As a high school student, you likely have some flexibility in choosing elective classes beyond the core curriculum. Electives are a great opportunity to explore your interests and strengths. The electives you take can also help strengthen your college applications and prepare you for potential career paths.
If you’re looking for the best high school electives, here are 15 top options to consider:
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the benefits of taking these highly-ranked elective classes in high school. We’ll provide an overview of each course, explain why it’s a worthwhile elective, and offer tips on how to get the most out of the class.
Career and Technical Education
Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses provide high school students with valuable skills and knowledge that can lead to successful careers in various industries. These courses are designed to prepare students for the workforce by offering hands-on training and real-world experiences.
Here are some of the best elective classes in the field of CTE:
Programming and Web Design
This class not only teaches technical skills but also encourages creativity and problem-solving abilities.
Graphic design is a highly sought-after skill in various industries, including advertising, marketing, and media. In this elective class, students learn the principles of design, typography, and image editing software.
They explore different design techniques and create visual content for print and digital media. By honing their creative skills, students can develop a portfolio that showcases their talent and opens doors to exciting career opportunities.
If you have a passion for cars and mechanics, an elective class in automotive technology can be a great choice. In this course, students learn about engine systems, electrical systems, and automotive diagnostics.
They gain hands-on experience in repairing and maintaining vehicles, which can be a valuable skill in the automotive industry. With the increasing complexity of modern vehicles, skilled automotive technicians are in high demand.
Construction and Architecture
For students interested in the world of construction and architecture, this elective class provides a solid foundation. Students learn about the various aspects of construction, including blueprint reading, building codes, and construction techniques.
They get hands-on experience in designing and building structures, which helps them develop practical skills that can lead to careers in architecture, engineering, or construction management.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for careers in CTE is promising. Many of these fields are projected to experience faster-than-average growth in the coming years, offering great job prospects for students who have taken relevant elective classes in high school.
By taking these CTE elective classes, high school students can gain valuable skills and knowledge that will benefit them in their future careers. Whether it’s programming and web design, graphic design, automotive technology, or construction and architecture, these classes provide hands-on training and real-world experiences that can set students up for success.
So why not explore these exciting elective options and discover your passion?
Accounting is a fundamental aspect of any business, making it an excellent elective class to take in high school. In this course, students will learn how to analyze financial information, create budgets, and prepare financial statements.
Understanding accounting principles can be incredibly beneficial in both personal finance and future career opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 4% over the next decade, making it a promising field to explore.
Marketing is all about understanding consumer behavior and promoting products or services effectively. Taking a marketing elective in high school can provide valuable insight into the world of advertising, branding, and market research.
Students will learn about different marketing strategies, such as digital marketing, social media marketing, and traditional advertising methods. With the rise of e-commerce and online businesses, having a foundational knowledge of marketing can open up diverse career opportunities.
From working in advertising agencies to starting their own businesses, the possibilities are endless.
Entrepreneurship is a popular elective for students who have a passion for innovation and starting their own business ventures. This class provides a comprehensive understanding of the entire entrepreneurial process, from identifying opportunities to creating business plans and securing funding.
Through interactive projects and case studies, students will develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills. Whether one dreams of becoming the next tech entrepreneur or starting a small local business, an entrepreneurship elective can provide the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed.
One of the most important skills for success in today’s world is effective communication. High school students can greatly benefit from taking elective classes in communications, as it can help them develop crucial skills that will be valuable in various aspects of their lives.
Journalism and Media
Journalism and media classes provide students with the opportunity to explore the world of reporting, news writing, and media production. These classes teach students how to gather information, conduct interviews, write compelling news stories, and present information in a clear and concise manner.
Students also learn about media ethics and the role of journalism in society. Taking journalism and media classes can be a great way for students to enhance their writing skills, critical thinking abilities, and their understanding of the media landscape.
Debate and Public Speaking
Debate and public speaking classes can be incredibly beneficial for high school students. These classes teach students how to effectively communicate their ideas, argue their points, and engage in constructive debates.
Students learn how to research and prepare arguments, present their ideas confidently, and respond to counterarguments. These skills are not only important for academic success, but also for future careers that require public speaking and persuasive communication abilities.
Participating in debate competitions or delivering speeches in front of an audience can boost students’ confidence and improve their ability to think critically on their feet.
Creative writing classes offer students the opportunity to explore their creativity and develop their writing skills. These classes often cover various forms of writing, including poetry, short stories, and plays.
Students learn how to express themselves through words, develop unique storylines, and create compelling characters. Creative writing classes not only enhance students’ writing abilities but also encourage them to think outside the box and express their thoughts and emotions in creative and imaginative ways.
These skills can be valuable in various fields, including journalism, marketing, and entertainment.
Learning a world language in high school can open up a world of opportunities for students. Not only does it provide a practical skill that can be used in future careers, but it also helps to develop cultural awareness and understanding.
Here are four popular world language elective classes to consider:
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, making it an incredibly useful skill to have. Learning Spanish can enhance communication abilities, as well as provide a gateway to explore the rich cultures of Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America and Europe.
With over 460 million speakers worldwide, the demand for Spanish-speaking professionals continues to grow in fields such as business, healthcare, and education.
French is known as the language of love and is spoken widely across the globe. Learning French not only allows students to communicate with over 270 million French speakers worldwide, but it also provides an insight into the rich history, literature, and arts of French-speaking countries.
Additionally, French is an official language of many international organizations, making it a valuable skill in the global job market.
German is the most widely spoken language in Europe and is the official language of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Learning German can open up opportunities in industries such as engineering, technology, and international business.
Germany is known for its high-quality education and strong economy, making German language skills highly sought after by employers.
Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, with over 1 billion speakers. China’s growing influence in the global economy has made Mandarin Chinese an important language to learn for future business and career opportunities.
In addition, China’s rich history, culture, and literature provide a fascinating learning experience for students. Learning Mandarin Chinese can also give students a competitive edge in fields such as international relations, finance, and tourism.
These world language elective classes not only provide students with valuable communication skills but also offer insights into different cultures and enhance their global perspective. Whether it’s Spanish, French, German, or Mandarin Chinese, learning a world language in high school can be a great investment in a student’s future.
Music, Art, and Theater
High school is a time for exploration and self-discovery, and what better way to tap into your creative side than by taking elective classes in music, art, and theater? These classes not only provide an outlet for self-expression but also offer numerous benefits for personal and academic growth.
Here are some of the best elective classes to consider:
If you have a passion for painting, drawing, or sculpting, then taking a studio art class is a must. This class will allow you to unleash your creativity and develop your artistic skills. You’ll learn different techniques, experiment with various mediums, and create your own masterpieces.
Studio art classes not only enhance your artistic abilities but also teach you valuable problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
For those who have a love for music, taking a music theory class can deepen your understanding and appreciation of the art form. In this class, you’ll learn about the fundamentals of music, including notation, scales, chords, and harmony.
Music theory classes not only help you become a better musician but also improve your analytical and listening skills. You’ll gain a new perspective on the music you listen to and even compose your own pieces.
Are you a natural performer? Consider enrolling in a theater arts class. In this class, you’ll learn about acting techniques, stage presence, and character development. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in plays and performances, honing your public speaking and improvisation skills.
Theater arts classes also foster teamwork and collaboration as you work with your classmates to put on a memorable production.
In the digital age, photography has become an increasingly popular art form. Taking a photography class allows you to learn the technical aspects of capturing and editing images. You’ll explore different types of photography, such as landscape, portrait, and documentary, and develop your own unique style.
Photography classes not only teach you how to take stunning pictures but also encourage you to see the world through a creative lens.
These elective classes in music, art, and theater offer a chance for students to explore their passions, develop new skills, and gain a deeper appreciation for the arts. Whether you’re interested in painting, music, acting, or photography, these classes provide a creative outlet and promote personal growth.
So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to take these exciting and enriching electives during your high school years!
Taking engaging electives in high school is a great way to explore your interests and develop valuable skills for college and career success. Consider your strengths, research elective options at your school, and choose classes that will challenge you in new ways.
With smart elective choices like programming, marketing, debate, foreign language, art, and more, you can make the most of your high school experience. The electives you take now may even shape the course of your future studies and inspire lifelong pursuits.