Career and Technical Education

Career and Technical Education

Offering Student Opportunities


Career and Technical Education (CTE) includes middle and high school students taking courses in one of 17 career clusters. These courses are part of an overall program of study designed to prepare students to be successful in a rapidly changing workforce and equip them to make informed decisions about future college and career pathways. CTE offers students opportunities to earn highly valued industry certifications and to develop a multitude of skills while experiencing rigorous curriculum with real world applications. CTE students who complete a Program of Study are eligible for many scholarships, including the Gold Seal Bright Futures Scholarship.

A program of study is a coherent, articulated sequence of rigorous academic and career courses commencing in the 9th grade (or sometimes earlier) leading to an associate degree, an industry-recognized certification or licensure, and/or a baccalaureate degree.

The list in the Resources section contains links to all of the CTE Programs of Study that are aligned to the target industries and occupations of the District. This listing assists students and parents in deciding which programs to study at the high school level. It also assists schools in deciding what programs they might wish to offer. Lastly, it allows the District to determine whether a new program of study may need to be developed to serve a target industry or occupation.


Hillsborough County Public Schools has over 400 unique middle and high school courses in Career and Technical Education, which range across 17 career clusters. These courses take place in a wide variety of environments, from the agricultural field to the professional kitchen, and from the computer lab to the health science clinical site.

All courses are built on the framework provided by the Florida Department of Education. The CTE Program Supervisors work with instructors to develop a scope and sequence document for each course. This document provides a structure to the pacing of course content, and links to the district resources for a given topic.

A complete list of courses and schools can be located in the 2013-2014 CTE Middle School Guide and CTE Secondary Guide.


Industry certifications are an important component of Career and Technical Education Programs of Study as demonstrated evidence of technical skill attainment. There are numerous benefits of students earning industry certifications:

  • Students who earn a certification feel a sense of accomplishment, have a competitive edge upon graduation and become more marketable in their career.
  • Research indicates students who attain industry certifications earn more money over the course of their careers than those lacking industry recognized certifications.
  • Success in specified Industry Certifications can earn articulated credit to community colleges
  • Students earning industry certifications will receive the “merit” diploma designation
  • Industry Certifications count towards the acceleration component of Florida’s School Accountability System (School Grade)

Industry Certifications are integrated in the curriculum of specific CTE courses which are designated as “career-themed courses”. This is a list of some of the Industry Certifications available to Career and Technical education students.

  • Adobe Certified Associate-Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Certified Associate-Flash
  • Adobe Certified Associate-Photoshop
  • Adobe Certified Associate-Illustrator
  • Adobe Certified Associate-InDesign
  • Adobe Certified Associate-Premiere Pro
  • Agricultural Biotechnology Certification
  • Agricultural Technician Certification
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • AutoDesk Certified User – AutoCAD
  • Certified Food Protection Manager
  • Certified Horticulture Professional
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Certified Solidworks Associate
  • Certified Veterinary Assistant
  • Certified Welder
  • CIW Internet Business Associate
  • CIW Site Development Associate
  • CompTIA A+
  • Certified EKG Technician
  • Engineering Core Certification
  • Florida Automotive Dealers Association Certified Technician
  • Microsoft Office Specialist
  • Microsoft Office Master
  • National Restaurant Association ProStart Certificate of Achievement

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO’s) are student member organizations aligned to career clusters that provide middle and high school students in CTE Programs with meaningful career learning and preparation activities, competition, scholarships, and internship opportunities. These include competitions at the local, state, and/or national levels; and multiple community service, leadership, and networking opportunities.

Hillsborough County Public Schools support nine CTSO district organizations, most of which have district, county, state, and/or national affiliation organizations. These include:

  • DECA (For Finance, Marketing & Hospitality Students)
  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
  • Family, Career & Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
  • FFA (For Agribusiness Students)
  • Florida Public Service Association (FPSA)
  • Future Educators Association (FEA)
  • HOSA (For Health Science Students)
  • SkillsUSA (For Industrial and Cosmetology Students)
  • Technology Student Association (TSA)

Business partners are vital to the success of Career and Technical Education programs. Many CTE programs will hold regular Business Advisory Meetings, whose goal is to provide real-world industry perspective, which helps to shape overall program curriculum. Businesses are involved with Career and Technical Education in a variety of ways, which include:

  • Attending Advisory Board Meetings to provide feedback to teachers and administrators about curriculum and industry trends
  • Serving as guest speakers to CTE Classes
  • Participating as judges at Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) activities
  • Hosting Career Exploration Visits and Job Shadow Events which provide students with first-hand knowledge of their industry
  • Hiring student interns who are immersed in the industry for a short period of time to learn fundamentals skills

If you represent an organization who would like to participate in CTE Programs, please contact the CTE Office at (813) 231-1860.

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