Sterling Academy Blog

How Elective Courses help you build your resume

Posted by Sterling Staff on Aug 17, 2015 8:07:00 AM

You have to take a certain number of electives in high school, so why not make the most of them? The electives you choose can help you build a stronger high school resume, whether you’re off to college or off to work after graduation.

Colleges and employers are looking for the same thing – actions and traits that indicate you have the attitude and aptitude to do well in their environment. Although each college and work environment is different in some respects, they are all the same in at least one way: they want well-rounded individuals that will fit in.

You can take electives to expand your knowledge, check out potential career fields or try them out just for fun. With each class you complete, you’re also building a more substantial high school resume – the document college admissions officers and potential employers will use to form a first impression of you. Naturally you want to look your best.

The electives you choose say a lot about you.

  • Showing you have broad interests makes you a more appealing person and a more attractive candidate.
  • Demonstrating willingness to try new things and that you’re determined enough to follow through indicates you’ll be able to succeed in a new environment where you will undoubtedly encounter many very different things.
  • Electives can also demonstrate willingness to stretch and push yourself, by choosing courses that are tougher for you. Admissions officials see thousands of high school resumes, and they are not the least bit impressed with a straight-A GPA in least-effort courses. Once you get to college, you’ll have to step it up compared to high school, and they must believe you can do that or they’ll set your application aside.


Electives not only boost the power of your resume, they benefit you as a student and person. No subject stands alone in a “vacuum.” All learning is interrelated, so the broader the scope of electives you take, the easier it will be to connect ideas and facts in other classes. And learning varied approaches to solving problems is something you can apply in any class or endeavor throughout your life.

Courses like Pharmacy Technician and Nursing Assistant boost your resume for post-graduate jobs as well as college. You’re a stronger candidate because you already know something about the field and you’re prepared to get right to work.

Online students at Sterling Academy can choose among 40 elective courses for high school students in six broad categories:

  • Health sciences
  • Technology and computer science
  • Foreign languages
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Digital arts

Ideally, to build the most impressive resume you should take a smattering of classes from every category. Go wide, then go deep. For instance, you could study a second (or third) language, perhaps picking something different, like German or Chinese. 

One thing leads to another.

You could easily take a “random” elective course just to round out your transcript and wind up being completely captivated by the subject matter. Maybe a light will come on and you’ll realize this would be a great career field for you. That could – and should – affect which colleges you apply to, as well as what jobs you apply for.

Every college and university has certain departments that stand out above the others, no matter how good the school is overall. If you have a particular career field in mind, you’ll want to apply to schools with the best departments in that area. Meanwhile, building your high school resume with electives that relate makes you a preferred candidate for admission.

So check out your electives options and go for it. Show the world a high school resume that says you’re an interesting, diverse individual willing to tackle new things.

study foreign languages online

Topics: online electives

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