs for various platforms. Network administrators focus on managing and securing computer networks within organizations. Cybersecurity experts work on protecting computer systems from potential threats and ensuring data remains safe. IT project managers oversee the planning and execution of technology projects, ensuring they meet organizational goals. Database administrators handle the storage and organization of data, ensuring efficient access and retrieval.  

Leads to these Careers

  • Software Developer 
  • Network Administrator 
  • Cybersecurity Analyst 
  • Database Administrator 
  • Web Developer 
  • IT Project Manager 
  • Systems Analyst 
  • IT Consultant 
  • Cloud Solutions Architect 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engineer

In-Demand Occupations

Typical Education Required Career Title Average Annual Salary Job Outlook in WA State (2020-2030) 
High School Computer User Support Specialist $66,927 28% increase 
Bachelor’s Degree Computer Network Support Specialist $106,601 28% increase 
Bachelor’s Degree Information Security Analyst $128,152 48% increase 
Check Career One Stop, Bureau of Labor Statistics for updated career trends

What Courses can I take now?

Check with your school counselor and administrators to find out which classes are available at your school.

AP Computer Science Principles is an introductory computing course that introduces students to the breadth of the field of computer science. Students learn to design and evaluate solutions and to apply computer science to solve problems through the development of algorithms and programs. They incorporate abstraction into programs and use data to discover new knowledge. Students also explain how computing innovations and computing systems—including the internet—work, explore their potential impacts, and contribute to a computing culture that is collaborative and ethical. 

Course numbers: HCT4014, HCT4105 

Credentials: AP Exam

 This is a yearlong course co-delivered by AP and UW. This course This course covers basic concepts for programming-in-the-small, including procedural programming (methods, parameters, return values), basic control structures (sequence, if/else, for loop, while loop), file processing, arrays and an introduction to defining objects. Besides preparing for the AP Computer Science A exam, eligible students have the option to register to earn UW credits through the UW in the High School program. 

Course numbers: HCT1296, CSC1296 HCT1297, CSC1297

Credentials: AP Exam

Exploring Computer Science develops students’ computer science skills including algorithm development, problem solving, and programming. Students will also be introduced to topics such as interface design, limits of computers and societal and ethical issues of software engineering. This course is designed for students interested in computing careers and is a broad introduction to computer science. Students will learn what programmers and computer scientists do and how technologists think. 

Course number: HCT2448 

IB Computer Science involves solving problems using computers. Therefore, a full understanding of logical problem solving is required as well as a detailed knowledge of how computers operate. Students are expected to ac quire knowledge of the specified aspects of Java. 

Course numbers: HCT2483, HCT2484 

This course sequence introduces students to high-level computers science concepts and creative design approaches while they learn how to use immersive technologies. Students will learn product design theory, programming concepts and product management skills while using industry-specific software to create small projects. The class culminates with a collaborative team project of the students’ own design using immersive technology such as virtual or augmented reality.  

Course numbers: HCT2547, HCT2548 

Credentials: Unity Certified User 

In this sequence, students learn sketching and story-boarding in 2D animation and concepts of 3D. They learn skills necessary for a career in the animation and gaming industry. This course is a great preparation for college and career and provides a fantastic opportunity for students to express themselves creatively while learning industry standard technical skills. 

Course numbers: WCT5730, WCT5731, WCT5732, WCT5733, WCT5790, WCT5791, WCT5792, WCT5793

Credentials: Unity Certificate

Introduction to Programming provides students with the skills and knowledge to understand the technology they use daily and to extrapolate this knowledge to understand and use emerging technologies. This course is modeled on Level 2 objectives from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) K-12 Computer Science Model Curriculum and will emphasize a project-based integrated format of lessons that emphasize a way of problem solving and thinking as a computer scientist. Content areas include: human interface interaction; problem solving; introduction to programming using Python primarily; and robotics. 

Course number: HCT2447 

Clubs and Activities at SPS

Interested in learning more about information technology? SPS students have the opportunity to deepen and expand their knowledge alongside their peers through clubs like Technical Student Association (TSA). TSA hosts competitive events, provides leadership opportunities, and helps students prepare for career and college. Find a chapter at your school here

What training do I need after high school?

Below are examples of post-secondary education and training options for students interested in pursuing a career in Information Technology:

University of Washington – Seattle 

  • Programs: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering 
  • Features: Offers top-tier education in computer science, extensive research opportunities, and connections to the tech industry 
  • Scholarships: Various scholarships available for Seattle Public School graduates 

North Seattle College and Seattle Central College

Coding Bootcamps

  • Options: Code Fellows, General Assembly Seattle, Ada Developers Academy (for women and gender diverse individuals) 
  • Focus: Intensive, practical coding skills in various programming languages and technologies 
  • Duration: Varies (usually 12-24 weeks) 
  • Outcome: Prepared for entry-level positions in software development, web development, etc. 

Online Learning Platforms

  • Options: Coursera, Udemy, edX, Khan Academy (for foundational knowledge) 
  • Cost: Varies (many free courses available) 
  • Note: Great for supplementing knowledge or exploring specific areas of interest in computer science 

Explore the right fit post-secondary pathway for you using the SuperMatch college feature on Naviance

Questions or concerns? Contact content area specialist Harvey Wright at!