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Career Clusters

Career Clusters - Welcome!

Missouri Career Education prepares Missourians for the 21st century to better serve the needs of students, parents, educators, and employers through challenging, relevant, and accountable programs.

Career Clusters provide a way for schools to organize instruction and student experiences around 16 broad categories that encompass virtually all occupations from entry through professional levels.  These groupings of occupations are used as an organizing tool for curriculum design, a model for guidance and instruction, and a mechanism for seamless transition from secondary education to postsecondary and/or career.

Career Cluster booklet
"What's The Plan?  Helping Students Explore Their Futures," an introduction to Career Clusters in Missouri


Student Video Introduces 16 Career Clusters

Upbeat music, bold colors and amusing teenage hosts invite Missouri students to explore the world of careers in a video produced in 2009 and distributed to schools and libraries statewide.

Career Clusters Poster (view)
Career Clusters Poster (print quality, 17"x22")


Information Resources:

States' Career Clusters Initiative

"What's A Career Path?" Video
An 18-minute video introducing Career Paths to young students is now available in streaming video.  Development of this timeless piece was sponsored by DESE in 1999 and originally distributed in VHS tape format. Similar to a Saturday morning fun show, this video is targeted to students in the 4-8 grade levels, yet is enjoyable for all ages.
Watch Video

Partnering with Business and Industry

A number of provisions of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 directs states to connect their career education programs and uses of funds with labor market needs. It also provides a welcomed stimulus for the education system to create stronger partnerships with industry, economic and workforce development, and local employer leaders.

To better prepare students for the workforce of tomorrow, the Division of Career Education conducted an online survey among a broad spectrum of Missouri business and industry representatives.  The survey was conducted from November 20, 2006 through January 8, 2007. In this way, Missouri Career Education asked employers and industry across the state to:

  • Rank in importance the foundation knowledge and skills for their career cluster, as well as identify any gaps or emerging areas.
  • Rank in importance the knowledge and skills needed for the various career pathways in which they employ, supervise, or work;
  • Identify any gaps or emerging areas that are essential to the pathway and need to be addressed by career education;
  • Indicate whether they work in business/industry, for a state or federal agency, in education, an association, or other;
  • Provide any additional comments or information they may like to share to help improve the quality of workers they receive; and
  • Possibly volunteer to participate in future surveys and/or to serve on a statewide or local industry advisory council.

On January 25, 2007, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education convened 16 advisory councils for each career cluster comprised of representatives from Missouri industry and education. (See Summary Report)  The purpose of each council was to review the knowledge and skill statements for the programs of study for the 16 broad clusters of occupations and the 81 career pathways. Educators will then work to achieve alignment of courses for each program of study and seek review and feedback from their respective industry advisory council.

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