Career Kickstart

Career Kickstart is a new program in development that’s designed to accelerate high school students on their paths to in-demand careers.

What Is Career Kickstart?

Career Kickstart aspires to expand the successful AP model to the career and technical education space by offering high schools a new set of career-oriented courses and exams.

Powering Students’ Progress

  • We're partnering with employers, college faculty, and high school educators to design courses that prepare students for their first job and help them complete a college degree faster. 
  • Once launched beyond the pilot stage, Career Kickstart courses will engage students with instruction and experiences that can lead to industry-recognized credentials and the opportunity to earn college credit—ultimately powering their progress to in-demand jobs and choice-filled lives. 
A male teacher looks smiling over the shoulder of several high school students working at computers

Apply to our Upcoming Pilots

Formal applications for the 2025-26 Career Kickstart Cybersecurity Pilots are now open.

Every Career Kickstart course will:

Fit into an articulated career pathway

Align with career and technical education standards

Relate to workforce needs in high-growth sectors

Offer applied, hands-on learning that builds problem-solving skills

Include both technical and professional skills

Embed work-based learning opportunities

Starting with Cybersecurity

Career Kickstart will develop courses in pathways that prepare students for high-demand, high-wage jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. Entry-level cybersecurity roles meet that description; the first pathway we’re developing is Cybersecurity.

Pilot Testing

In the 2024-25 school year, we are piloting our inaugural Career Kickstart Cybersecurity courses: Networking Fundamentals and Cybersecurity Fundamentals. We will hold a second Cybersecurity pilot in 2025-26. 

Future Pathways

We plan to build out multiple career and technical education (CTE) pathways in information technology (networking, cybersecurity, coding) and additional pathways in business and health sciences. 

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