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Career Clusters

Career Cluster is a broad group of related career majors within an occupational interest area.  They represent groupings of occupations and industries based on shared traits.  The U.S. Department of Education has created 16 career clusters that cover ALL occupations.  Click HERE to these career clusters.

Career clusters show us how skills, interests, and learning apply to different occupations.  They are a tool that help us look at different occupations, see career paths to enter a given trade or profession, identify options to prepare for different careers, and provide a transition from school-to-career. 

We can use career clusters to identify personal strengths, research a variety of careers, analyze our choices in terms of interest and abilities, and develop a plan to make our career choice happen.  There are many different kinds of "assessments" or short quizzes that we can use to help identify our interests and skills and match them with career clusters. 

HERE is an excellent, downloadable, printable interest survey that can be completed in 15 minutes with a pencil.  It can provide a good way to start thinking about careers.

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The 16 Career Clusters

The U.S. Department of Education has created 16 career groupings or "clusters."  They cover all occupations.  They provide an organized way to look at occupations and create a plan to move from school into a good-paying job.  Click on each link to see a fuller list of the different types of jobs and careers in each cluster and the types of knowledge and skills that people in these careers use.


Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources.
  The production, processing, marketing, distribution, financing, and development of agricultural commodities and resources including food, fiber, wood products, natural resources, horticulture, and other plant and animal products/resources. 


Architecture & Construction.
 Careers in designing, planning, managing, building and maintaining the built environment.


Arts, A/V Technology & Communications.
 Designing, producing, exhibiting, performing, writing, and publishing multimedia content including visual and performing arts and design, journalism, and entertainment services.


Business, Management & Administration.
 Business Management and Administration careers encompass planning, organizing, directing and evaluating business functions essential to efficient and productive business operations.  Business Management and Administration career opportunities are available in every sector of the economy.


Education & Training.
  Planning, managing and providing education and training services, and related learning support services.


Finance.
  Planning, services for financial and investment planning, banking, insurance, and business financial management.

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Government & Public Administration.
  Executing governmental functions to include Governance; National Security; Foreign Service; Planning; Revenue and Taxation; Regulation; and Management and Administration at the local, state, and federal levels.


Health Science.
  Planning, managing, and providing therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services, and biotechnology research and development.


Hospitality & Tourism.
 Encompassing the management, marketing and operations of restaurants and other foodservices, lodging, attractions, recreation events and travel related services. 


Human Services.
  Preparing individuals for employment in career pathways that relate to families and human needs.


Information & Technology.
 Building Linkages in IT Occupations Framework: For Entry Level, Technical, and Professional Careers Related to the Design, Development, Support and Management of Hardware, Software, Multimedia, and Systems Integration Services.

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Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security.
  Planning, managing, and providing legal, public safety, protective services and homeland security, including professional and technical support services.


Manufacturing.
  Planning, managing and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products and related professional and technical support activities such as production planning and control, maintenance and manufacturing/process engineering. 


Marketing, Sales & Service.
 Planning, managing, and performing marketing activities to reach organizational objectives.


Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.
 Planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services (e.g., physical science, social science, engineering) including laboratory and testing services, and research and development services.


Transportation, Distribution & Logistics.
 Planning, management, and movement of people, materials, and goods by road, pipeline, air, rail and water and related professional and technical support services such as transportation infrastructure planning and management, logistics services, mobile equipment and facility maintenance.

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