Career and Technical Education » Career Planning

Career Planning

Are you planning for high school, college, the workforce, or a career change? CTE uses the interactive North Carolina Career Clusters Guide as a valuable resource to help you make these important decisions. This guide is designed to be a tool for planning and preparing for a career. It provides you a structure for selecting careers based on linking what you know about yourself with information about occupations and typical training requirements.

The career-planning process is the cycle you follow when seeking employment in occupations that match your interests. You can repeat this process as needed to help you find your place in the world of work. Follow these steps to learn about Career Clusters, their multiple pathways, and to find career options that best fit you.
  1. Know Yourself
    The Interest Profiler gives you one option for finding career clusters and occupations that match your personal characteristics, strengths, and preferred activities. Results do not tell you which occupation or cluster you should choose, but they do provide information for determining the kinds of work you might want to explore (career interests).

  2. Explore Career Clusters
    Career Clusters help you to organize all of the many occupations. Each career cluster contains occupations that have similar knowledge and skills. Career Pathways within each cluster help identify useful training to prepare for work in specific jobs. Connect your Interest Profiler results with clusters and occupations to discover which ones most closely match your work-related interests.

    Use the 16 Career Clusters and their Pathways and the Career Clusters Matrix to guide your career exploration. Get the cluster's "big picture" and find online career resources. Then learn about the cluster, its pathways, and related occupations. Find out about successful people who work in the cluster.

  3. Know Your Options
    Use the results of your Interest Profiler and your knowledge of Career Clusters to start matching occupations.
    Review the job descriptions, employment growth, salary data, and interests for each of the matching occupations.

  4. Experience Real Jobs
    You may want to learn what it's really like to work in a specific occupation. Work-Based Learning is a way to experience real jobs while still in school.

  5. Explore the Job Market
    Whether you're still planning your future career or getting ready to enter the job market, getting a well-rounded understanding of what employers are looking for in job candidates is always helpful. 
Printable Resource: NC Career Clusters Guide