General Information on CTE Pathways

What are Career Pathways?

Career Pathways are broad groupings of career specialties and/or occupations that have common skills and knowledge. Career Pathways provide a background for exploring career options at all levels of education. It also links learning to the skills and knowledge needed for future success. Hawai‘i is currently in a transitioning stage determining the number of career pathways for the State.

Nine Career Pathways (Projected)

  • Agriculture, Food Innovation, and Natural Resources
  • Feed, clothe, and shelter humankind through occupations that cultivate, use, analyze, manage, and sustain natural resources. The Agriculture, Food Innovation, and Natural Resources Pathway offers opportunities to make the best use of earth’s natural resources to meet the basic needs of the world’s population.

  • Arts, Creative Media, and Communication
  • Develop an analytical eye for the art and media that inspires the world. The Arts, Creative Media, and Communication Pathway focuses on connecting formal structures of artistic expression to audience perspectives in careers spanning fashion and technology; media arts and technologies; and the visual, performing, and written arts.

  • Business, Marketing, and Finance
  • Why answer to the chief executive officer, when you can be one? Business is the foundation for all industries. The diversity of skills and concepts such as technology, finance, customer service, marketing, organizational behavior, and management are learned in the Business, Marketing, and Finance Pathway.

  • Culinary, Hospitality, and Tourism
  • Plate an extraodinary meal, host a visitor from the other side of the world and travel for your job. Learn the skills needed to excel in the Culinary, Hospitality and Tourism Pathway.

  • Education
  • Continue to learn and pass knowledge to others while the world sleeps. Make a difference through the lives of students who depend on you to teach skills they can use everyday from in the Education Pathway.

  • Health Sciences and Services
  • Make a difference in people’s lives through diagnostic and clinical health work, biotechnology medical research, and health and nutrition services. Learn medical terminology, the functions of the body systems, and the treatment and prevention of diseases and disorders in the Health Services Pathway.

  • Industrial and Engineering Technology
  • Interested in designing, engineering, developing, and building solutions to address society’s problems and needs? Solve problems, connect people and places, and make the world run in the diverse career opportunities available in the Industrial and Engineering Technology Pathway.

  • Information Technology
  • Do you love technology? You have the opportunity to change the way we live, play, and do business through the Information Technology Pathway.

  • Law, Government, and Public Safety
  • You ever think about planning, managing, legal aide, public safety, protective services and homeland security? If so, the Law, Government, and Public Safety Pathway may be the right one for you.


Career Pathway System
A framework of six career pathways which can be applied to all levels of education allowing educators and students to view education as a continuum. The Career Pathway System encompasses Career Guidance, Curriculum Development, Educational Planning, and Articulation.
Career Pathway Framework
An organization chart of the clusters, concentrations, and examples of specific occupations included in each career pathway.
Career Pathway Core
The Career Pathway Core provides an overview of the skills and knowledge required for occupations included in the particular Career Pathway. Pathway Core standards are broad, general business and industry validated content and performance standards that are common to all clusters within the Career Pathway.
Career Pathway Cluster
Sub-groupings within a Career Pathway that begin to focus on more specific occupational requirements. Each Cluster is composed of business and industry validated content and performance standards that are common to all of the concentrations included in a Career Pathway Cluster.
Career Pathway Concentration
Sub-groupings within a Career Pathway Cluster that focus on more specific occupational requirements. Each Concentration is composed of business and industry validated content and performance standards that are common to all or most of the occupations included in a Career Pathway Concentration.
Program of Study
A course of study that spans a minimum of two years at the secondary level and extends to postsecondary education; integrates State academic standards, career and workplace skills, and specific business and industry validated standards; incorporates work-based learning where feasible and appropriate; prepares students for further education and/or employment; and occurs in career fields that require less than a four-year degree as a prerequisite for entry. Students completing a Program of Study would have mastered all specific Career Pathway Core, Cluster, and Concentration standards.
Content Standards
Clear, broad statements of important ideas, concepts, and skills to be taught and learned in a content area. Content Standards provide fixed goals for learning and describe what students should know and be able to do—the knowledge and skills essential to a discipline that students are expected to learn.
Performance Standards

Statements that describe the levels of performance and acceptable evidence that the content standards have been met. Performance Standards tell what a student product should look like if it meets the standards. Performance Standards must include three elements:

1. Performance indicators (clear description of quality products or performance);
2. Concrete examples such as student work; and
3. Commentary on how well student work demonstrates the achievement of the content—how good is “good enough.