Frequently Asked Questions

Career Clusters are broad occupational groupings based on a set of common knowledge and skills, while Career Focus is a sub-grouping of occupations and career specialties. Similar to the way Career Clusters are organized, Career Focuses are also grouped based on their requirements for a set of common knowledge and skills for career success.

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Apprenticeship is a structured system of training designed to prepare individuals for skilled occupations. It combines on-the-job learning under the supervision of experienced journey workers with related classroom instruction. It is sponsored by employers, employer associations, or labor/management groups that can hire and train in a working situation.

The employment opportunity is the most basic requirement for an apprenticeship. Without a job there is no "on-the-job" learning, and such training represents about 90% of the program. Apprentices who successfully complete the prescribed number of training hours in an apprenticeship program become certified skilled workers.

A written agreement between the apprentice and the sponsor is registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, Department of Workforce Development.

The two-year Applied Associate Degree program (full-time) combines technical skills (except liberal arts) with general education, such as math, communications and social sciences. Credits in this type of program tend to transfer more readily than in the diploma programs. Applied Associate degree programs are offered at Wisconsin technical colleges.

A Technical Diploma program helps you learn occupational skills, hands-on and some programs can take as little as one or two years to complete, respectively, for full-time students. Short-Term (less than one year) Diploma These short-term programs focus on one particular occupation and can take less than a year to complete if attending full-time. Technical diploma programs are offered at Wisconsin technical colleges.

The Liberal Arts Transfer program provides the first two years of a four-year college education (bachelor degree). Credits readily transfer to four-year institutions. An Associate of Arts & Science degree is offered at the University of Wisconsin Colleges. An Associate of Science degree is available at Chippewa Valley Technical College and Western Technical College. Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degrees are available at Madison Area Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Nicolet Area Technical College.