Career clusters

Understanding Career Clusters

What is a Career Cluster?

A career cluster is group of careers that share common features. If you like one job in a cluster, you will probably find other jobs in that cluster that you will like as well.

What is a Career Pathway?

A career pathway is a smaller group of jobs within a career cluster that use similar skills. Each career cluster contains several career pathways.

What is the Career Cluster Framework?

The National Career Clusters® Framework serves as an organizing tool for Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, curriculum design and instruction. There are 16 Career Clusters in the National Career Clusters Framework, representing 79 Career Pathways to help learners navigate their way to greater success in college and career. The framework also functions as a useful guide in developing programs of study bridging secondary and postsecondary systems and for creating individual student plans of study for a complete range of career options. As such, it helps learners discover their interests and their passions, and empowers them to choose the educational pathway that can lead to success in high school, college and career.

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