Archive for

Career Clusters, A Bridge Between Education and Career Planning

Since 1960s, career cluster resources have been used as career exploration and planning tools in schools, learning communities, and organizations across the nation. Career Clusters is a system that matches educational and career planning.

Step 1: Identifying Career Cluster Interest Areas

Career clusters are groups of similar occupations and industries. When teachers, counselors, and parents work with teens, college students, and adults, the first step is to complete career cluster assessment. The assessment identifies the highest career cluster areas. Career assessments show teens, college students, and adults rankings from one of the following 16 Interests Areas or Clusters:

1. Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources

2. Architecture & Construction

3. Arts, A/V Technology & Communication

4. Business, Management & Administration

5. Education & Training

6. Finance

7. Government & Public Administration

8. Health Science

9. Hospitality & Tourism

10. Human Services

11. Information Technology

12. Law, Public Safety & Security

13. Manufacturing

14. Marketing, Sales & Service

15. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

16. Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Step 2: Exploring Career Clusters and Related Careers

After pinpointing the highest career clusters, teens, college students, and adults explore the different careers and create education plans. Career cluster tools used in career and educational planning include:

  • LISA: A comprehensive career cluster database
  • Models
  • Brochures
  • Pathways
  • High school plan of study
  • Interest and Skills Areas
  • Crosswalks

After completing a career cluster assessment, teens, college students, and adults look at web sites, career models, brochures, pathways, and high school plans. One of the most unique comprehensive career cluster resources is the Louisiana Integrated Skills Assessment (LISA), an Internet program. LISA lets you explore career clusters, careers, abilities, training requirements, and more. There are 3 steps in the LISA program:

STEP 1: Click here to select a Career Cluster

STEP 2: Click here to select a Career Group

STEP 3: Explore Occupations within this Career Group

In Step 1, when you choose a career cluster, you will see a description of the cluster. When you select a career group in Step 2, you see different careers. Finally, in Step 3, you see a wealth of information:

  • Job descriptions
  • Educational and training requirements
  • Crosswalks, for example ONET, DOT, GOE, and other codes
  • Abilities
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Tasks
  • Work Values
  • Labor Market Information

Even though LISA is an awesome program, in classroom or workshop settings, you need printed materials. When using printed materials, the career model is the best place to start. Models provide excellent overviews listing the cluster definitions, sample careers, pathways, knowledge, and skills. Visual models show career clusters, the cluster subgroups, and related careers. Models are an excellent way to introduce career clusters.

For presentations, workshops, and group discussions, the career cluster brochures provide additional information. Adults and teens read about the different careers that are available in each career cluster. Teachers, counselors, and parents use the brochures to solidify adults’ and teens’ potential career or educational decisions. The brochures cover topics such as:

  • Definition of career clusters
  • Careers
  • Career pathways
  • Employment outlooks
  • Skills
  • Credentials

Teachers, counselors, and parents use career pathways for more detailed information. The career pathways are subgroups or areas of concentration within career clusters. Each pathway contains career groups. The career groups have similar academic skills, technical skills, educational requirements, and training requirements. Career pathways are plans of study that outline required secondary courses, post secondary courses, and related careers. The career pathways are essential tools that teachers, counselors, parents, and other adults use to give educational planning advice.

Several web sites feature High School Plans of Study. These study plans show required, elective, and suggested courses for each grade level. The school plans also match the career clusters to related careers, career pathways, and post-secondary options. Teachers, counselors, and parents find that these school plans are guides for selecting the right high school courses to match potential careers. Beyond high school, the Utah System for Higher Education has created a College Major Guide. Parents, teachers, and counselors can use the guide to match college majors to Certificate and Degree Programs.

Additional Resources for Counselors and Teachers

For planning curriculum and educational programs, there are detailed Knowledge and Skills Charts and Cluster Crosswalks. The knowledge and Skills expand upon the information listed on the career cluster models. For each knowledge and skill area, there are performance elements and measurement criteria. Crosswalks show the relationships between career clusters and other career models:

Career clusters build a bridge between education and career planning. Different types of career cluster resources are available: videos, web sites, booklets, brochures, activity sheets, and workbooks. Teachers, counselors, and parents use career cluster resources to successfully complete career and educational planning.

Resources:

American Careers Career Paths, Career Communications, 6701 W. 64th St., Overland, KS 66202, 800-669-7795

Career Click, Illinois Department of Employment Security,33 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60603, (312) 793-5700

CIP Code Index by Career Cluster, Adult & Postsecondary CTE Division, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126, (717) 772-0814

Cluster and Career Videos, Career One Stop, U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210, 866-4-USA-DOL

College Major Guide Utah System for Higher Education, Board of Regents Building, The Gateway, 60 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1284, (801) 321-7100

Find Careers (Videos), iSeek Solutions, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Wells Fargo Place, 30 7th St. E., Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55101-7804

High School Plans of Study, New Hampshire Department of Education, 101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301-3860, (603) 271-3494
Introduction to Career Clusters, Career Education, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, P.O. Box 543
Blacklick, OH 43004-0544,

Louisiana Integrated Skills Assessment (LISA), customized Internet version of OSCAR, a product of the Texas Workforce Commission/Career Development Resources, TWC/CDR, Austin, TX 78753

Maryland Career Clusters, Maryland State Department of Education 200 West Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD 21201,

Rhodes Island’s Career Clusters, Rhode Island’s Career Resource Network, 1511 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920, 401-462-8790

School to Career Clusters, State of Connecticut, Department of Labor, Job Bank, 645 South Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457, (860)754-5000

States’ Career Clusters Initiative (SCCI), 1500 W. Seventh Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74074
Career Pathway Plans, Career Cluster, Knowledge and Skills Charts

VTECS Cluster Frameworks, VTECS, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA, 30033,404-679-4501 ext 543

What are Career Clusters? Career Prospects System, New Mexico Career Resource Network, CAREER TECHNICAL AND WORKFORCE EDUCATION BUREAU (CTWEB), Education Building, 300 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM 87501, (505) 827-6512

Ultrasound Technician Information: The Educational and Skill Requirements

An ultrasound tech performs the role of scanning the bodies of patients with sound waves. The professional creates images that the physician can use to detect medical conditions, monitor medical conditions and/or assess the health of fetal in pregnant women. Therefore, they work directly with physicians and patients. Ultrasound technicians are also referred to as diagnostic medical sonographers or simply sonographers. They often specialize in abdominal sonography, obstetric & gynecologic, cardiac, vascular, breast or neurosonography. Many of these professionals are employed in medical centers, hospitals or private clinics.

Educational requirements

To work in this field, you require an associate degree in sonography. The associate degree programs take about 2 years. Furthermore, to practice as a sonographer, you can enroll for a bachelor degree program that takes 4 years. Professionals who are already working in the health care industry can consider a certificate program that takes 1 year. This gives the practitioner the opportunity to learn diagnostic medical sonography. Some employers provide on-the-job training to their workers who possess experience in other healthcare careers, such as nursing.

In any training program, several courses are taught including anatomy, patient care, basic physics, instrumentation, physiology and medical ethics. In addition, learners obtain supervised clinical training. Many of the employers opt to hire candidates who have acquired their training from an accredited program. The accrediting body seeks to determine the technician’s expertise in visualizing particular sections of the body. Ultrasound technicians who possess a wide range of credentials and specializations often have the best employment prospects and chances of promotion. Multiple specialties can advance your opportunities to supervisory, administrative or managerial positions.

Ultrasound technician information details the educational and skill requirements. To obtain certification, the technician needs to pass 2 exams. The general examination includes sonography principles, equipment and physics, while the specialty examination is concerned with diseased or normal anatomy of the body organs.

Skills required for the job

To work effectively as a sonographer, you need to have certain characteristics. Considering you are expected to work on a one-on-one basis with patients, you need to have good interpersonal skills. In addition, you need to have good hand-eye coordination. You also need to be detail oriented. It is equally important to have good physical stamina because you will be expected to spend a greater part of your day standing. Good physical stamina will help you lift and move the patients.

On a typical day, you will be expected to keep patient records, prepare work schedules, maintain equipment, evaluate equipment purchases and manage the diagnostic imaging department or a sonography.

Pursuing an Education and Career in Game Art and Design

The video game industry has a large global market, which creates numerous career opportunities. The work completed to develop and design a game takes numerous professionals focusing on the aspects that make game play possible. To enter this field students will need to obtain certain skills that can only be obtained through higher education. Pursuing an education and career in game art and design can easily be done by first researching the available options.

The optional programs that students can enter include several concentration areas and degree levels. The primary options that can be completed inside vocational colleges are at the certificate and associate’s degree level. Within training students can work through programs that focus on game art and design such as game software development and video game design. Each area although highly interconnected explores a wide range of topics and skills associated with the industry to prepare students for careers. Educational programs train students to understand the techniques used to implement the base codes and the graphic design features utilized to design games. Students should consider all educational options to ensure the programs completed help them reach their career goals. Possible career options include becoming:

  • Level Designers
  • Video Game Programmers
  • Game Interface Designers

Students can enter jobs that pertain more to the programming side of the industry or focus on obtaining positions related to the creative side of the field. Both reward students with lucrative careers in this continually growing field. Programs develop the knowledge of all the key areas that need to be mastered. Students that start their educational training in vocational colleges will graduate with the knowledge to understand the latest techniques and technologies.

Video game and development programs provide entry-level knowledge in programming, software engineering, and multimedia design. Students gain the ability to develop games using multiple computer environments. This often includes using digital media and different desktop software. Programs are concentrated on making students confident when using digital graphics and design principles. To establish career skills and confidence, programs incorporate numerous courses dedicated to the technical side of the field. Students work through courses that cover interactive multimedia, web animation, C++ programming, and 3D modeling. The concepts of game development are explored when students learn about the theories of game play, artist collaboration, and intricate storytelling. Students that step into programming careers will write the codes that make game play possible. The work completed can include storyline maps and character composites.

The more creative aspects of the industry are explored and learned inside video game design programs. Students receive practical training that provides them in depth education in digital animation, scriptwriting, and character development. The technologies of the field are used to prepare students for careers. Animation software packages and scripting languages are major areas studied within a program. Computer skills are essential in this industry and students will explore the different components of the field through specific courses. Topics may include level design, photo editing, and game texture mapping.

Further training in game art and design can be pursued at the bachelor’s and master’s degree level. Training is crucial to professional success so students should begin learning about how to create video games by enrolling in accredited college programs. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (http://nasad.arts-accredit.org/) and other agencies, are approved to qualify game art and design schools and colleges that offer a quality education for full accreditation.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.