Exploring Career Pathways

What is the difference between a “job” and a “career?” Your job is where you work to earn a paycheck. Your career is the journey that encompasses all your jobs, experiences, and training. 

What is a Career Pathway?

Jobs or occupations that have similar features are grouped into career clusters. A career cluster can divide into smaller groups of jobs that use similar skills. These smaller groups are called career pathways. Each career cluster may contain several career pathways.

You can start in an entry- or lower-level job in a career pathway. With more education and experience, you can move up within that pathway. You can look for a new job or a promotion within the same career pathway if jobs are available. This way, you can continue to build on your previous experience and skills in your career. Advancing in a career pathway increases your chances of moving into higher-paying jobs that you like and use your skills.

Check out the Hospital/Clinic Long-Term Health Care career pathway below to see how occupations can create a progressive pathway. Which career pathways match your interests, skills, or experience?

Example Career Pathway | Hospital / Clinic Long-Term Health Care

Select any career title to learn about the education and training needed to get started. You'll also see wages and learn about the difference between the careers.

Years Training Needed Career Options
Select any career to learn more.
0 - 1
1 - 2
2 - 4
6 - 8

Long-term health-care pathway adapted from CareerForce and the Duluth Workforce Development Board
Career profile and data: CAREERwise.  Learn about CAREERwise data.

Help us Understand Your Job-Seeking Experiences. Take a Short Survey.

Minnesota State is seeking volunteers to respond to a survey, which may include providing private information under state and Federal law. Your responses are confidential, and the goal of the survey is to understand your job-seeking experiences, challenges, and unmet needs for supports. The survey is being conducted by an independent research team at UW-Whitewater and has been reviewed and approved by the UWW Institutional Review Board (IRB-FY2021-2022-23). 

*By filling out this form you are providing information which may be private data under Minnesota law. Minnesota State will use the information you provide in this form to contact you about your inquiries regarding the Minnesota Skill Up project only, and for internal business purposes as allowed by law, and not for any other purpose unless required by law or Board policy.