As colleges and universities become more competitive, some students are trying a different route.
Vocational education, being offered at many area high schools, puts major emphasis on preparing students for future careers.
"I think it’s preparation like preparing me for the long road that I have ahead of me, just getting me ready," says Freshman Catorreia Hutto at Rickards High School.
Students are presented with opportunities that wouldn't normally be available in the school setting
Erica Broome, another freshman Rickards High School says of the programs, "Preparing for the career is a lot better because you actually have experience in what you want to do."
There are several ways to experience a vocational education; besides occupational courses, there's on-the-job-training or enrolling in an academy.
"They are able to earn credits, actually dual-enroll later on in their junior and senior year, and actually earn college credit as well," explains Health Science Teacher, Kelli Caswell.
Many teachers agree teenagers in the community benefit greatly from this unique take on education, including Carucha Bowles, who is a Fiber Arts teacher. She says, "It just brings the different disciplines together, so to me, again, in a very fun way."
By introducing potential careers in an academic setting, students say they understand how mandatory subjects, such as English, math, and science, relate to the real world.
Some vocational classes offered around the area are typing, food service, health science and fiber arts.