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What is a Career Cluster?

Higher education programs have been grouped into career clusters to align terminology used in higher education programs and majors (CIP Codes) with those used in the workforce for careers and occupations.

In total, there are 16 Career Clusters in the National Career ClustersTM Framework, representing more than 79 Career Pathways to help students (at both the secondary and postsecondary level) link the knowledge acquired in school with the skills needed to pursue careers. By tracking college graduates in higher education programs to specific career clusters, potential workforce needs can be estimated.

Career Clusters
Career Cluster Higher Education Programs Included
Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources agriculture; natural resources and conservation; and parks, recreation and leisure.
Architecture and Construction architecture (at the bachelor's and master's degrees) and construction trades (at associate degree and below).
Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communication communication and journalism; communication technologies; and visual and performing arts.
Business Management & Administration & Finance Three career clusters are combined with programs in business, management and administration; marketing; and finance.
Education & Training education, housing, and library science. Note: not all graduates who have credentials needed for a teaching career can be identified by tracking education majors. Someone pursuing a secondary math teaching degree might be classified as a math major with an education minor or a math major only.
Government & Public Administration public administration and social service professions; and the social science programs in international relations, political science, and urban affairs.
Health Science health and allied professions and psychology programs in health and psychometrics.
Hospitality & Tourism culinary services and business programs in hospitality management and facilities.
Human Services cosmetology; family and consumer science; philosophy and religious studies; psychology (clinical, counseling, developmental); sociology; and theology and religious vocations.
Information Technology computer science, computer engineering, and drafting.
Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security criminology; legal professions and studies; and security and protective services.
Liberal Arts, Languages, History Not an official career cluster. These programs are officially assigned to Education & Training, but have been placed here to identify education majors from other liberal arts majors. Includes programs in area, ethnic, cultural, and gender studies; English language and literature; foreign languages and linguistics, history, liberal arts and sciences, general studies and humanities; and multi/interdisciplinary studies in liberal arts.
Manufacturing & Transportation Two career clusters are combined with programs in mechanic and repair technologies; precision production; science technologies; and transportation and materials moving.
Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) biological and biomedical studies; engineering; engineering technologies; mathematics and statistics; multi/interdisciplinary studies in science areas; physical sciences (chemistry, geology, physics) and social sciences (anthropology, cartography, demography, economics, geography).