It's a new way of talking about work...

Start positive conversations with the Career Clusters

Use the Career Clusters to guide career education in your school or educational setting. Simply apply for verification below

Find out where your students fit

Research shows that there are common traits, tasks, and ways of working that go beyond industries or jobs.

By shifting the focus from which job or industry, to “Which Cluster?”, it becomes much easier for students to identify where they fit and to start talking about the possibilities. Let’s take a quick look at the six (6) Career Clusters:

Guardians protect our mental and physical wellbeing. They help us care for our health, and guard against illness and injury.

Coordinators are the people who plan, prepare, and administer our events, systems and economy. They play a vital role in making sure everything runs smoothly.

Innovators design, engineer, and manufacture things we use in all areas of our lives, from the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, the homes we live in and the roads we drive on.

Linkers help us find, choose, secure, and use things. They can help us with products and physical items, or with the services and support we need.

Informers advise, teach, and guide us so we can manage our legal, social, and financial responsibilities, and participate in society.

Makers create and maintain the places where we live and work. They grow crops, build homes, repair vehicles, and keep the power on.

The Career Clusters Student Quiz and Teaching Resource Pack explain them in greater detail – best of all, they’re free to use in schools.

What do the Career Clusters do?

They make career choices to be about skills, interests, motivations, and strengths (rather than job titles or industries).

Drawn from extensive research started by the Foundation for Young Australians in 2017 and famously talked about in career education circles globally, the Career Clusters is a way of talking about jobs in terms of skills, interests, motivations, and strengths.

Every workplace needs every Career Cluster, so when you know what your Career Clusters are, it’s easier to then look for careers that match.

It’s an educational tool unlike any other

Launched in early 2023, the Career Clusters essentially gives you a new way of talking about careers.

Unlike more detailed psychometric tools that sometimes take 1 – 2 hours to complete (and may not be suitable for all of your students), the Career Clusters is quick, easy to use, and applicable for anyone to take. The main thing is it gives you a starting point for career conversations, which are often a challenge to have with many young people.

How good is the tool in schools? Well, without any advertising, the Career Clusters have spread by word-of-mouth to over 750 schools in 13 different countries – in less than a year. Discover for yourself why it’s so popular by registering to get free access below.

“…we had done some psychometric testing for careers, by found that it was just too long and just a little bit confusing and daunting for our students at school. So the Clusters worked really well, that it was just an easy five-minute quiz.”

Help students to find their Career Cluster

By asking a series of 30 questions in a ‘this answer or that answer’ format, we can give an indication of a person’s Career Cluster – which then makes the next steps of looking at career possibilities much clearer.

  • Discover how your skills/interests/motivations/strengths can benefit society
  • Widen a student’s view of the possible career options they could have
  • Great as an introduction exercise for careers from Year 7 to Senior/Sixth Form/College

Most importantly, it doesn’t give students a ‘label’ – it just shows them where they might start looking next and gives them some great suggestions.

Ready to teach resources

We know from working with Career Leaders that it’s not about your ability to deliver a great program, it’s about the time needed to put it together. 

So we’ve created a range of free teaching resources to help you run Career Cluster lessons or special events at your school (think Family/Teacher Evenings). These include:

  • Career Cluster Resource Pack (for educators)
  • Career Cluster Student Workbook 
  • Presentation Slides – in three teaching units
  • Presentation Slides – in one (high-level) teaching unit
  • Unlimited student access to the Career Cluster Quiz

It’s everything you need to start great career conversations at school.

It's easy because it takes just 5-10 minutes

Some educators have told us their students have done hours-long tests only to come out the other end feeling exhausted and confused about their results.

That’s why the Career Clusters is so popular – because it’s an enjoyable tool for both students and Career Counsellors to use at school in just minutes.

  • It can be presented, done, and results talked about within one standard lesson timeframe
  • The Student Quiz takes just 5-10 minutes for most students to answer
  • Career Counsellors can use it in 1-1 counselling sessions too
  • Greater than 99.5% finish rate by students

We even provide a full Teacher Resource kit in PDF with slide shows, videos and step-by-step instructions to make it super easy to use.

It’s engaging because the concepts are relatable

Have a quick look at this video to see what we mean:

The Cluster names were deliberately chosen to be approachable by students – and in practice, that’s exactly what happens.

Nealy every student can self-identify with one or more of the Clusters (no matter how disconnected they are with the concept of work). But the great thing is where previously an answer might have been “I don’t know/don’t care” changes to being “Which jobs are in that Cluster?” – which is a fantastic result for your careers program.

You’ll find in practice that it’s so good that you might want to use it with both students AND parents at information evenings, career expo days, and open days at your school. Best of all, it’s entirely for free.

It’s trusted because it’s based on quality research

Everything at Ponder Education has been designed by a Senior Career Practitioner using best practice methodologies. 

And that includes the Career Clusters resources.

Unlike many online ‘tests’ (and sadly, some psychometric frameworks), the Career Clusters is based on quality research started by the FYA, but also includes ideas drawn from other leading ways of talking with and assessing students on their strengths and interests.

Like to read our research? 

Download a free copy of the Career Clusters Report here.

"I'm still finding more ways to use the clusters"

I see it as a helpful first filter for the students who are struggling with the paradox of career choice we have available in our world today. I’ve got to admit…. me too! Thanks for all your great work in this space. It really is making the lives of career teachers in schools a whole lot easier!!

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

If you speak and teach in English, then yes. 

The Career Clusters is now used in over 700 schools in 12 countries (including the USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Sweden). No matter where you are, if you’re an educational institution, we’d love to welcome you to our community. 

The Career Clusters Quiz, resources, and basic dashboard is entirely free for your school to use. As a Social Enterprise, it’s important to us that schools have access to quality resources and materials at either a low cost or for free. That’s why we do what we do.

No. Whilst the Career Clusters is a psychometric test, it is designed as a starting point for career conversations. It is based on real-world research and since launch, has proven to be highly accurate for students and adults alike. 

Students are sent their results via email upon completion of the quiz, and as a free member school using the Career Clusters, you’ll see an aggregated result of your student results (showing how many of your students fit into each cluster). Study Work Grow Essentials Member schools also get access to individual student results, which helps in career counselling conversations.

To find out more about an Essentials Membership and how it can help you at school, click here

No. When students take the Career Cluster quiz using your unique school link, they will be asked to enter some basic details such as their name, Year/Grade level, and school controlled email address. And that’s all. 

This is so that we can email their results to their school email account to look at afterwards (and talk with their parents about), and so that educators with a Study Work Grow Essentials Membership can see their student results. 

Apply to use the Career Clusters for free at your school today ​

The Career Clusters is designed for educational use, so all you need to do is apply for free access.  

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