Workforce Programs

Career Clusters

Whether you are just starting out, or looking for new career opportunities, the University of Alaska is the most comprehensive provider of career and technical education training in Alaska. Please use the University of Alaska Career Clusters as a tool for looking into education and training options in all career areas.

As you look across each degree area and program in each career cluster, consider the program milestones, each program building up to more and more opportunities. These pathways can easily provide entry, exit, and re-entry points between education and training, and employment opportunities as you continue to develop your credentials to meet your personal career goals.

Click on one of the 15 University of Alaska Career Clusters to assist you in learning about your education and training options. Selecting any one of the Career Clusters will take you to the corresponding Educational Pathway.**


Career Clusters is a way to show you careers aligned with training programs through the University of Alaska system of urban and community-based campuses, as well ones you can take by distance delivery. Even though the programs have different degree levels, after you complete your University of Alaska training, you will be qualified to work in an industry cluster with degree credits that can be applied to additional degrees when you have the time to take more classes. By doing so, you will increase your marketability to other employers and be able to apply for even better paying jobs.


Career Clusters is a way to group the programs available through University of Alaska system of main urban and community-based campuses, as well as distance delivered programs, into general industry sectors. This will help you discuss broader career opportunities with your child and make the best decision on where to begin his/her vocational/technical/ or academic education and training in Alaska, as well as establish reasonable expectations for the financial needs of obtaining the high quality postsecondary training at the University of Alaska.


Career Clusters is a way to group the University of Alaska programs into broad industry sector career areas. This tool will help link career awareness activities and students’ interests to the programs available through the University of Alaska system of main urban and community-based campuses, as well as those available through distance delivery. You will also be able to discuss milestones for postsecondary education and training and options for progressive strategies for continued education.


Career Clusters was originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education as a model for demonstrating career areas with associated skill standards, curriculum, and assessments for secondary educators to assist students with career preparation. Our intention is to demonstrate career technical and educational pathways that guide you to programs available in the University of Alaska system. More information regarding the national model for career clusters may be found at


The selection and naming of the UA 14 Career Cluster areas was based on identifying available UA programs with specific award levels, then, without duplication, placing programs into a career cluster that closely aligns with the national model. Recognized awards levels in the UA system include: Workforce Certificates, Occupational Endorsements, and Associates, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees.

Representatives from the UA campuses of UA Anchorage, UA Fairbanks, UA Southeast, College or Rural Alaska, and UA Statewide collaborated and facilitated discussions with faculty and administrators throughout the system during this project. However, we recognize these documents will require continuous modification and updates as new programs are made available. We are committed to accepting feedback regarding how this information is displayed and ensuring it is as accurate as possible. UA Career Clusters were updated to 15, and work will be ongoing to update the associated worksheets.

Many of the programs offered through the UA system will also lead to employment and academic opportunities in other career clusters. Refer to cluster icons for additional industry sectors with closely related training and skill sets.

UA has worked closely with the Alaska Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to identify recommended plans of study for students in secondary education. We encourage high school students and counselors to seek out career exploration, awareness, and pathway programs that may be available and/or adapted for use in your community. Examples of some programs include Tech Prep dual-credit programs, career academies, career awareness clubs, and business/industry sector sponsored programs. For programs available in your area you may contact the University of Alaska office of Workforce Programs or the Alaska Career and Technical Education Consortium.

Links to UA Career Clusters and examples of MAU career pathways:
UA programs cross-walked to Career Clusters
UAA Career Connections:
UAF Major Explorer Guides
UAS Automotive Technology


The University of Alaska system consists of three major urban based campuses, located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau; and 15 community-based campuses throughout the state including Fairbanks, Kotzebue, Nome, Bethel, Dillingham, Kodiak, Soldotna, Homer, Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer, Valdez, Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan, and the Interior/Aleutians campus based in Fairbanks; along with a network of rural training sites working closely with the community campuses and the Cooperative Extension Service.

With over 200 programs in workforce development providing students opportunities to earn certificates, endorsements and degrees in as little as two years; the University of Alaska, through the community campuses, provides the most comprehensive programming for students looking for a fast track to employment while earning credits that can apply to future degrees. Many of these programs are in the high demand and high growth areas needed for the future economic growth of Alaska such as construction, transportation, health, and information technology.

For students who want a more traditional university experience seeking bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees, the University of Alaska offers over 200 programs that prepare graduates for high paying and professional career positions in industries such as business, engineering, education, and research.


*Some programs or courses are offered on a limited basis. Verify availability by contacting your local campus.

**Worksheets are being updated.


  • Occupational Endorsements: 9-29 credit-hours
  • Workforce Certificates: 30 credit-hours minimum
  • Associates Degrees: 60 credit-hours including approximately 30 in college level courses in Oral and Written Communications and General Requirements such as Math, Natural Sciences, Humanities, or Social Sciences and approximately 30 hours selected and developed with industry input for a specific program
  • Bachelor Degrees: 120 credit-hours minimum; generally, a Bachelor of Arts degree is for students studying humanities, arts, or social sciences; a Bachelor of Science degree is for students studying math, science, and engineering
  • Masters Degrees: 30+ credit-hours; students must have earned a Bachelor’s degree in order to be accepted into a Masters degree program
  • Doctoral Degree: credit-hours vary in each program; students seeking Doctoral degrees usually have alre
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