District 214’s Career Pathways program provides students with a sequence of career-focused courses and access to early college credit, workplace learning experiences and industry credentials. The pathways program provides 44 different career programs of study.
High School District 214’s Information Technology Career Cluster offers students two pathways: Network Systems/Information Support and Services and Programming and Software Development. Both pathways teach students basic skills and computer knowledge for a variety of IT careers, including computer programming and cybersecurity. In addition, courses offer early college credit as well as recognized industry certifications and real-world experience.
IT is a rapidly growing field, with opportunities available in every job sector from Financial Services and Business to Medical Services, Engineering and Environmental Services.
Students in both pathways start with an entry-level mobile app development course. Network Systems/Information Support and Services follows with dual-credit classes in A+ Operating Systems Technology and IT Fundamentals in the second year, A+ Hardware and Computer Networking in the third year and Advanced Network Systems and Cypersecurity in the last year.
For Programming and Software Development, students take early college credit courses Mobile App Development 2/AP Computer Science Principles in the second year, AP Computer Science – A in the third year and finish with Advanced Concepts in Coding and Development. In addition, students are encouraged to take related electives, such as AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP Physics C, AP Statistics, College Speech Communication and Robotics, among other courses relevant to each pathway.
Discover Real-World Opportunities
To give students a chance to use these skills in real-world situations, District 214 offers a variety of workplace learning experiences, including industry mentorship, a district internship program, district micro-internships and Wildstang FIRST Robotics, a hands-on credit-earning course combined with an extracurricular activity that includes competitions throughout the school year.
The district also offers extracurriculars such as Computers Club, Math Team, Robot Rumble and Theater Tech Crew to help students further build their skills. In addition, students can earn up to five industry certifications in high school and up to 22 industry certifications through Harper College.
The computer and information technology area is growing. The number of jobs in this area is expected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, with an increase of 557,100 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.