The Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources cluster is largely involved with cultivating and refining what the planet has to offer and creating goods that are consumable. There are many resources that are needed to support day to day living, so this cluster may be broader than most would think. Not only does this cluster include the farmers who provide us with food, but also loggers, miners and the mechanics who keep their machinery up and running. The Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources cluster has seen a recent revolution in terms of the level of automation utilized in the field. Whereas previously this type of work would take a team of laborers requiring minimal education, today many tasks are completely more quickly by a smaller team of individuals educated on how to use the current technology.
Careers related to designing and building structures are more likely than not attributed to the Architecture and Construction career cluster. The potential paths include those who design and plan the construction, those who actually participate in the construction, and those who maintain what has been constructed. This collection of career paths doesn't always require a college education, as many of the jobs available require only a high school education along with on-the-job training. Careers in this cluster do vary greatly, so there are a number of them that require the completion of a two or four-year college program, such as engineering.
The Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications cluster can best be described as a group of career paths that are designed to get information and entertainment to the masses. As there are many ways that information is obtained, and a lot of work that goes into preparing and disseminating this information, this provides for a multitude of potential career options. These options include careers in telecommunications, performing arts and even journalism. With the evolving nature of how we consume information, the Internet has created many opportunities for people to break into this cluster with minimal education. New mediums even allow for people to have their voice heard without having to be hired by a television station or newspaper.
By far the largest career cluster, based on employment numbers, is Business Management and Administration. This cluster contains a large and varied group of what most would consider ‘office jobs.’ Many of the pathways within this cluster (including operations, support, human resources, and general management) are the same as they have been for quite some time although though they may now utilize new technology. Education required for careers within this cluster can range from a high school diploma for data entry or many sales positions to various levels of college degrees for other positions. The requirements for these career paths are as varied as the careers themselves.
The career cluster that is tasked with imparting knowledge to others is known as the Education and Training career cluster. Most of the jobs associated with this career cluster tend to involve working in schools of varying levels, but the cluster also includes those who facilitate training in a business atmosphere, and those who coach and train athletes. These career pathways often require a higher level of education, as most teachers require at least a four-year college degree. Instructors and professors at the college-level require degrees that may take six or even eight years to earn. These career paths not only require a large amount of intellect and education, but they may also require an individual to be very patient and to have very good social skills. These are two skills may be required to successfully cultivate learning by students!
If you were looking at working with money and the strategies involved in making more money, the Finance career cluster may hold the career path for you. Pathways included in this cluster are accounting, bank services, business finance, insurance, and investments. For those who are interested in figuring out how money got to where it is, accounting may be a great option. Those who are interested in looking for market and economic trends in order to make more money might be interested in business finance or working with investments. Because of the large amount of responsibility involved in working with other people’s money, there is often more education required for each of these careers. However, it is possible to break into some of these fields after completing a two-year program. For example, completing a two-year program in accounting technology may allow a person to "keep the books" for a small company.
It takes a lot of work to develop and implement policies that fairly ensure everyone’s safety. This is the responsibility of those who work in careers within the Government and Public Administration career cluster. This career cluster includes positions that are involved in writing laws and planning where to allocate public resources. They are also involved in administering laws that have already been put in place. All military service people are included in this cluster, but it does not include law enforcement. The level of education required to work in this cluster is varied. Many jobs in the military only require a high school diploma. Other careers in this cluster will require a college degree, including some as high as a doctorate (e.g., judge).
The Health Sciences cluster contains careers that work to insure that both people and animals receive the medical care that they need. This cluster includes healthcare professionals who research, diagnose, and treat patients as well as the staff who supports them. Because lives may literally be at stake in some of these careers, doctorate level education is required for many of these positions. However, many of these careers can be acquired with lower level college degrees. A Registered Nurse, which also happens to be the most sought after position in the cluster, is a career that can be obtained with the completion of a two or four-year college degree. Other career paths, such as a certified nursing assistant or a medical assistant can be obtained with just a certificate.
There are many opportunities for those with skills in service for employment in the field of Hospitality and Tourism. The large majority of these careers are in either the food service pathway or in providing personal services. Also included in this field are careers related to lodging; these careers are dedicated to making sure that customers have the most positive experiences possible while staying at a hotel or resort. Many of the other potential careers are in recreational-related settings such as theme parks or casinos, where employees work to ensure that customers have the best time possible. Entry level positions in this cluster may require only graduation from high school. Many of these positions will require the completion of a two or four-year college program.
For those who are interested in a career maintaining the physical and mental wellness of their customers, the Human Services career cluster is an area with limitless potential. This cluster covers a vast array of pathways filled with opportunities in consumer, counseling and mental health, childcare, and family and community services. The amount of education needed for this field varies significantly based on the actual job being performed. For example, becoming a therapist would require a high level degree whereas becoming a shampooer may simply require manual dexterity. Human Services also extends to services provided to those who are deceased and includes those that work in the funeral industry such as embalmers and funeral attendants.
Whether it be working with the code that allows computers to perform complex tasks or creating and administrating the networks that allows them to communicate with one and other, the digital revolution has created many booming industries that are served by those in the Information Technology career cluster. The different pathways included in the cluster are filled with jobs that allow participants to network, program, and support the services of those who use computers. Seeing as how computers and networking are omnipresent in today’s workplace, there are many opportunities in these areas. The bulk of these jobs do require specialized four-year college degrees that give the graduate skills in things like coding, but there are many careers such as computer support specialist that can be obtained with a two-year degree or on-the-job training.
When you feel as though you have a calling in life ‘to protect and serve,’ you almost certainly will be drawn to the Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security career cluster. This career cluster not only includes those working in law enforcement, but also those who work to make sure the public is kept safe in other ways, including fire and emergency services. Whereas the responsibilities of many of the careers in this cluster may sound similar, the stakes at which they are performed often dictate the amount of training or education required. A security guard may be able to be successful with only a high school diploma, but a police officer may require some college as well as academy training. The completion of a four-year college program may be required for one to become a detective.
Manufacturing can generally be described as taking the resources that we have and using them to create a product. The pathways that are included in this cluster include those that work developing the processes for manufacturing, those that actually produce the products, and those that maintain and repair the products after they are produced. Some of the jobs in this cluster can be attained with minimal levels of formal education. Most will require at least a high school diploma. Many of the more skilled positions also require the completion of a two-year college program and/or on-the-job training. Of course there are some positions in this cluster (e.g., engineering) that will require the completion of a four-year college program.
Careers in the Marketing cluster are primarily geared toward making sure that products and services are effectively presented to and sold to those who may be inclined to purchase them. While there are a lot of careers on the advertising side of this cluster, the bulk of the actual positions are in sales. Sales within itself can have a wide range of potential outcomes due to the varying industries it has to support. A successful salesperson in the pharmaceutical industry would more likely than not make significantly more than a successful retail salesperson or cashier. The volatility of sales makes it a good place for those without a wealth of education to be able to obtain a job and potentially earn a good income; however, the advertising and market analytics side of the cluster would generally require the completion of a four-year college degree.
This category includes all of the careers that don't fit neatly into one of the standard career clusters. You can always type the name of a career into the "Search for a Career" box to quickly locate related videos.
When you were learning about math in high school and everyone looked at each other and said, “Who would ever need this?” Everyone in the STEM cluster does pretty much all the time! If you have ever met someone with a super fancy title that involves the word engineer or scientist they probably work in the STEM cluster. These positions often require a large amount of specialized education, namely at least a bachelor’s degree in a specialized field. Recently, much has been made of the substantial lack of qualified workers in certain STEM career paths.
Most of the skilled Trades careers are directly related to jobs in the construction industry, and they can be found in the Architecture and Construction career cluster. These careers include plumbers, electricians, brick masons, among many others. Some of the positions may be obtained with only the completion of high school, while many of them require more training. The completion of a two-year college program or an apprenticeship through an organization or union is required for the more specialized positions. Most of these jobs are very "hands-on", and can be physically demanding.
The Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics cluster is for those who like the idea of making sure people and products are moved safely and effectively from point A to point B. This career cluster includes careers that operate, maintain, and organize the transport of pretty much everything that you can imagine. The cluster includes careers in every step of that process, from mechanics who make sure trucks or airplanes are prepared to operate safely to those who work in the warehouses who load freight and/or people into these vehicles. Many of the careers in this cluster may require the completion of a two-year college program.