Strengths of the CP

Currently offered by several hundred IB Worlds Schools, the Career-related Programme (CP) enables students 16-19 years old to succeed in higher education, apprenticeships or employment by combining academic rigor with hands-on career experience.

Throughout the CP, students develop transferable and lifelong skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication, and cross-cultural engagement.

Find out more about the CP.

How the CP works

The CP is a comprehensive, three-part educational framework that combines:

1. Diploma Programme courses 

Students are required to take least two highly regarded and internationally recognised Diploma Programme courses.

2. CP core

  • Personal and professional skills
  • Service learning
  • Reflective project
  • Language development

These core components develop and apply students’ professional skills to real-life situations and enable them to learn a second language.

3. Career-related studies (CRS)

This component is identified by the school and authorised by the IB to be included in the CP programme. The IB itself does not assess the CRS nor does it award grades. To provide schools with a list of trusted providers to develop and enhance their CP programme, the IB has established partnerships with career-related studies strategic providers.

Through the CRS, students learn practical, real-world approaches that prepare them for higher education, an apprenticeship, or a position in a particular field of interest.

Find out more about the CP curriculum and IB student assessment. 

Research about the CP 

In a recent study, CP students demonstrated higher levels of global mindedness as compared to young adults from the same six countries around the world. Additionally, a study that examined CP students' experiences, postsecondary destinations and outcomes, suggested that CP students have increased functional skills such as: language, IT, time-management, organizational, research and industry-specific employment skills. 

The study also reveals that more than 77% of survey participants agreed that they had gained skills for progression into higher education. Another study focusing on CP graduates in the US, shows that 81% of graduates enroll in university. Of these, 79% enroll in four-year institutions with more than half enrolling in a university ranked by Barron’s Selectivity Index as “very competitive” or better. In the UK, recent research shows that nearly 90% of CP graduates continue to their second year of study and 70% achieve a first- or upper second-class honors degree. 

In addition to gaining skills to succeed at university, a 2020 study involving a curriculum content mapping of CP and DP documents demonstrated that the existing intended curricula successfully integrates useful employability skills such as communication, ethics, mindfulness and critical thinking. 

If you would like more information about the implementation and outcomes of the CP within a variety of school contexts around the world, please read the CP research outcomes.

“I think the combination of life experience, work experience and a qualification make us ideal candidates for many universities and employers. I have tailored my pathway around my career choice and the subjects I need to go on to study at university. I’ve chosen Early Childhood Studies with Youth Studies and two extra DP courses: English and Psychology.”

 — Lauren Thorpe, CP student at Dane Court Grammar School, UK.

They are exposed to true industry expectations and demands. They are often very independent, motivated, passionate and mature.”

— Savannah College of the Arts and Design, CRS strategic provider

For more information, please read our CP frequently asked questions. pdf