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Iowa Career Pathways


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There are lots of career opportunities in Iowa in fields such as information technology, advanced manufacturing and the building trades. But lack of information about these careers has led to shortages in a skilled workforce.

To that end, the Iowa Department of Education is conducting exploratory research and developing career pathway materials for the many career sectors and opportunities available in Iowa. This was done in collaboration with a wide range of business, industry or trade associations, individual employers and service providers, as well as other public and private strategic partners.

Career pathways are designed to educate and inform our students and workforce about the occupations available, and how to effectively enter and successfully navigate them here in Iowa.

The information in the career pathways doesn’t cover every occupation. Rather, it is intended to provide the student, job-seeker, parent, educator and others with a high-level view of some in-demand or growing positions. The pathways guide the reader in evaluating which of these jobs are of interest and worthy of further research through the online Future Ready Iowa Career Coach tool, allowing users to customize labor, salary, education and other information based on their specific location within the state.

Information Technology

Information technology professionals connect and empower our communities every day in Iowa through safe, reliable, and innovative technologies and services. Steady demand for these products and services to fuel a growing economy, the continued blending of our physical and digital identities, and a growing number of tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple relocating to or expanding operations within the state requires skilled Iowans able to design, operate, and maintain these complex technologies, networks, websites, and associated vehicles, machinery, and equipment. Types of occupations include those in application and product design, programming and development, data management and analytics, infrastructure and networking, security and quality assurance, and sales and client relations.

Opportunities in IT: Iowa (2017) - A brief overview of some of the careers available in information technology fields in Iowa.

Opportunities in IT: Iowa (2020) - A more in-depth view of a wider range of IT careers in Iowa, including pictures, testimonials, and additional information to consider.


There are wide range of exciting and well-paying career opportunities for every type of person in Energy and related fields in Iowa. Types of occupations are spread between the six general areas of craft and skilled trades, planning and design, production and operations, transmission and distribution, security and information solutions, and sales and business operations.

Opportunities in Energy: Iowa Career Pathways (2021)

Advanced Manufacturing

Careers in advanced manufacturing are expected to continue to grow in Iowa, largely due to amazing and innovative advances in technologies with robotics, augmented and virtual reality, and 3D printers. This growth will further increase the need for quality advanced manufacturing education and training programs across the state.

Opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing: Iowa

Health Sciences

Careers in the health sciences are expected to continue to grow in Iowa, largely due to an aging population and related health care needs. Much of this growth will include more common occupations, such as doctors and nurses, but also incorporates advances in technology for fast-growing, high-paying areas of diagnostic testing, biotechnology research, and health informatics.

Opportunities in Health Sciences: Iowa

Building Trades (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering - ACE)

Careers in the building trades are expected to continue to grow in Iowa, largely due to increased retirements and steady demand for residential, commercial, and infrastructure projects. Advances in technology will also continue to change how we practice these careers that span the more typical skilled trades, but also including design, engineering, architecture, logistics, management, and sales career paths.

Opportunities in Building Trades: Iowa

Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL)

These materials introduce readers to the fast-paced and growing TDL industry and the diverse and interesting careers that play a role in the movement and storage of materials, goods, and people by land, air, rail, and water throughout the state of Iowa.

Opportunities in Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

Business and Financial Services

Business and financial services professionals are the backbone of Iowa’s economy. These innovative and hard-working individuals provide the necessary skills, knowledge, and abilities to keep businesses from all industries running smoothly, handle the finances of our community members securely, and maintain the necessary edge to be successful in an increasingly competitive and broadening global market. Types of occupations are grouped in this resource across areas of management and operations, information and risk, people and culture, banking and finance, logistics and supply chain, and marketing and sales.

Opportunities in Business & Financial Services: Iowa

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

There are many different types of employers, service providers and others involved in the process for planning, producing and providing safe, quality and reliable agricultural, food and natural resource products or services to help feed, power and otherwise improve the lives of those in our communities in Iowa.

A series of virtual employer roundtables were held in October 2021 to better understand and develop career pathways materials for these diverse fields. Employers who work in or have experience with these areas provided direct feedback and guidance. A closing project survey is now open for a final review of and feedback for proposed resources at the link below. A final product will then be released by the end of December 2021.

Iowa Careers in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Project - Closing Survey (Collection Window: Monday, Nov. 22 through Friday, Dec. 3, 2021)



Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on December 08, 2021 at 4:59pm.