School of Workforce and Economic Development

Foundation Centre 209
3591 Anderson Street

Madison WI 53704

Schauna Rasmussen
(608) 243-4478

Jamie Reinart
Administrative Coordinator
(608) 243-4710

MAIL: 1701 Wright Street, Madison WI 53704

Career Pathways

Career Pathways at Madison College

Career Pathways connect and align the steps in your pathway from education to work. Career Pathways include short-term, stackable credentials that lead to a degree and jobs in high-demand industries. 

More options give you greater flexibility as you build your education and career. No matter where you are in your career pathway, find your next steps at Madison College. Explore your pathway options

Why Career Pathways?


  • Flexible options: Career pathways prepare you for work or for further education. There are multiple entry and exit points to education and work.
  • Accessible choices: Education is portioned into “doable chunks.” You can complete part of your education with a smaller up-front cost and time commitment. If you need to stop out of college, you may leave with a credential to show for your effort.
  • More success: An earned credential builds confidence and skill. This increases the motivation to continue on to the next highest level of education.
  • Better job opportunities: Career specific skills training supports higher wage potential when you enter the workforce. 


  • Supported by business and industry: Employers identify the skills needed in employees they want to hire. The college develops programs to teach these skills. Employers confirm the hiring demand for workers with these skills.
  • Speeds the timeline for work readiness: Through short-term training options, you can quickly gain the skills to get a job. Chunked curriculum allows you to enter or return to the workforce sooner. Alternative delivery methods enable you to work while attending school.
  • Increases the number of skilled workers: Students are prepared to get jobs and advance in their jobs by connecting work to training. Training is designed to fill entry-level positions in high-demand fields. More students will be able to enter education and learn the skills needed to increase our skilled workforce.  


  • The U.S. labor force will need five million more individuals with postsecondary credentials than are projected to exist by 2020.
  • Projections indicate that 65 percent of all jobs will require education and training beyond high school.
  • 18 percent of all jobs will require college-level education and skills training of less than an associate degree.
  • Career Pathways expand options and access for all types of students. These opportunities for success in college serve to develop a skilled workforce.
Build Your Path

Some Career Pathways offer “embedded” or “stacked” credentials. Embedded credentials lead to entry-level jobs on the career path. 

These smaller credentials can be earned as a quicker route to employment. Or you can stack more credentials to earn the larger degree that they are embedded in. This lets you gain skills by completing one credential at a time. After completing a credential, you might find a job or continue your education in the next higher credential. You might also enter the workforce for a while and later return to college for the next credential. This offers manageable steps toward better jobs.

Embedded credentials help you to:

  • Complete an embedded credential in a shorter time frame and lesser cost than the larger program it is embedded in.
  • Earn a credential and learn skills leading to an in-demand job opportunity.
  • Build credits toward a college degree.
  • Find employment or to continue your education.
  • Raise career and earning potential with each step.

Career Pathways at Madison College that include stacked or embedded credentials: 

Pathway Connections

Career Pathways follows a framework. It connects and aligns the components of a Career Pathway. This offers multiple college entry and exit points for every type of student. It also increases efficiency and reduces excess credit.

The components of a Career Pathway include:

While all programs can be part of a Career Pathway, not all pathways will include every component. 

Find a Career Pathway that's right for you.