Preparing and Inspiring our Future Workforce

Career Pathways


Over the past decade, San Francisco and the Bay Area have experienced an impressive economic boom, with jobs expanding in industries from healthcare and engineering to biotech and construction. To keep up with the demand for talent and ensure our students are prepared for the future, San Francisco’s public school system must infuse workplace readiness with rigorous academics so that our young people are adequately prepared for the opportunities that await after graduation. 

NEED & CURRENT REALITY: Too many of San Francisco’s young people are being left behind because they do not have the skills, education, and exposure to career opportunities that can prepare them for life after high school. SFUSD has a graduation rate of more than 85%, and while this exceeds the state average, local employers report that graduates are not prepared for the workforce. Our schools must do more to equip students entering the workforce with the skills needed to be successful in today’s economy. 

SFUSD’s Career Pathways program provides opportunities for high school students to explore and access high-wage, high-demand careers in more than a dozen industries while also preparing for post-secondary education. The experience combines a multi-year course sequence in one career sector, with real-world, work-based learning opportunities that focus on both industry-related skills as well as “soft skills” like collaboration, networking, project management, and critical thinking. 

VISION: By 2025, SFUSD’s Career Pathways program will scale across the district to transform the delivery of career readiness and work-based learning opportunities for students, ensuring a strong and sustainable education-to-employment pipeline. 

Our Career Pathways initiative will enable SFUSD to more effectively deliver high-quality, industry-themed pathways as part of the fabric of the high school experience, and as a bridge between middle school and post-secondary success. Our focus is on the following strategies: 

  1. Grow the Linked Learning model across SFUSD - The Linked Learning model is a proven approach that combines rigorous academics, technical training, work-based learning, and student supports for a stronger connection between the classroom and the real world. We aim to scale the Linked Learning model school wide at a minimum of four SFUSD high schools, where all students participate in a 2-4 year pathway experience.

  2. Expand work-based learning opportunities - Through job shadows, paid internships, and apprenticeships, students are able to deepen their understanding of the workplace while building a professional network. We will recruit business, industry, labor, and community partners to provide advanced work-based learning opportunities and a clear path to employment in San Francisco. 

  3. Transform learning spaces to better support innovation and collaboration - With specialized equipment, tools of the trade, and classroom spaces that encourage collaboration and project-based learning, students experience what it’s like to learn and work in 21st-century environments.  

  4. Integrate targeted supports for underserved students - We are committed to ensuring that all of our diverse students have the experiences, resources, and supports to pursue their dreams for the future, and will break down the barriers to participation that stand in their way. 

  5. Enable student innovation and entrepreneurship - We will provide seed funding for entrepreneurship through a student Innovation Fund that enables students to pursue their ideas and create real-world solutions.

Spark* SF Public Schools is seeking $1.5 million in private philanthropic investments over three years. By investing in SFUSD’s Career Pathways, you are empowering students to realize their dreams. Today’s students are tomorrow’s doctors, nurses, lawyers, game designers, artists, architects, electricians, plumbers, app developers, and engineers. They are our teachers, police officers, civic leaders, social workers, journalists, and environmentalists. With so much opportunity right here in San Francisco, let’s make sure our students have the option to live, work and prosper in the city they call home.

Join us in preparing and inspiring the next generation! 


  • Increase the number of high school students participating in a 2-4 year career pathway program. 

  • Enable 100% of pathway students to participate in one or more transformative work-based learning experiences as part of their program of study. 

  • Transform classrooms with state-of-the-art technology and equipment for specialized training and instruction.

  • Increase high school graduation rates, particularly for students of color, and increase postsecondary attainment.

Students from the GOAT23 Fellowship Program, a paid fellowship for immigrant entrepreneurs, pitch their product idea to a panel of industry partners.

Students from the GOAT23 Fellowship Program, a paid fellowship for immigrant entrepreneurs, pitch their product idea to a panel of industry partners.