PATHWAYS TO COLLEGE & CAREER READINESS
Virginia's 17 Career Clusters
To view individual Web pages for each of the 17 career clusters, use the menu to the right .
Career Clusters help students investigate careers and design their courses of study to advance their career goals. For this reason, Virginia has adopted the nationally accepted structure of career clusters, career pathways and sample career specialties or occupations, as well as created a 17th Energy Cluster.U
A Career Cluster is a grouping of occupations and broad industries based on commonalities. Within each career cluster, there are multiple career pathways that represent a common set of skills and knowledge, both academic and technical, necessary to pursue a full range of career opportunities within that pathway – ranging from entry level to management, including technical and professional career specialties. Based on the skills sets taught, all CTE courses are aligned with one or more career clusters and career pathways.
Career Clusters Academic and Career Plans of Study; Virginia’s Best Practices-This is a PowerPoint document. (PPT)
This PowerPoint presentation describes the integration of career clusters into the career exploration and preparation process in Virginia (updated December 2012). NOTE: this is a large file that will take time to download.
The sample Plans of Study listing is a resource to assist CTE administrators and school counselors in developing student academic and career plans of study for each pathway within a career cluster. The sample plans of study template meets all the state and federal requirements.
Virginia Education Wizard – a comprehensive career and college planning website that provides students with the ability to assess their skills and explore associated career clusters; find specific occupations in demand, and the top employers within their local area and other regions of Virginia; explore public and private colleges and universities throughout Virginia based on various “fit” factors and save the results; prepare for college admission and attendance; and build resumes and prepare for interviews.
Career Planning Guide - a searchable online resource to help students determine the most effective CTE courses of study based on a student's career goals.
- Grades K-5 – Virginia Career VIEW provides career development resources and activities for grades K-5 supporting the Virginia Counseling Standards, Virginia Standards of Learning, and requirements to support the development of the Academic and Career Planning Portfolio. Activities include interactive game play, a kids career search, and multiple resources to print. Parent resources and Professional resources are also included.
- Grades 6-8 – A comprehensive Virginia focused career and educational planning website for grades 6-8 providing career development resources and activities to meet the Virginia Counseling Standards, Virginia Standards of Learning, and requirements to support the development of the Academic and Career Plan including parent and professional resources.
- Grades 9-12 – A comprehensive Virginia focused career and educational planning website for grades 9-12 and beyond providing career development resources and activities to meet the the Virginia Counseling Standards, Virginia Standards of Learning, and requirements to support the development of the Academic and Career Plan including parent and professional resources. Includes multiple career and interest assessments, state and national educational programs, workforce resources, and more!
Trailblazers (formerly Career Prospects in Virginia) – is created by staff at the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. It is an online resource to help teachers, administrators and school divisions to meet the federal Perkins grant mandates in order to qualify for federal Perkins grants. In addition, this site provides useful new employment projections, data and research that is being published all the time (look under “administrators”).
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CTE Performance Trends – see CTE Statistics & Reports
National Career Clusters Framework
In cooperation with the National Career Technical Education Foundation (NCTEF), the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) provides leadership and support for the National Career Clusters Framework to deliver high-quality CTE programs through improved curriculum design and instruction. The National Career Clusters Framework is comprised of 16 Career Clusters and related Career Pathways to help students explore different career options and better prepare for college and career. The Career Clusters and related Career Pathways serve as an organizing tool for Virginia’s schools and academies to develop more effective programs of study and curriculum. This site includes a listing of the 16 national career clusters and 79 pathways.