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Career Exploration in High Schools

Opportunities for career exploration in high schools has become increasingly more important as we prepare our students for the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century.

According to Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, a pioneer in the field of human capital, “[f]lexibility is one of the most important job skills for navigating the 21st century economy and job market. His advice for acquiring that flexibility is a strong liberal arts education, in addition to added knowledge, training and experience in skills that position students for today’s job market. At Seton, we view our role in the education of young women as “both/and”: both rigorous college preparation and career positioning. The addition of Career programs keeps tech savvy learners motivated and engaged, piques interest in fields that are competitive in our current economy and affords real-world application of skills that make students competitive college and employment candidates.


Energetic teachers with experience in the profession who utilize innovative approaches and teaching strategies create a high level of student engagement in our classrooms. Hands on and project-based learning keeps students’ interest and motivation. Our Career Program educators provide access to professionals outside our campus, which creates myriad opportunities for networking and collaboration.


Creating specialized programs that offer unique opportunities in a variety of interests enables students to explore potential college majors and career paths that are highly sought-after in today’s job market, such as in engineering, business and health sciences, beyond their usual high school curriculum.

Different majors have different economic values, and post-secondary education and the job market are highly competitive. Director of our Learning Engineering and Design (LEAD) program, JoEllen Gray, highlights the benefits, “Pre-career programs, like LEAD, allow our students to taste what a particular field is like. If the student enjoys these classes, our programs allow her to show ‘demonstrated interest’ in that field, which has become a significant factor in college acceptance.” This factor is considerably important in fields like Engineering, where the economy is poised to absorb three times as many engineering majors as are currently enrolled in programs across the country.


Our Pharmacy and Hospitality programs require students to complete work experience hours, which, combined with exceptional content knowledge gained from highly experienced educators, help students demonstrate real-world application, establish relationships with mentors and acquire new skills. Similarly, our Law Academy students participate in internships which offer students unique insight into the legal system.

In our LEAD program, students work on Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) with local community partners as their capstone experience. Students work in teams to apply the design process in projects for local not-for-profit partners. Students design and implement solutions to problems to meet the needs of this partner, enabling them to better serve residents in the local community. This allows our students to apply content knowledge in real-world scenarios.


Elizabeth Seton High School offers four high value, high impact, and high demand educational opportunities aligned with today’s changing economy:

Learning Engineering and Design (LEAD) – a four-year curriculum in STEM instruction that engages students in engineering design, problem-solving, and critical thinking while also offering internships with area businesses and individual mentoring.

Pre-Law – a highly dynamic study of issues related to the law with a cross-curricular approach to analytical writing; internships offered to students include those at the offices of the States Attorney, public defender, county and circuit judges, and private attorneys.

Pharmacy and Health Sciences – the only Maryland Board of Pharmacy approved program offered at the high school level for students who wish to pursue careers in health and medicine. Students who complete the academic and internship requirements earn certification as a Pharmacist Technician.

Hospitality and Tourism– designed in partnership with the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute to prepare students to enter and succeed in the hospitality and tourism industry through classroom learning and work experience. Students successfully completing this program are eligible for globally-recognized certifications with industry credentials.

To learn more or to register to attend a campus event, visit our website at setonhs.org/visit.


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