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 lives full of choice. 

A male teacher looks smiling over the shoulder of several high school students working at computers

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 “soft” (or “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’ll develop will be in cybersecurity.

2024-25 Pilot

In the 2024-25 school year, we’ll pilot our inaugural Career Kickstart Cybersecurity pathway and its Networking Fundamentals and Cybersecurity Fundamentals courses.

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. 

Two young women smile while examining an electronic part

Apply for Our Pilot

We’re now accepting applications for the 2024-25 Career Kickstart Cybersecurity 1: Networking Fundamentals course pilot.