Why Join a CTSO?


  • Looking to network with professionals in the industry?  
  • Wanting to travel and meet new people?  
  • Hearing from industry professionals what they want in an employee?  
  • Searching for additional scholarships to further your education?  
  • Needing to practice job interviewing or public speaking?  

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, CTSOs are for you!

By attending local, state, and national conferences, you’ll hear directly from industry professionals what they are looking for in employees, get tips on how to be successful in your chosen field, and perhaps even land a job shadow/internship/part-time/full-time job. 

Here’s how CTSOs work, in five steps. 


Step 1: Build Your Career Skills

Career & Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) are co-curricular/intracurricular additions to technical center courses.  Through industry-tested in-class activities, skills competition conferences, and workshops and trainings, they provide extra opportunities both inside and outside the classroom.  While traditional technical center courses cover technical skills, CTSOs also cover the soft skills needed to get the edge in a competitive workforce.    Classroom activities are developed by industry professionals who know what employers want in an effective employee.

Each CTSO offers members unique opportunities through guest speakers, workshops, competitions, supervised learning activities, travel, and more.  And networking with professionals gives members the edge when it comes to developing connections in their career.

Step 2: Attend a Regional Fall Conference

Each CTSO offers its members various types of fall conferences.  Some are designed for competition while others provide workshops and leadership training necessary that goes beyond the classroom experience.  

Traveling to fall state, regional, and national conferences are designed to build momentum for the school year.  Talk to you instructor today about what is available for you!

Step 3: Attend a State Conference

All Spring conferences focus on competition and leadership.  Hear inspiring, motivational speakers; test your skills to earn a medal in an event; run for office; or simply meet new members from across the state and the nation.

Many competitive events have scholarships and/or prizes associated with them.  Members are also surprised by the career options that have opened up to them based on these scholarships.

Leadership opportunities abound!  Members can run for a local, state, and/or national office.  By learning how to lead in a teamwork environment under the guidance of the advisors and executive directors, officers are provided training that will help in any career pathway.

Step 4: Attend a National Conference

The fun continues at the National conferences.  While competition is based on results at the state level, there are usually many other leadership workshops available during national conferences.  In some CTSOs there are certifications offered, industry tours, and nationally-recognized speakers and authors.

Travel to exciting cities meeting people from around the country and in some cases from other countries!

Step 5: Stay Involved and Become a Leader

The one thing advisors hear over and over again from graduating members, “I wish I had known about becoming a member sooner!”  So what’s next?

Stay involved in your CTSO!  Become an alumni member, a professional member, a judge at a competition, a speaker, a workshop presenter…  the possibilities are endless!

Invest in your future!  Join today!