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Career Clusters & Endorsements


What are the differences between Career Clusters and Endorsements, and how do they hang together?

On Tuesday, 1/30 from 8:30-9:30 AM, our Texas OnCourse Leader Fellows will be leading the first ever "office hours" session within the Texas OnCourse Academy! We are so excited to get even more individually involved with the counselors, advisers and teachers using this free training resource. The first session will take place inside of the "chat" feature* in the Career Clusters, Pathways, and Endorsements module.

While we get excited for that, we thought it would be a good time to do a quick review of how career clusters relate to endorsements, and how to help students understand the meaning and value of each. 

While there are 5 endorsements, there are 16 career clusters that can inform students' program of study throughout high school.


Career clusters are groupings of careers with similar skills or common themes, based on industry groups. They serve as an organizing tool for curriculum design and instruction, and their descriptions provide the essential knowledge and skills that students should demonstrate upon completing high school. 

In Texas, the Career Clusters are organized into related groups to allow students to select related endorsements through the Foundation High School Program. Once students determine the cluster that supports their career goals and the pathway they will follow, the endorsement they will earn will become clearer. Each career cluster aligns to a specific Texas high school endorsement.

(Download PDF of chart)


Helping students understand what specific career cluster is of interest to them can be essential to helping them plan their course schedule for success in high school and beyond.

To help students zero in on which of these paths is the best fit, we have put together a questionaire that educators can use with students to find out where their passions lie. To complete the quiz, students answer a series of questions related to each cluster. If a student answers yes to five or more of the questions for a single career cluster, that cluster may be right for the student.

Download the quiz to help students select a career cluster!


*For more information on how to use the "chat" feature, watch this simple tutorial