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Career and Technical Education

Career Clusters

The US Department of Education groups all occupations into 16 career clusters:

  • Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources: The production, processing, marketing, distribution, financing and development of agricultural commodities and resources. These include 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. These include visual and performing arts and design, journalism and entertainment services.
  • Business, Management & Administration: 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.
  • 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. National Consortium on Health Science and Technology Education is a national partnership of individuals and organizations with a vested interest in health science and technology education.
  • Hospitality & Tourism: 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: Design, development, support and management of hardware, software, multimedia and systems integration services. Educators' Website For Information Technology - A Community of Education and Business Partners Reinventing IT Education for Learning and Working.
  • 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. Building Linkages for Manufacturing Occupations - Building Linkages Among Academic and Skill Standards for Manufacturing Occupations
  • Marketing, Sales & Services: 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. Related professional and technical support services such as transportation infrastructure planning and management, logistics services, mobile equipment and facility maintenance.
These are similar to the 11 career pathways in North Carolina.
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