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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Purpose of Career and Technical Education (CTE)?

CTE provides students with technical training to prepare for a successful career. The structured training each student receives gives him or her the tools needed to be successful in a career after high school and/or further his or her postsecondary education, whether technical school, two-year college, or four-year college. Each student is encouraged to explore various CTE Areas of Study and to develop the essential skills to feel competent in entering today’s competitive job market.

Frequently Asked Questions Flyer

What Subject Areas Are Covered by CTE?

  • Agricultural Education
  • Business and Marketing Education
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Health Science Education
  • Information Technology Education 
  • Skilled and Technical Sciences Education
  • Technology and Engineering Education

What Are CTE Career Pathways?

CTE has over 50 Career Pathways within seven Areas of Study. A Pathway is a sequence of courses within a student’s area of interest. A CTE Pathway connects from high school to college for a specific degree and/or career.

Is CTE Only for Students Who Are Not College-Bound?

No. Career and Technical Education is essential for all students, providing them with a foundation of academic knowledge and essential technical skills. CTE courses and programs introduce students to
career options and assist them in making informed educational choices.

How Is CTE Funded?

CTE funding is based on regular Weighted Pupil Unit (WPU), including incentives to provide Career and Technical Education in schools throughout the state. CTE funding is also supplemented with a federal appropriation through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

Where Is CTE Offered?

CTE courses and programs are offered in 47 public school districts and charter schools. Most Utah colleges and universities offer postsecondary CTE programs.

How Is CTE Offered?

Students in grades K-12 are exposed to various aspects of Career and Technical Education.

Kindergarten – Sixth Grade
Students have the opportunity to see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities. Through the Core Curriculum, students see connections to the real world; through guest speakers and field studies, students gain understanding of the world of work and how learning today connects with careers of the future.

Middle School/Junior High CTE
Through the CTE Introduction program, typically taught in the seventh grade, every student is involved in activity-centered lessons which utilize technology, develop skills, and explore careers. Students are provided with the direction, decision making, and planning needed in order to select their career path. Additional courses offered at the middle/junior high level provide students with rich experience in computer technology and business, family and consumer sciences, information technology, and pre-engineering, with more programs being developed.

High School CTE
Students begin to acquire specific job training skills as they continue to take courses that meet their interests and abilities. A rich offering of courses lead students to employment, further education, or training offered in all high schools. Students have opportunities to take concurrent enrollment courses, which provide them with college credit while in high school. The CTE Skill Certificate program provides certification of specific occupational skills that students can take to employers or to postsecondary institutions.

What Other Support and Opportunities Are Available to Students?

Comprehensive Guidance Program
Assists students, through specific self-appraisal and self-improvement activities, in the development of a College and Career Plan to effectively meet educational goals.

Work-Based Learning Program
Gives students opportunities to see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future careers.

How Many CTE Students Are in Utah?

There are over 202,000 secondary and postsecondary CTE students in Utah.

  • Over 137,000 students (grades 9-12) participate in CTE courses annually.
  • Nationally 12 million secondary and postsecondary students participate in Career and Technical Education.

How Many CTE Programs Are in Utah?

In Utah, CTE programs are offered in all public high schools, middle/jr. high schools, and some charter schools. There are nine postsecondary institutions in Utah that offer technical programs, including community colleges, technical colleges, technical education centers, and other public and private two-year and four-year colleges.

How Does CTE Prepare Students for College and Career?

  • Students participate in a CTE Pathway.
  • Students complete appropriate academic and skill development courses.
  • Students participate in concurrent enrollment courses that meet degree requirements.
  • Students complete related state or industry skill assessments.
  • Students earn industry certification, where available.

Is There Any Proof That CTE Works?


  • Students who take two or more CTE courses are less likely to drop out of high school.i
  • High school CTE programs prepare students for the many high paying, high-tech jobs requiring less than a bachelor’s degree.

How Can I Learn More about CTE?

Talk to your high school counselor, contact the Utah State Office of Education, or access

i NRCCTE, Stone, 2013.