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CIPS, SOCs, and their Relationship
CIPS, SOCs, and their Relationship
Updated over a week ago

CIP Codes

The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) provides a hierarchy that supports the tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity. CIP codes are managed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

SOC Codes

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system is a hierarchy used to classify workers into occupational categories. SOC codes are managed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

CIP-to-SOC Mapping

The CIP-to-SOC mapping connects educational programs with target occupations. Lightcast's CIP-to-SOC mapping is modified from the National Center for Education Statistics’ CIP-to-SOC mapping.

How We Curate the Mapping

Lightcast has a consulting team that works with hundreds of colleges and universities to develop and align their programs with their state and local economies. With that collaboration we’ve been able to further the relevance and alignment of our traditional CIP-to-SOC map. In some instances, you may notice fewer occupations mapped to programs in order to focus on the occupations you’re training for and avoiding ones that may not have been relevant to the skills and training that students are prepared with. In other cases, occupations have been added to show the true demand for those students based on the skills they’ve gained. This improved mapping helps align programs with the true workforce demand.

How We Use the Mapping

Analyst uses the CIP-to-SOC mapping to to help match completions to occupation data, and to help determine similar programs and similar occupations. For example, in the Program Overview in Analyst, when a user enters one or more CIPs they are given similar programs in one section of the report and target occupations in another. Both of these are based off the CIP-to-SOC mapping. Another example is the Occupation Overview Report. A user enters a SOC and as part of the report they are given the top programs by completions that could supply demand for this occupation. The programs identified are based off our CIP-to-SOC mapping.

It May Help You to Know

Some CIP codes do not appear in the mapping, typically because the programs they identify are too generic to map to specific occupations. They include the following two-digit codes and all the specific codes under them in the CIP hierarchy:

  • 32 Basic Skills and Developmental/Remedial Education

  • 33 Citizenship Activities

  • 34 Health-Related Knowledge and Skills

  • 35 Interpersonal and Social Skills

  • 36 Leisure and Recreational Activities

  • 37 Personal Awareness and Self-Improvement

  • 53 High School/Secondary Diplomas and Certificates

  • 95 Undesignated Field of Study

There are also about 75 specific SOC codes which are not mapped to by any CIP code, typically because the occupations they denote are unspecific, learned on the job, or otherwise occupations not trained for in college programs. Here is a small sample of such codes:

  • 25-3031 Substitute Teachers, Short-Term

  • 33-9091 Crossing Guards and Flaggers

  • 35-2011 Cooks, Fast Food

  • 39-6011 Baggage Porters and Bellhops

  • 41-2011 Cashiers

  • 45-2099 Agricultural Workers, All Other

  • 49-9011 Mechanical Door Repairers

  • 51-6011 Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers

  • 53-6021 Parking Attendants

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