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Career Cluster Icon - Used with permission of the National Association of State Director of Career Technical Education Consortium, States' Career Clusters Initiative  

Career Clusters for High School Students


Technological advances and global competition have transformed the nature of work. Tomorrow's jobs will require more knowledge, better skills, and more flexible workers than ever before. Tomorrow's workers must be prepared to change jobs and careers several times, continually updating their knowledge and skills.

Career clusters identify pathways from secondary school to two- and four-year colleges, graduate school, and the workplace, so students can learn in school and what they can do in the future. This connection to future goals motivates students to work harder and enroll in more rigorous courses.

Students can use career clusters to investigate a wide range of career choices. The career cluster approach makes it easier for students to understand the relevance of their required courses and helps them select their elective courses more wisely.

"After working with industry automotive professionals, I now see a need to attend college... Now I know how important chemistry is in preparing to be an automotive technician."

      -a recent HS Graduate

Career Cluster Plans of Study, Knowledge and Skills Charts, and More

Use these guides, along with other career planning materials, to map out an educational and career plan.

Courses listed in the Sample Plan of Study should be individualized to meet each student's educational and career goals. All plans should be customized to meet high school graduation requirements as well as college entrance requirements in the student's state and local community.

Knowledge and Skills Charts provide more detail about each career within a specific cluster.

For access to these documents (in Excel, Word, and PDF) follow these links:

(Source: States' Career Clusters Initiative, 2008, www.careerclusters.org) States' Career Clusters Logo

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