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Career Pathways

Career Clusters

Career Clusters™ provide 16 groupings of occupations and career pathways that help students explore similarly grouped career options. The Career Clusters serve as an organizing tool for schools, small learning communities, academies and magnet schools to help focus curriculum and bring relevance into the classroom.
The Career Cluster initiative is coordinated by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. They provide a broad range of supporting materials for each of the clusters at their National Career Cluster website.
  • Arts and Communications:  Designed to cultivate students' awareness, interpretation, application and production of visual, verbal and written work.
  • Business, Finance and Information Technology:  Designed to prepare students for careers in the world of business, finance and information services.
  • Engineering and Industrial Technology:  Designed to cultivate students' interest, awareness and application to areas related to technologies necessary to design, develop, install or maintain physical systems.
  • Human Services:  Designed to cultivate students' interests, skills and experience for employment in careers related to families and human needs.
  • Science and Health:  Designed to cultivate students' interest in the life, physical and behavioral sciences.  In addition, the planning, managing and providing of therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health information and biochemistry research development.

Workforce development

Pennsylvania's workforce development system enables businesses and workers to compete in the worldwide, knowledge-based economy.  The workforce system enhances employer competitiveness and innovation while preparing Pennsylvanians for jobs that pay in an economy that grows, supports families and businesses, and is effectively improving the quality of life for our most valuable resource - our people.

Workforce Development Board

The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board (PA WDB) is the governor's principal private-sector policy advisor on building a strong workforce development system aligned with state education policies and economic development goals.  It's members are appointed by the governor and represent a cross-section of business executives, labor officials, education leaders, economic development practitioners, and local elected officials. Additionally, the cabinet secretaries of five state agencies, as well as four members of the general assembly, serve on the board. 


The Pennsylvania In-Demand Occupation List (PA IDOL) can help a person identify careers that have the greatest demand across the commonwealth.  "In-demand" jobs offer a large number of job  openings or an above-average growth rate without already having an over-supply of existing workers.  These occupations offer a qualified jobseeker a reasonable expectation of obtaining employment in the field.

National Careers Data and Information

  • State's Career Cluster Initiative:  The State's Career Cluster Initiative website is the clearinghouse for Career Clusters research, products, services and technical assistance for implementation of the States' Career Clusters Framework for lifelong learning. The 16 career clusters link what students learn in school with the knowledge and skills they need for success in college and careers. 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.
  • O*Net OnLine:  The O*NET system serves as the nation's primary source of occupational information, providing comprehensive information on key attributes and characteristics of workers and occupations.