Career Clusters: for creators, communicators, and computer-lovers
In our Which Cluster is the One For You? post, we shared that the Career Clusters framework is one of many ways to learn more about the occupations that exist in the world. Knowing more about career clusters can help you narrow down not only which cluster is right for you, but more specifically which pathway(s) and occupation(s) might bring you the most fulfillment.
This week, we're going to take a look at what we'll call the creation & communication clusters. There are two clusters in this grouping and both involve innovating, entertaining, informing, and inspiring others. From artists and designers to programmers and performers, those who work in these clusters are responsible for making our world more colorful, computer-savvy, interactive, and informative. Take the assessment we recommended in our first post to see if this cluster ranks near the top! Then come back to learn more through this post, where we'll cover:
what kinds of pathways and occupations are found in this career cluster
programs that can help you explore these types of careers while still in high school
courses that will help you to develop knowledge & skills that can prepare you for this industry
Pathways & Occupations
This grouping is organized into two clusters, each with a handful of career pathways, and a variety of occupations within each pathway. Click the links below to see learn more about each cluster, including careers in each pathway based on education level.
Information Technology Would you like to get paid to work on or with computers? Information technology workers are in a growing and always-changing field. You might work with computer hardware, software, multimedia, or network systems. You might design new computer equipment or work on a new computer game. Some information technology workers support and manage computer hardware. For example, you might make sure the networks are working or manage a network that links people across the world. Or, you might support others and answer questions about specific software or hardware.
Arts, A/V Technology, & Communications Do you like to perform in front of an audience? Are you a visual person or like to work with productions and technology? Arts, audio/video technology, and communications workers use creativity and their talents on the job. You might work for an audience as a performer or artist. This includes painters, dancers, sculptors, actors, and singers. Or, you might work behind the scenes to make a performance successful. This includes set designers, editors, broadcast technicians, and camera operators. Some audio/video technology and communications workers have high-profile jobs. For example, you might work as a news reporter or fashion designer. Or, you might use your creative talents with technology and work as an animator, graphic designer, or film editor.
If you think you may be interested in a career in these fields, there are a few ways to start getting experience and exposure now to help explore the kind of work involved in this slice of the career pie. The following entities provide excellent opportunities to dip your toes in these clusters —
These career clusters are among the most abundant when it comes to summer program offerings. PNCA, for example, is known for its Pre-College Summer Intensives, where high school students study in Portland for an exceptional art and design school experience, and OSU-Cascade's Summer Academy has an Art+Media+Tech option perfect for students wanting to explore these areas. Meanwhile, Lewis & Clark College offers Summer Tech Camps that provide the opportunity to explore coding, game development, robotics, and more. These are just a few of many options!
Virtual Job Shadow Username: BakerWebS16, Password: CareerPrep2020! All Baker students have access to this virtual platform, with videos and resources that give you a glimpse at a day-in-the-life of hundreds of occupations. To get started, click on the Careers menu at the top, then Career Central. From there, click on the Filter By: Cluster button, and select any of the clusters from today's post from the menu on the left-hand side.
Knowledge & Skills
There are many classes you can take at your local community college to help build foundational knowledge and skills that will prepare you for a career in human services. If you're a Baker Web Academy student who would like to take one or more courses through your community college, contact our Enrollment Specialist, Kimberly Linn.
Here are a few I strongly recommend—
Art, Music, or Theater
The type of classes to take in these categories will depend on your career interests, but there are so many out there that can help you gain foundational skills that you'll use in these clusters. From graphic design to figure drawing, acting to musical performance, the opportunities to learn and grow are out and waiting at your community college. Ask your advisor for help to find the right courses to help propel you toward your future.
It's no wonder that the creativity piece of the career pie has an entire cluster based on the use of computers — it's 2022 after all, and so much of what's being created in the world today is based in technology. For those especially interested in the Information Technology cluster, dive right into computer science classes.
Business This category might be less obvious, but it can be just as important as the two above. Many jobs in this industry are trending toward freelance work, which involves running your own business in many regards. So a basic Intro to Business course is highly recommended, at least, if not a few additional classes in this area for those who are interested in being their own artistic boss!
Want some personalized guidance? Click here to schedule a meeting with your career & college counselor today. Allison Styffe works with BEC students in Central, Southern, and Eastern Oregon. Jennifer Tracewell works with all BWA students as well as BEC students in Portland, Salem, and Eugene.