Career Cluster


Are you innovative, possess drive and passion, and enjoy taking calculated risks? Entrepreneurship is important to keep our economy moving forward with new ideas, and small businesses are pivotal to delivering goods and services to their local communities.


Connect to Courses, Curriculum + Careers

DECA’s Comprehensive Learning Program integrates into classroom instruction, applies learning, connects to business and promotes competition. Examine your course of study and integrate activities from DECA’s comprehensive learning program to show that DECA is connected and relevant.

Related Courses

DECA's Comprehensive Learning Program provides a variety of instructional resources that would be suitable for these courses and more.

  • Principles of Business Administration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Small Business Ownership

Career Pathways

Each career cluster contains several career pathways, or specialized career areas that are comprised of careers that require similar knowledge and skills.

Instructional Areas

Instructional areas are broad areas of content knowledge that are comprised of many performance indicators. Performance indicators are specific knowledge and skills employees are expected to demonstrate or achieve.

Business Law
Channel Management
Customer Relations
Emotional Intelligence
Financial Analysis
Human Resources Management
Information Management
Market Planning
Marketing-Information Management
Product/Service Management
Professional Development
Quality Management
Risk Management
Strategic Management

Career Opportunities

The following are examples of career opportunities and occupations that are available within this career cluster.

Chief Executive Officer
Small Business Owner


Enrich the Classroom

DECA’s Competitive Events Program is an incredible tool for curriculum. As an integral part of the classroom curriculum, DECA’s industry-validated competitive events are aligned with National Curriculum Standards.

DECA’s flagship evaluation process involves students in both a written component such as an exam or report and an interactive component with an industry professional serving as a judge. DECA’s competitive events reinforce creativity, problem solving and presentation skills.

The potential for recognition, awards and travel for learning classroom content is a tremendous motivator – not to mention the scholarships and cash awards recognizing DECA members for outstanding achievement.

With more than 60 events, DECA offers a competitive event for every course and every student.

Case Studies + EXAMS

Integrate into Classroom Instruction

Case studies provide a student-centered engagement activity to help DECA members apply learning through problem-based scenarios that require creative solutions and practical outcomes. DECA’s case studies challenge DECA members to demonstrate industry-relevant knowledge and skills through performance indicators. DECA’s case studies are developed through industry research to reflect current issues and trends in business and industry.

DECA’s exams are rigorous, industry-validated, multiple-choice, 100-item exams based on National Curriculum Standards. Each exam item is also linked to an instructional area and specific performance indicator.


Apply Learning

DECA and its corporate partners have teamed up to provide classroom activities that challenge members to apply learning in relevant ways.

DECA at the Bell Challenge

Bring the world of business to the members of DECA in a creative and engaging way, by writing, producing and publishing an episode of DECA at the Bell.

Submissions due by:
November 3, 2023

Ethical Leadership Challenge

Develop a public service announcement (PSA) video describing one of the following ethical principles: integrity, trust or respect. The PSA should be designed to educate your local community and those afar through social media.

Submissions due by:
November 21, 2023


Extend Learning Beyond The Classroom

DECA conferences provide unique opportunities to connect students with corporate professionals to engage them in learning industry-related trends and content.


Connect To Business

DECA’s college and corporate partners engage DECA members and help them prepare for colleges and careers of their choice. They provide classroom presentations, scholarships, internships, work experience and much more. Visit our partners page to learn more about developing a win-win relationship with DECA’s partners.


Get Involved

Together, we can help prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for college and career. Learn about the various opportunities to get involved with DECA.


Contact DECA staff
for more information.

Christopher Young, CAE
Chief Program Officer