Career & Technical Education

Connecting Education, Industry, and Workforce Development

Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides students the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for success in a career field of interest. Programs are available in a wide range of fields such as advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, and agriculture.

Students get a jump start in high school on working toward a credential in their chosen field, earning dual credit, and completing relevant work-based learning experiences.

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What is CTE?

CTE combines academic content with the relevant technical knowledge and skills needs to prepare for further education and/or careers. CTE has traditionally been focused on many careers in the trades (welding, construction, etc.), but today’s program options are much more expansive. Programming is available in business, information technology, healthcare, STEM, and many other fields.

CTE programs all have a focus on providing instruction through real-world, applied settings and often include the opportunity to earn college credit and college credentials, and to participate in work-based learning. 

What CTE programs are available?

Indiana offers over 60 programs of study for high school students through the Next Level Programs of Study initiative launched in 2022-2023. Next Level Programs of Study are all aligned to programs at Ivy Tech Community College (ITCC) and Vincennes University (VU), allowing students to begin completing requirements for an ITCC or VU program while in high school.

CTE is offered in a variety of ways across the state, but most commonly takes place at either a local career center or your home high school. Check out the CTE Career Guide to learn more about available CTE programs. For information about specific offerings at your school, check with your school counselor or your local CTE Director.

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More opportunities to get involved

Along with their participation in a CTE program, many students also join a related co-curricular organization that helps students gain hands-on experience, compete in their field of study, network with peers and professionals, and more. Examples of these organizations include:

Check with your school about available opportunities to join one of these organizations.

Students who participate in CTE save time and money

Education and training beyond a high school diploma is increasingly important for success in today’s economy. Taking part in CTE allows students to progress towards an initial certification or certificate, increasing your earning potential after high school and reducing the time and money needed to pursue further education and training beyond high school.

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Dual Credit

Many CTE programs offer dual credit opportunities for students. Dual credit courses allow qualified students to earn college credit from an Indiana college or university while attending high school.

Within CTE, dual credit is most commonly available through Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University and allows students to begin working towards a technical certificate or certificate of graduation (one year of college courses).

Dual credit courses can be taken at your high school or at a college campus and can be taught by regular high school faculty or college faculty. These courses and grades become part of your academic record and can potentially impact your college grade point average (GPA) and financial aid eligibility.

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CTE Awards for Excellence

The state CTE team annually spotlights excellence in CTE through the CTE Awards for Excellence. Students, programs, partnerships, and career advisors are all recognized at the ceremony. You can view past winners here. Nominations are currently open for the 2024 ceremony and can be accessed here (high school CTE) or here (post-high school CTE). 

The state’s career and technical education team is housed at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and helps to connect industry, workforce development, and education. CTE staff assist with the development and implementation of the over 60 available programs of study offered across the state at high schools and career centers. The team also oversees post-high school CTE programming, which is offered primarily at Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University. Have a question about CTE? Reach out to our team at

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