Career Pathways

In Colorado, industry-driven, competency-based career pathways ensure that education, training, and workforce systems stay attuned and responsive to the needs of the labor market in order to:

  • Ensure businesses have access to appropriately skilled talent pipeline. 
  • Prepare students and workers with the skills and credentials they need for jobs and careers.

Each year the CWDC adds career pathway information to My Colorado Journey. We are currently organizing the career pathways systems information for behavioral health.

Career Pathway Programs

A career pathway program offers a clear sequence of stackable credits and credentials, combined with support services, which enables students and job-seekers to secure industry-relevant skills, certifications, and credentials and advance to higher levels of education and employment in high-demand occupations.  

Career Pathway System

A career pathway system is made up of multiple career pathway programs that span educational institutions, workforce, and support service partners. A career pathway system aligns public partners and engages them in a continuous conversation that is led by industry to ensure that job seekers and students move seamlessly through and among support programs, educational institutions, training opportunities, and work-based experiences to build skills and credentials that meet industry demand and prepare them for jobs and careers.

Competency-based Hiring, Education, and Training

Colorado is facing a skills gap that, if unaddressed, will diminish the ability of the economy to grow and limit the upward mobility of individuals throughout the state. Shifting our talent development network to embrace a competency-based approach to hiring, education, and training has been identified as a key strategy to address this gap and keep Colorado’s economy and its citizens moving forward. A competency-based approach is necessary because skills are the best predictor of a successful hiring outcome and competency-based models expand access to education opportunities beyond high school. 




Learn more about upskilling efforts taking place in Colorado through the Lives Empowered initiative.

 Lives Empowered

My Colorado Journey

The My Colorado Journey platform includes career pathways that help visitors learn more about careers in Colorado’s growing industries. Students and job seekers can explore in-demand careers and the required education, training, and skills needed for those careers.

 Explore Career Pathways

Interactive, regional career pathways modules exist for eight industries:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Business Operations
  • Construction
  • Cybersecurity
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Information Technology
  • Retail

About My Colorado Journey

My Colorado Journey is a statewide platform that connects individuals to work, education, support services, and planning resources based on their needs, desires, and stage of life. The free resource provides step-by-step guidance for accomplishing career and education goals, whether it's finding the right job or applying to college. Colorado is leading the nation by providing every Coloradan with personalized paths to opportunity and comprehensive support along the way. 

 Learn More

Career Pathway System Building

Colorado Approach

To prepare, publish, and implement career pathways, the CWDC takes a three year approach:

Year 1 - Sector Development

Year 2 - Career Pathways Systems Development

Year 3 - Career Pathways Program Development and Outreach

Sector Development

Organize public partners and businesses through sector strategies to prioritize industry needs and identify critical occupations, knowledge, skills, and abilities in the chosen occupation field.

System Development

CWDC office staff build out the career pathways and publish the information on Careers in Colorado. Pathways are vetted with industry partners to ensure they are responsive to the needs of business.

Program Development & Outreach

Work with public partners to develop education and training programs along the career pathway to enable students and job seekers to secure industry-relevant skills, certifications, and credentials that will help them advance to higher levels of education and employment along the pathway.

How Do I Build Career Pathways?

The CWDC released the Building Industry-Driven Career Pathway Systems in Colorado Step-by-Step Guide in the fall of 2016. This guide outlines a step-by-step approach to building industry-driven career pathway systems that align education and training programs with the needs of the regional economy to ensure that students and job seekers are prepared the right skills and experiences to get jobs in the driving sectors of their local economies. This guide is designed for workforce boards, educational institutions, and employers seeking to build a career pathway system for their community.

To view this guide and other career pathway building resources, check out our career pathways resources.