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Business, Marketing and Computer Education

Business, Management & Administration Finance Information Technology Marketing

Education for life, not just a livelihood …

The CTE business and computer curriculum helps prepare students for life after high school graduation with an emphasis on preparation for college. Courses provide students with opportunities to learn core academics and valuable workforce skills in an engaging way and link what students learn in the classroom with what they need to succeed in the real world. Careers in Business, Management & Administration, Information Technology, Finance and Marketing may require varying levels of education - including industry-recognized credentials, post-secondary certificates, and two- and four-year degrees.

Regardless of the area a student chooses to study, business and technology knowledge and skills will be needed. All students will encounter the world of business and technology that will affect their daily lives as they work, spend, save, invest, travel and play. Business and computer courses that develop analytic and quantitative skills are highly valued. Also, because all students will use technology as a tool for managing information, all students need to hone the lifelong learning skills that foster flexible career paths and confidence in adapting to a workplace that demands constant retooling.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Computer Proficiency

Students will be at a disadvantage if they do not develop computer proficiency. Courses exposing them to information technology and technology management are valuable. Most employers are demanding that their employees become increasingly proficient using a wide range of computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, communications, databases, web design, graphic design, etc.

Scheduling Suggestions

Student should take as many business and computer courses as their schedule allows to help them determine if they have the interest, aptitude, and desire to continue with additional course work. By taking multiple business and computer courses in high school, the student will be prepared for post-secondary offerings given the study skills, projects and academic challenges embedded in the curriculum.  Also, these courses provide students with the opportunity to gain the skills and competencies needed to be successful in the WorkKeys assessments and thus earn the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate and other certifications.

As the nature of work continues to change, business and computer education becomes increasingly important for all students.  If young people are to take their rightful place in society as productive and responsible citizens, they should have the chance to study the principles of business as they relate in their personal and professional lives and learn the computer skills that can help them engage in a greater number of tasks; complete tasks more quickly and accurately; become a candidate for a wider-range of job opportunities; help them access additional resources and information; upgrade their education more easily; and develop better earning potential.

A Few Course Overviews

See the curriculum guide for all course offerings and the course descriptions.

Fundamentals of Business is a course every high school student should complete. Regardless of the area a student chooses to study, business knowledge will be needed.  All students will encounter the world of business as business activities affect their daily lives as they work, spend, save, invest, travel and play. This course introduces the role of business in the lives of individuals, consumers, workers, and citizens and provides an integrated view of the dynamic and exciting world of business with meaningful, real world information.

Accounting is often called the language of business. This course will help every student succeed in business, even if the student chooses another major. This course stresses fundamental accounting concepts and articulates with Elgin Community College ACC 100.

Economics covers resources, the factors of production, competition, business and government in society, supply and demand, production, comparative economic systems, and the role of the consumer in the U.S. economy. 

Entrepreneurship allows a student to investigate current trends in small business development. Students study the characteristics of the entrepreneur and develop a plan for the business of their choice.

Marketing introduces the student to the major marketing functions used by individuals employed in businesses around the world. About one-third of all employees use some element of marketing in their daily work. The importance of marketing is growing due to technological and market trends. Many CEOs rise to this position or begin a small business with a foundation in marketing. This course articulates with Elgin Community College MKT103.

Computer Applications is just the course you need to expand your skills and knowledge of various essential Microsoft Office programs, to become more effective and efficient in your high school and post-secondary studies and in today’s technologically-based workforce. In addition, this course will also provide students the opportunity to become highly proficient in the skills and competencies needed to pass the Key Applications exam which is one of three exams required to earn the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC³).

Microsoft Word Certification is training that is universally beneficial no matter what your career choice may be. While many people have a basic proficiency in Microsoft Word, advanced training, especially certifications, can be a big help.  It doesn't matter if you're new to MS Word or experienced, this course teaches the most basic features, but also delves into advanced tools that all students will find useful. This course is recommended for college, technical college, or world-of-work-bound students as it prepares students not only for future employment in a highly technological society but also provides them with the skills and computing knowledge needed for higher education. In addition, this course provides students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to test for the Microsoft Office Specialist in Word. Earning a Microsoft Office Specialist certification can help students differentiate themselves in today’s competitive job market. This course is articulated with Elgin Community College OAT140 and OAT240.

Microsoft Excel Certification is a course that prepares students to create spreadsheets that many companies use to analyze and evaluate information for numerical and financial data. It doesn't matter if you're new to MS Excel or experienced, this course teaches the most basic features, but also delves into advanced tools that students will find useful especially in business, science and statistics courses. This class is recommended for college, technical college, or world-of-work-bound students. This course provides students the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to test for the Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel. Show your prospective employer that you’re self motivated, driven and willing to go the extra mile to hone your Microsoft Excel skills. This course is articulated with Elgin Community College OAT141 and OAT241.

Multi-Media Production allows students to be part of a production team that produces a multi-media yearbook.  Students will integrate sound, video, graphics, and text; learn Desktop Publishing, digital manipulation of audio and video material; and develop a marketing campaign. This course is articulated with Elgin Community College GRD107.

Web Design helps students with computer skills that are "the grammar of the 21st century". We are all going to live a digital life. Just as we write well and read well, if you have even a basic understanding of computer coding, it will help you understand the structure of your digital life. This course introduces the basics of creating and publishing web pages on the Internet. Students learn HTML and how to use a WYSIWYG web page editor. Topics include the basic markup codes, linking to other pages, graphics, lists, tables, multimedia, and forms, and much more. Students will create their own website. This course is articulated with Elgin Community College CIS147.

Introduction to Computer Programming helps students realize that simply being able to use a computer is not enough. In the information age, it is important to be empowered with the right combination of knowledge and technical skill set. This course is an introductory course designed to familiarize students with the general concepts of programming. Students will learn program design and structured programming techniques. This course is articulated with Elgin Community College CIS105.

What is "Career Ready?"

While there is no debate that a rigorous level of academic proficiency, especially in math and litera­cy, is essential for any post-high school endeavor, the reality is that it takes much more to be truly considered ready for a career.

Career Ready

Academic Skills + Employability Skills + Technical Skills

Career readiness involves three major skill areas:  core academic skills and the ability to apply those skills to concrete situations in order to function in the workplace and in routine daily activities; employability skills (such as critical thinking and responsibility) that are essential in any career area; and technical, job-specific skills related to a specific career pathway.

Source:  ACTE-Association for Career and Technical Education


Career Clusters & Career Pathways
Illinois Pathways STEM
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore the career pathways contained within the career clusters to begin a plan linking what you learn in school with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for the demands of post-secondary education, training and the expectations of employers.
Business, Management & Administration
Careers in planning, organizing, directing and evaluating business functions essential to efficient and productive business operations.


Information Technology
Building linkages in IT occupations for entry level, technical, and professional careers related to the design, development, support and management of hardware, software, multimedia and systems integration services.


Planning, services for financial and investment planning, banking, insurance, and business financial management.


Planning, managing, and performing marketing activities to reach organizational objectives.


Opportunities to Earn Valuable Credentials

With CTE, add value to your overall education by earning industry-recognized credentials and college credit while still in high school. Credentials signal real-world preparedness to employers and postsecondary educators.


Certifications that reflect 21st century skills competencies will make you a more attractive candidate for college admission and career positions. Mastery of 21st century skills signals that you are ready to transition successfully to higher-level learning and earning. Central CTE courses help you prepare for the following certifications:

Articulation Agreements

Elgin Community College [ECC] awards college credit to Central High School students when learning experiences at the high school level of instruction duplicate those at the college level. College credit enables you to receive advanced placement, save time and money, and avoid duplication of material already learned. See ECC's website for more information: www.elgin.edu

The following CHS high school courses are articulated with ECC courses in the career and technical areas, and you may earn college credit for the high school course(s) if you earn an A or B.

  • 1030 Keyboarding/Software Apps
  • 1035 Keyboarding 2
  • 1042 Microsoft Word Certification
  • 1043 Microsoft Excel Certification
  • 1105 Web Design 1 or 1106 Web Design 2
  • 1052 Multimedia Production
  • 1100 Intro to Computer Program 1 & 1101 Intro to Computer Program 2
  • 1005 Accounting 1
  • 1015 Marketing


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