The traditional role of vocational education was to prepare some learners with a narrow set of specific skills for certain jobs. That no longer meets the needs of learners in today's changing and demanding job market, especially those learners who wish to move past entry-level employment.
Career Clusters and their curriculum frameworks reflect the higher State academic standards required of learners to be successful as they transition to postsecondary education and future careers.
As a result of Career Clusters, the partnerships formed between the States, secondary, postsecondary education, and employers provide for curriculum integration and contextual learning opportunities that reflect the career goals and interests of all learners. This relevancy creates the motivation for many learners to stay in school longer and enroll in more challenging courses.
Career Clusters identify the knowledge and skills both, academic and technical, for a broad career cluster that will allow all learners to pursue a wide range of career opportunities from entry level through management and professional levels. The organization and structure of Career Clusters provides a place for all learners, linking them to their career goals.
States’ Career Clusters Initiative, 2011, www.careerclusters.org