How I teach the 16 Career Clusters
I’m always surprised by how many students have never learned of the 16 career clusters by the time they have reached their high school. Students need to know their career options! Many of our students will do jobs in the future that don’t even exist yet. I want them to know first of the career clusters and then from there we can learn about opportunities within each of those clusters.
I created a lesson library of all 16 career clusters. In my class, I use this as a choice board. I probably spend 10 minutes going over each of the career clusters and giving an overview of each. I do this by simply projecting the lesson library table on my whiteboard and discussing each of them. After that, I ask students to choose one to research. Each of these career clusters are linked to the Occupational Outlook Handbook and students are prompted to explore opportunities within each.
What classes do I use the 16 Career Clusters lesson Library?
I use this in my Personal Finance class when I’m teaching the connection between career choices and wages earned. I would also use this lesson library, obviously, in a Career Exploration class or a freshman seminar.
I have my Personal Finance students for a semester – two nine (9) weeks with 42-minute periods. Students are to choose three (3) career clusters to explore each of the 9 weeks totaling 6 for the semester. I enjoy using this as a choice board in Personal Finance class. If I was teaching a Career Exploration/Research class, I would have students complete each of the 16 career clusters. It’s important for students to explore each of them so that they understand their purpose and role in society.
After students explore all of the 16 career clusters, it’s a wonderful idea for students to select one or two career clusters to do a deeper dive. I have my students pick a career cluster and focus on a specific career in which to do further research.