Career Pathways

Where demand meets supply.

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

What is Colorado's approach to being more competency-based?

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. As a state, our system is pursuing four outcomes that, when achieved, will ensure that competency-based models are ingrained throughout the talent development network. 


Meeting Talent Demand

CWDC worked with partners to develop a comprehensive career pathways framework. This framework defines what a career pathway is and shares the knowledge necessary for you to get involved with this systems building work as an employer, career navigator, service provider, or job seeker.

What’s the difference between a career pathway system and a career pathway program?

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.  A career pathway system is made up of multiple career pathway programs that span educational institutions, workforce and support service partners. These programs are all oriented around a shared understanding of the needs of industry. Often times, tools like career pathway maps are used to talk with students and job seekers about how they can progress through education and training experiences to obtain employment that meets his or her goals.


Guiding Talent Supply

If you are interested in exploring the in-demand career pathways in Colorado? Visit to learn about the top industries in the state and to explore career pathways that meet your interests.

Careers in Colorado is a free online resource to 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. Interactive, regional career pathways modules exist for healthcare, construction, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.