South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) - EEDA Career Clusters

School of Arts, Media & Communication

Arts, AV/ Technology, and Communications Cluster

You may not think you have an artistic side, but plenty of people who would rather mow the lawn than read poetry are happily employed in arts and communications careers. You don’t have to be on the front line of artistic creation to play an important role in this lively and exciting sector. In South Carolina, some 40 occupations provide employment for more than 40,000 people in Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications. A large number of these people work in technical occupations that, while they might not seem particularly artistic, actually make the successful communication of emotions and ideas possible.

The expression of ideas is like any other business: Someone has to create the product, and someone has to deliver it. For art and communications to work, both creation and delivery of the product are essential. Shakespeare was a great writer, but you wouldn’t be studying his works in school if it hadn’t been for the printing press. For example, on the production and delivery of the product, printing is a big business. Printing is the country’s third largest manufacturing industry employing over 1.2 million people nationwide with sales over $160 billion in 2001. Despite all the talk about “starving artists,” employment opportunities on the creative side are abundant. Some of the highest-paying and fastest-growing occupations in the state’s arts sector are creative jobs. Also, careers in the telecommunications area which deals with the electronic transmission and display of information are wave-of-the-future technical fields that are growing rapidly. More details about Arts, AV/ Technology, and Communications Cluster....»

School of Business, Marketing & Information Systems

Business, Management & Administration

Are you suited for business? You can become anything from a receptionist to a CEO by choosing a career in Business, Management, and Administration. So what kinds of jobs are available in this cluster? How many are there? How much do they pay? People with business skills make the deals that build profitable companies that power the global economy. This area prepares learners to plan and evaluate various business functions in order to ensure that a company is efficient and productive.

Overall, more than 150 occupations fall into this cluster area, and there are more than 400,000 jobs in the area in South Carolina. The Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts that this area is projected to be one of the fastest expanding areas through 2008. It is also one of the highest paying, with nearly half of the jobs in the managerial or professional occupations. If you have ever wanted to be your own boss and own your own company, this area is for you. Nearly one-fourth of all workers in this area are self-employed.

One of the best things about a major in this cluster is that your education and experience will be transferable to a variety of fields ranging from agriculture to health care. If you really master how business works, you will be far less likely to find yourself unemployed for long when downsizing hits particular parts of the job market. More details about Business, Management & Administration....»


Are you interested in money? Have you ever wondered how the stock market works? Do you want to know how to save and invest for the future? People who work in the finance cluster might be found at the local bank, insurance agency, business, or the stock broker’s office. They help people manage their finances as well as guide them in saving and investing for the future.

Workers in the finance area range from the bookkeeper at a local company to the CEO of a bank, insurance agency, or stock brokerage firm. Some of the workers in this area design the accounting system to be used for a business or industry. Others maintain the accounting system to determine how profitable a business is. Still others insure the business or personal property against such disasters as fire, flood, theft, hurricanes, or other natural disasters... The insurance agency will also write policies to protect you in time of sickness or accident. You will also find workers in this area who work on Wall Street selling and buying stocks and bonds for customers. The local stock broker’s office works with individuals to help them invest and save for the future.

The finance cluster is a critical sector of the United States economy. Over six million people work in the area. While growth is predicted to be moderate, the advances in technology will bring about challenging opportunities in this area. There will be new jobs available in this area as well as a need to replace experienced workers as they leave their jobs. More details Finance....»

Hospitality & Tourism

In Hospitality and Tourism, the object is to help people relax and have fun. If you’re good at putting people at ease, if you can deliver prompt, first-class service, and if you can do so in a way that makes people feel good, then this could be the cluster for you. This career cluster has opportunities galore. The number one industry in South Carolina employs more than 160,000 workers and pumps $14.7 billion into the state’s economy each year.

Many of the jobs in Hospitality and Tourism are entry-level positions, but the industry is know for promoting from within and for employing a large number of young managers. More than eight out of 10 employees who earn annual salaries at table-service restaurants nationwide started as hourly employees, and restaurants employ more minority managers than any other industry.

Business management skills are as important in getting ahead in this area as the people skills. You will need to know how to use a computer, balance accounts, and how to put together a business strategy. This is in addition to the people skills needed to make people feel at home. If you want to run your own business, be prepared for long hours on the job. Above all, be ready for changes; talented people rise quickly in Hospitality and Tourism. More details Hospitality & Tourism....»

Information Technology

Information Technology is at the heart of the 21st century economy, and as IT generates the jobs of the future, taking steps to grab one of them could be the best career move you’ll every make. Between 1995 and 1999 IT accounted for one-third of all real U.S. economic growth and a whopping 50 percent of growth in productivity. Even when business turned bad in 2001 and layoffs swept through the high-tech businesses, IT continued to boost productivity. As technical advances in communications coverage with ever  smaller, faster, and cheaper computer hardware and software, the revolutionary effects of IT on business and the economy are nowhere close to the end.

Careers in IT are varied. Some workers in this field write the programs or code to tell a computer how to complete a task. These workers talk with the people who want a computer to complete a task to determine their needs. After writing the program, the program is tested for bugs and corrected. Others in this field troubleshoot problems with both hardware and software. At times, they also train the user on how to use the software. People who work in the networking area of IT link computers together that allow the sharing of information within an organization or between organizations. If you like the web, you might be interested in how websites are created. Or games might be your interest. How are those games created?

Don’t rule out IT, particularly if you’re a good communicator and like working on team projects. Ninety-two percent of IT employees work in IT departments of non-IT companies like banks, utilities, auto manufacturers, etc. IT is embedded in companies across the economy. More details about Information Technology....»

Marketing, Sales & Service

Do you like to shop? Can you convince a friend to buy one product over another one? Do you think you would like to own your own company? If you do, this could be the career cluster for you. Workers in this area forecast, buy, display, and sell items to customers.

There are several possibilities in this area. Workers may research the competitor to make sure their company has the edge. People in marketing research may also help to design new products and predict how this new product will be accepted. Also, workers in this area coordinate the promotion of the product either through print ads, TV ads, or the internet. For these workers, the computer becomes an essential tool. If a company buys its products to sell to the customers, someone has to decide what to buy and how to present it so that the product sells. The company also needs people who sell their product. Entrepreneurs take an idea they have for a company and turn it into a reality by starting their own business. They then become responsible for the daily operations as well as advertising, selling, and marketing the product. Products must also be delivered to the customers. Someone has to be in charge of deciding how to get the raw materials needed to make the product or how to get the finished product to the customer.

The jobs in the cluster area are varied. According to the latest statistics, there are over 16 million jobs in Marketing, Sales & Service. Employment opportunities are expected to be good. Great opportunities await you in Marketing, Sales & Service. More details about Marketing, Sales & Service....»

School of Engineering, Manufacturing & Environmental Sciences

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Have you ever wondered how the food gets to your table? Have you ever wondered who is taking care of our natural resources and why this is important? Do you like animals, both small and large? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then a career in Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources could be for you. This is a wide area that covers not only food production but also the care of the environment we live in, the animals in our world, and processes and procedures for improvement in all of these areas.

The area of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources provides a wide variety of job opportunities for you. You can study the growth of plants to determine how to continue to supply food and fiber crops to a growing population while conserving natural resources and maintaining the environment. Some workers in this area work with animal systems to develop better, more efficient ways of producing and processing meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Others work with small animals to train, feed, water, groom, bathe, and exercise the animals. There are those workers who design and landscape the yard of a home or business to improve the outward appearance. Workers in the environmental and natural resources area work to maintain the environment we live in so that our natural resources are protected.

Here are a couple of facts about South Carolina you may not have known. South Carolina is home to the only tea farm in North America. The top cash crops in South Carolina are greenhouse/nursery and tobacco. South Carolina ranks 2nd in the nation in the production of peaches, flue-cured tobacco and collard greens. There are 4,700,000 acres of farmland in the state and over 12 million acres of forestland, with 74% privately owned. Based on these few facts, there are many opportunities for you in Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources. More details about Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources....»

Architecture & Construction

Are you good at working your hands? Can you think in 3-D? Do you like to work outdoors? Are you creative, a designer and dreamer who likes to think outside the box and forge ideas into reality. Do you like following a plan and carrying out instructions to the letter? Do you prefer being your boss and directing a team toward a common goal? Guess what? A career in this cluster area might be just want you are looking for.

Jobs are varied in this area. The architect must design the home or building that is to be built and prepare for construction projects. Many times, the architect oversees the building. Workers with various skills are needed to complete the building—carpenters, brick masons, electricians, plumbers, etc. Other workers with the same skills as those who build the home or building are needed to maintain the structures once they are built. People who work in maintenance may own their own maintenance business.

By 2015, 14 million new construction workers will be needed nationwide. There are not enough younger workers replacing the older workers who are now retiring. You can enter this profession as a helper and work your way up to your name on the truck. Does this sound like an opportunity for you? More details about Architecture & Construction....»


Do you like working with your hands? Do you like to design? Do you want to know how equipment works and how to repair it? If so, then a career in the manufacturing industry could be for you. Workers in this area design products for customers, manufacture them, and assure that the product meets the specifications of the customer.

Workers in this area have a wide array of possibilities. Some workers are responsible for the design of the product according to a customer’s guidelines. They must also decide the best way to produce this product. Other workers must make sure that the raw materials are available when needed in the manufacturing process. Also, they must make sure that the product reaches the customer in a timely manner. As the product is manufactured, the product must be checked to make sure that it meets the specifications of the order. The machines used in the production process must be maintained to ensure that the product is manufactured according to specifications and deadlines are met.

The manufacturing industry in South Carolina accounts for 26% of all payrolls in the state. This industry is also among South Carolina’s largest state employers with 330,000 people. If you like being part of a team that designs and produces a product for a customer, this could be an area for you. More details about Manufacturing....»

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

To boldly go where no one has gone before is the hallmark of human progress and the prevailing spirit in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics careers. If you’ve got the urge to figure out how things work and advance the frontiers of knowledge, a career in this area might be right for you. These jobs pay well because technological progress is so important to the growth of our economy, to our country’s security, and to the quality of future life on Earth.

Over the last fifty years, advances in science and engineering have produced more than half of the nation’s economic growth. Economists agree that no other investment yields a greater long-term economic return than money spent on scientific research and development (R&D). In 2000, spending on R&D in South Carolina exceeded $1.1 billion, and most of the R&D was carried out by private industry.

More than 35,000 people are employed in more than 60 types of science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs in South Carolina. Eight of the state’s 25 highest-paying jobs are in science and engineering (not including occupations in medicine or information technology).

Not every career you might pick has the potential to simultaneously enrich your life, further the national interest, and advance world civilization. At the end of the day practically every occupation offers the satisfaction of a job well done, but the pursuit of a Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics career can meet the expectations of someone who likes to think big. More details about Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics....»

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Think about it. Without transportation, the nation would grind to a halt. Planes, trains, and automobiles move people, goods, and materials across the country. Travelers circle the globe and freighters carry out exports overseas. Choosing a career in transportation puts you in the center of all of this action.

Workers in the Transportation, Distribution & Logistics cluster area provide a variety of services designed to move us and products around the country and the globe. Some workers in this area plan how to move the people and products to their destinations. Others transport the people or products by driving the vehicles or piloting the airplanes. Still others make sure that the vehicles that are used in transportation remain in safe operating condition to ensure the safety of the passengers, products, and drivers. There are also workers who design and plan the operation of public transportation

From automotive service to traffic planning, transportation careers can put you in the driver’s seat. More details about Transportation, Distribution & Logistics....»

School of Health Science

Health Science

Nearly 120,000 people in South Carolina are employed in hundreds of different Health Science occupations. Most of the people who work in Health Science are not physicians. In fact, there are seven times as many registered nurses in South Carolina as there are doctors. People in Health Science also work with animals (veterinarians), computers (medical records administrators), radioactive materials (nuclear medicine technologists), and teeth (dental hygienists). The one thing these jobs have in common is that they are all part of organized systems which deliver care by maintaining and restoring health.

Generally, people in Health Science must have a caring nature, because they are there to help; they need to know science, because they have to understand something about how a living thing works to assist it back to health. Workers in this area must pay close attention to getting the details right because so much is riding on what they do.

People in this area can expect to be in high demand in the years to come. The main reason for this is the increasing population of elderly people. In the next 25 years, the number of people aged 65 or over in the state is expected to double to more than 1,290,000. Older people need more healthcare; the older the population is, the greater the demand for healthcare workers. What is great about the Health Science cluster is that it offers opportunities across the board. While the number of doctors is growing, the really booming jobs are those that play supporting roles in delivering healthcare.

South Carolina’s booming Health Science sector needs you, and there are lots of ways to be part of the action. More details about Health Science....»

School of Public & Human Services

Education and Training

Have you ever had a light bulb suddenly go on in your brain when a teacher explained something that you hadn’t been able to figure out? Did a teacher ever help you solve a tough problem, or for the first time make the learning process relevant to your life? If so, you know the power this profession has to make a difference. Great teachers understand that life is an adventure and know how to use learning to put students in the middle of the action.

There are as many kinds of teachers as there are subjects in the realm of knowledge. You can teach students how to play basketball, write a poem, or bake a turkey. Principals, counselors, librarians, and other professionals all work in schools to help students make the most of their education

The great news is that employment opportunities abound in education. Experts predict that over the next ten years the nation will need 2.2 to 2.4 million teachers. In South Carolina that means there will be openings for 30,000 to 40,000 teachers in the state’s elementary, middle, and high schools. You can help young people build their futures and enrich your own with a career in education and training. More details about Education and Training....»

Government & Public Administration

Have you ever thought about becoming a senator or even the president? Have you ever thought about working overseas in an embassy or a consulate? Have you ever thought about who watches over our national security? The people who work in this area are in some form of governance either at the local, state, or national level.

This cluster includes the elected and appointed officials whose responsibility is to make and execute public policy. Workers in the foreign service work in the embassies and consulates of the United States. One of their duties is to assist citizens who travel abroad. Other workers in this area plan and regulate growth and revitalization of urban, suburban, and rural communities. In order to assure that the governments—local, state, and federal—have the funds necessary to carry out policy, there must be workers who review tax returns, conduct audits, and collect overdue taxes.

There are a variety of opportunities available in this cluster. Some will allow you to work in your local community, in your state, in your country, or in foreign countries. If the workings of a government agency interest you, this might be the career cluster for you. More details about Government & Public Administration....»

Law, Public Safety & Security

Do you like to help others? Are you interested in law? If so, careers in this cluster area could be for you. A career in this cluster will allow you to help your community by providing law, fire, and public safety services.

There are a variety of opportunities available in Law, Public Safety & Security. You might be interested in how the court system in our country operates. Judges, attorneys, paralegals, and others work together to ensure that the laws and regulations of our legal system are carried out fairly and justly for all. The law enforcement officers provide protection for the citizens in the community. Emergency services are provided by the fire department and emergency medical service. Correction officers are needed to oversee the individuals who have been convicted of a crime and are serving a sentence for that crime.

There are many ways in this cluster that you can help your community. If you are a caring person who also has an interest in the law, this cluster area could be for you. More details about Law, Public Safety & Security....»

Human Services

Do you like physical fitness training? Can you cut your friend’s hair? If so, this cluster area could be for you.

Workers in this cluster area provide services to the community through a variety of ways. The workers in the personal care area provide cosmetology and barber services to the people. Counseling is provided for the community through both private and public agencies. This counseling may include employment counseling, career options, or personal or family problems. There are many young children who spend their day in a day care center in the community. These day care centers need workers. Other workers in this area provide help with financial planning, real estate, or credit counseling.

The services provided in this cluster area could be provided by a private agency or through a community agency such as Red Cross or Meals on Wheels. If you like to help people in the community, you should consider a career in this cluster area. More details about Human Services....»

The Career Clusters icons are being used with permission of the: States’ Career Clusters Initiative, 2006,