Explore Minnesota’s Career Clusters

by Rachel Vilsack

Whether you are searching for a job or headed to college, having a career plan is important. Over the next decade, some careers will grow while others will decline in Minnesota. And all careers require a foundational skill set, which you can learn on-the-job or through targeted coursework. Some careers use similar skills and knowledge so they can be grouped together, which can help you find the best career match.


There are six major career fields in Minnesota, including:

  • Agriculture, food and natural resources
  • Business, management and administration
  • Communication and information systems
  • Engineering, manufacturing and technology
  • Health science technology
  • Human services


Each of these fields has one or more career clusters.  For instance, there are four career clusters in the business, management and administration field:

  1. In business, management, and administration, you keep a business running. You may be in charge of the business as the boss. Another option is to keep track of expenses and income. Or you might hire and train the workers.
  2. In finance, you keep track of money. You could keep records. Or you could help people get loans and save money. Another option is to help people buy insurance. You could also run a bank.
  3. In hospitality and tourism, you help people have fun. You could help people who want to eat out get their food and drinks. Another option is to take care of guests at a hotel. Or you could help people plan trips.
  4. In marketing, sales, and service, you sell products. You might create ads to get customers to buy products. Or you might sell directly to customers. Another option is to use the Internet to sell.

You can explore all of Minnesota’s career fields and cluster online or download a career cluster map (pdf)   Explore Careers and Plan Your FutureThe benefits of exploring career clusters include:

  • Think big. Career clusters help you look at six career fields and the options within each field based on your interests.
  • Take charge. Career and training options may seem endless.  Career clusters help you learn about all the types of careers pathways available so you can make an informed decision on what works best for you, your family or situation.
  • Save time and money. Career clusters can help you select or narrow down occupations that are a good fit for your skills and interests. It’s also important to explore the educational path needed, so you don’t enter a training program quickly and then realize that a different career interests you more.
  • Stand out. As a job candidate, you’ll stand out from the competition if you understand the skill and knowledge requirements for specific jobs. There are wonderful websites, like ISEEK or O*NET, which can help you learn more about skills common to hundreds of different job titles.


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