This is you This is your future. Yeah you can pretty much write your own story. But that’s where it get’s a little scary. You can go this way. And that way. And every which way. How do you know? Enter CTE. CTE is Career and Technical Education. It helps students get ready for the real world. Through relevant, hands-on learning opportunities. You might be thinking: CTE isn’t for a student like me. I don’t need those classes. Wipe those thoughts from your mind. Because CTE is more than you think. CTE Opening Doors So, how does CTE open doors? Before we get into that, it might be good to bust a few myths about what you think about CTE. Myth #1: CTE is not for college bound kids. That couldn’t be more false because CTE is for everyone. Across South Dakota, CTE programs enroll everyone from honor students, students planning on going to 4-year schools, 2-year schools, and those planning on entering a trade after high school. The fact is, CTE gives both academic and technical training. To prepare you for life after high school. No mater what that is. Myth #2: CTE won’t really help me land a great career. Again – false. CTE is about career exploration. You get to try a lot of different things. You get a chance to see what kind of jobs are out there. That go beyond the obvious. Yes, there are CTE programs for traditional trades like welding and building construction. But there are also programs for skill development in finance, broadcast production, culinary, health sciences, information technology, and more. Myth #3: CTE is weak in academic content. Here is the deal. CTE takes a deeper dive into careers that are very much in demand. Because you go deeper, you come out of high school with an advantage over everyone else. Because you learn real skills for the real world. For example, instead of just learning about algebra, you’ll learn how to apply algebra in a real life setting. Myth #4: CTE takes away from my high school experience. Once again, false. Enrolling in CTE does not mean that you don’t attend your high school. You still get to hang out with your friends. And you still get to participate in your school’s activities. And be a part of many organizations that groups students with similar interests together. Ok. The Myths have been busted. Here are the real facts. CTE is your avenue to careers that are in demand. You get a chance to explore career opportunities for free versus how much it would cost to change your major a few times if you go on to college. CTE offers a chance to earn certifications in nursing, culinary, welding, emergency medicine, and more at no charge. Or at a discounted rate. And here’s the big one. CTE is learning by doing. Not learning my memorizing. You retain knowledge by applying it. Which then makes you way more marketable down the road. According to a recent survey of fortune 500 companies, these are the top 3 skills employers value: Teamwork, problem solving, and interpersonal skills. It’s no coincidence that all three are focal points of CTE. So next time you register for classes, think about your future. Think about your personal learning plan sdmylife. Think about how you can set yourself apart by real-world experience for in-demand careers. Think about how you can be college ready and career ready. CTE doesn’t teach hobbies. It teaches rigorous skills. It let’s you explore career options in high school. It gives you a head start on your university or technical education. All while accumulating less debt and more of the kind of skills employers are looking for. The truth is, in your lifetime, you’ll run across many doors. You can keep them closed and never know what’s behind them. Or you can open them. Discover a world of possibilities. Opening doors. That’s learning that works for South Dakota. That’s CTE. Check it out.