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Career Opportunity

By the year 2020, almost two-thirds of jobs — and nearly all high-paying jobs — will require postsecondary education or training. The College Board Readiness and Success System is designed to help students prepare for tomorrow’s jobs by:

  • Increasing access to a wide range of course work in math, science, and engineering.
  • Focusing assessments on the skills and knowledge that research shows matter most.
  • Offering career planning tools that inspire students to explore, and own, their future.

Challenging — and Relevant — Course Work


The Advanced Placement Program supports students in their college major and career explorations by providing students with the opportunity to take college-level courses, and earn college credit, while still in high school.

In addition, all AP courses deliver skills and knowledge essential to one or more of the 16 career clusters identified by the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education consortium (NASDCTEc). To learn about the College Board’s collaboration with NASDCTEc to analyze the relevance of AP to career and technical education programs of study, read Career Technical Education and Advanced Placement (.pdf/1.19MB).


The College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) lets students demonstrate proficiency in academic and technical course work. By passing a CLEP exam, students can earn credits that can be used toward an associate degree or a technical certificate.


To increase opportunities for students to prepare for postsecondary career training programs, the College Board has partnered with these organizations:

  • Project Lead The Way (PLTW): The goal of this partnership is to increase the number and diversity of students who develop interest in and readiness for STEM degrees and careers. Together, we will develop college and career pathways in engineering, biomedical science, and computer science by combining AP courses with PLTW curriculum programs.
  • With, the College Board aims to expand nationwide access to K–12 computer science course work, particularly for girls, low-income students, and students from underrepresented minority communities. The partners will help schools adopt two specific high school computer science courses — Exploring Computer Science and AP Computer Science Principles — and encourage schools to administer the PSAT 8/9 as a way of identifying more students who could succeed in these courses.

Career-Focused Assessments

The College Board has designed its assessments not as endpoints, but as tools to help propel students forward.

Closely aligned to challenging classroom work, the SAT Suite of Assessments focuses on the few things that evidence shows matter most for college and career readiness:

  • Solving problems in science, social science, and other real-world contexts.
  • Mathematical concepts, skills, and practice that are important to success in career training programs.
  • Reading, comprehending, and writing high-quality texts.

Career Exploration and Planning

The College Board and Roadtrip Nation have partnered to develop and pilot an innovative career exploration and planning approach that helps students get a look at real career experiences, better understand potential college majors, build high school course plans, and identify colleges that may be a good fit. After the pilot is complete, the program will launch in the 2016-17 school year.