Career Clusters, A Bridge Between Education and Career Planning

Since 1960s, career cluster resources have been used as career exploration and planning tools in schools, learning communities, and organizations across the nation. Career Clusters is a system that matches educational and career planning.

Step 1: Identifying Career Cluster Interest Areas

Career clusters are groups of similar occupations and industries. When teachers, counselors, and parents work with teens, college students, and adults, the first step is to complete career cluster assessment. The assessment identifies the highest career cluster areas. Career assessments show teens, college students, and adults rankings from one of the following 16 Interests Areas or Clusters:

1. Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources

2. Architecture & Construction

3. Arts, A/V Technology & Communication

4. Business, Management & Administration

5. Education & Training

6. Finance

7. Government & Public Administration

8. Health Science

9. Hospitality & Tourism

10. Human Services

11. Information Technology

12. Law, Public Safety & Security

13. Manufacturing

14. Marketing, Sales & Service

15. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

16. Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Step 2: Exploring Career Clusters and Related Careers

After pinpointing the highest career clusters, teens, college students, and adults explore the different careers and create education plans. Career cluster tools used in career and educational planning include:

LISA: A comprehensive career cluster database
Models
Brochures
Pathways
High school plan of study
Interest and Skills Areas
Crosswalks

After completing a career cluster assessment, teens, college students, and adults look at web sites, career models, brochures, pathways, and high school plans. One of the most unique comprehensive career cluster resources is the Louisiana Integrated Skills Assessment (LISA), an Internet program. LISA lets you explore career clusters, careers, abilities, training requirements, and more. There are 3 steps in the LISA program:

STEP 1: Click here to select a Career Cluster

STEP 2: Click here to select a Career Group

STEP 3: Explore Occupations within this Career Group

In Step 1, when you choose a career cluster, you will see a description of the cluster. When you select a career group in Step 2, you see different careers. Finally, in Step 3, you see a wealth of information:

Job descriptions
Educational and training requirements
Crosswalks, for example ONET, DOT, GOE, and other codes
Abilities
Knowledge
Skills
Tasks
Work Values
Labor Market Information

Even though LISA is an awesome program, in classroom or workshop settings, you need printed materials. When using printed materials, the career model is the best place to start. Models provide excellent overviews listing the cluster definitions, sample careers, pathways, knowledge, and skills. Visual models show career clusters, the cluster subgroups, and related careers. Models are an excellent way to introduce career clusters.

For presentations, workshops, and group discussions, the career cluster brochures provide additional information. Adults and teens read about the different careers that are available in each career cluster. Teachers, counselors, and parents use the brochures to solidify adults’ and teens’ potential career or educational decisions. The brochures cover topics such as:

Definition of career clusters
Careers
Career pathways
Employment outlooks
Skills
Credentials

Teachers, counselors, and parents use career pathways for more detailed information. The career pathways are subgroups or areas of concentration within career clusters. Each pathway contains career groups. The career groups have similar academic skills, technical skills, educational requirements, and training requirements. Career pathways are plans of study that outline required secondary courses, post secondary courses, and related careers. The career pathways are essential tools that teachers, counselors, parents, and other adults use to give educational planning advice.

Several web sites feature High School Plans of Study. These study plans show required, elective, and suggested courses for each grade level. The school plans also match the career clusters to related careers, career pathways, and post-secondary options. Teachers, counselors, and parents find that these school plans are guides for selecting the right high school courses to match potential careers. Beyond high school, the Utah System for Higher Education has created a College Major Guide. Parents, teachers, and counselors can use the guide to match college majors to Certificate and Degree Programs.

Additional Resources for Counselors and Teachers

For planning curriculum and educational programs, there are detailed Knowledge and Skills Charts and Cluster Crosswalks. The knowledge and Skills expand upon the information listed on the career cluster models. For each knowledge and skill area, there are performance elements and measurement criteria. Crosswalks show the relationships between career clusters and other career models:

Career clusters build a bridge between education and career planning. Different types of career cluster resources are available: videos, web sites, booklets, brochures, activity sheets, and workbooks. Teachers, counselors, and parents use career cluster resources to successfully complete career and educational planning.

Resources:

American Careers Career Paths, Career Communications, 6701 W. 64th St., Overland, KS 66202, 800-669-7795

Career Click, Illinois Department of Employment Security,33 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60603, (312) 793-5700

CIP Code Index by Career Cluster, Adult & Postsecondary CTE Division, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126, (717) 772-0814

Cluster and Career Videos, Career One Stop, U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210, 866-4-USA-DOL

College Major Guide Utah System for Higher Education, Board of Regents Building, The Gateway, 60 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1284, (801) 321-7100

Find Careers (Videos), iSeek Solutions, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Wells Fargo Place, 30 7th St. E., Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55101-7804

High School Plans of Study, New Hampshire Department of Education, 101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301-3860, (603) 271-3494
Introduction to Career Clusters, Career Education, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, P.O. Box 543
Blacklick, OH 43004-0544,

Louisiana Integrated Skills Assessment (LISA), customized Internet version of OSCAR, a product of the Texas Workforce Commission/Career Development Resources, TWC/CDR, Austin, TX 78753

Maryland Career Clusters, Maryland State Department of Education 200 West Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD 21201,

Rhodes Island’s Career Clusters, Rhode Island’s Career Resource Network, 1511 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920, 401-462-8790

School to Career Clusters, State of Connecticut, Department of Labor, Job Bank, 645 South Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457, (860)754-5000

States’ Career Clusters Initiative (SCCI), 1500 W. Seventh Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74074
Career Pathway Plans, Career Cluster, Knowledge and Skills Charts

VTECS Cluster Frameworks, VTECS, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA, 30033,404-679-4501 ext 543

What are Career Clusters? Career Prospects System, New Mexico Career Resource Network, CAREER TECHNICAL AND WORKFORCE EDUCATION BUREAU (CTWEB), Education Building, 300 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM 87501, (505) 827-6512

Physical Therapy Education – Professional Careers in the Field

Find Physical Therapy Education in the United States and Canada. Some of the many career paths that individuals can take once they’ve attained the appropriate level of physical therapy education include professions as of course, therapists, administrators, clinicians, consultants, educators, and researchers, among others. Depending on the direction which you take through your physical therapy education, you can expect to work in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and private homes, rehabilitation centers and other medical healthcare facilities.

With over 200 accredited physical therapy education programs from which to choose, prospective students can opt to participate in both Master Degree programs as well as Doctoral Degree programs. Once enrolled in a physical therapy education course, students learn about anatomy, biology, biomechanics, chemistry, human growth (and development), pathology, neuroanatomy and hands-on training in a variety of therapeutic methods. Additionally, physical therapy education students are often required to complete an internship or clinical training to successfully fulfill educational requirements. Upon degree achievement, graduates must gain licensure to practice in the United States. And, to maintain licensure, practicing physical therapists must take continuing physical therapy education.

Before you enroll in a physical therapy education program, it is important to note that the career field often requires individuals to be in top physical condition; as physical therapists do a lot of bending, kneeling, stooping, crouching and other physical repetitions throughout the course of the workday. However, the benefits of this service job far outweigh the physical aspects of the occupation: Career outlook for physical therapists is “expected to grow much faster than average” than other occupations through the coming years. As well, median annual earnings range between $60,000 and $88,000+. (Incomes commensurate with level of experience and physical therapy education.)

Pursuing a Higher Education and Career in Massage Therapy

When looking to obtain the educational training that is needed to pursue a career in massage therapy, there are various higher education programs to choose from. Pursuing a higher education and career in massage therapy allows you to obtain the skills that are necessary for you to succeed. Opportunities exist at various levels to also provide the chance for you to receive the required amount of training. You can start researching accredited schools and colleges to find the one that offers the most benefits to you and learn more about the educational training that is offered in this field.

Career training in massage therapy can be completed by first choosing the specific area of study and level of training that is right for you. Opportunities include aromatherapy, cranial sacral therapy, Chinese medical massage, myofascial release, shiatsu, myotherapy, somatic education, and more. Accredited educational training facilities offer the chance to choose from a certificate program or an associate degree program. Training will take a couple of months to two years depending on the degree or certificate. Training programs will vary in order to provide the knowledge needed for employment and the career you dream of.

There are numerous professions that you can choose from when looking to enter a career in massage therapy. Many professions utilize this form of therapy in their work to provide a more in depth service to their clients. You will have the chance to become a:

Massage Therapist
Chiropractor
Aromatherapist
Acupuncturist
Naturopathic Doctor

…and other related professions. By deciding on the career path that you wish to take, you will be prepared to enter into higher education, and complete the coursework and training that is required for you to graduate and seek employment.

Accredited training programs teach you the various forms of the therapy and how to use touch and pressure to relieve pain, stress, and more. You can look forward to learning various techniques to help you pursue the career you long for. Coursework will cover different topics that will help you gain education in acupressure, kinesiology, anatomy, physiology, massage techniques, pathology, nutrition, and more. By studying topics like these you will be prepared to become a successful professional. You can also study chiropractics, circulation, range of motion, strength training, pathology, reflexology, and more. Once a higher education is obtained in these areas you can seek the employment you desire