O*NET® Products at Work
The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration introduced the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to the public in 1998. Since that time, its impact on workforce development, career counseling, educational programming and human resource activities has quickly expanded, both in the U.S. and around the world. O*NET Products at Work provides examples of the widespread use of O*NET OnLine, the O*NET database, the Toolkit for Business, and the O*NET Career Exploration Tools.
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Download a list of books, research papers, and websites referencing O*NET products and tools:
O*NET Reference List (XLSX - 118 KB)
Research or technical report [X]
To identify O*NET KSAs and work values that relate to deeper learning competencies across a variety of jobs and to determine whether or not occupations' Job Zones and Bright Outlook status relate to the six most prominent learning competencies.
Computerization and the Future of Jobs in Norway from The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy
O*NET task statements provided the foundation for a study on the effect of computerization on the future of jobs in Norway. Researchers evaluated tasks from 903 O*NET occupations to determine the susceptibility of jobs to technological innovation: whether or not computers could perform tasks more inexpensively and with comparable quality to human performance.
Classifying US Army Military Occupational Specialties Using the Occupational Information Network from Army STARRS
The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) research team conducted a study to classify US Army Military occupational specialties with data on the 246 O*NET descriptors. The purpose was to derive scales to study the effects of job conditions on soldier health and job functioning across Army Military Occupation Specialties (MOSs) and Areas of Concentration (AOCs). The team found that O*NET classifications apply effectively to Army MOS/AOCs, enabling a greater understanding of the impact of military job characteristics to soldier outcomes such as job satisfaction, work performance, and health.
The O*NET occupational taxonomy is used as a framework for identifying predictors of performance in the United States Air Force roles of remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA) pilot and sensor operator (SO).
Rotman Research Institute used O*NET data for a National Institutes of Health study on occupation attributes and dementia. The O*NET database proved to be an invaluable resource, providing comparable variables across a wide range of occupations. The database provided a basis for the assessment of the characteristics of patients' occupations and for the subsequent task of relating these characteristics to cognitive style and brain degeneration in various forms of dementia.
A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York titled Human Capital and Economic Activity in Urban America (Abel & Gabe, 2008) examined the relationship between human capital (educational attainment and other knowledge measures) and economic activity in U.S. metropolitan areas. The following is from their study. To arrive at the knowledge variables used in our analysis, we matched occupational categories between the O*NET system and 2000 U.S. Census. In many cases, we combined multiple O*NET occupations into a single Census category. Following the general approach used by Ingram and Neumann (2006) and Lakdawalla and Philipson (2007), we utilized the average value of the knowledge importance or level across multiple occupations in the O*NET data. With this information then available for 470 Census occupations, we calculated a knowledge index that is the product of the knowledge importance and the knowledge level. Feser (2003) used the same approach, noting that it places a greater emphasis on high knowledge that is relevant to a given occupation.
Harvard Business School students conducted a study (Hanna, 2008), to assess the potential for the offshoring of more than 800 occupations in the U.S. economy. The O*NET database served as the source of occupational information for the study on descriptors such as tasks, knowledges, and skills. The student researchers considered the information in the O*NET database and then rated occupations on a scale of 1 to 100 depending on whether the occupations’ tasks could easily be performed offshore. The students estimated that between 21 and 42 percent of all U.S. jobs are potentially offshorable.
Martin Prosperity Institute conducted research to examine the relationship between wages and the skills required in the workforce within a regional area. Using the O*NET database, they performed a cluster analysis to identify three broad skill types - analytical, social intelligence, and physical skills. They also conducted a regression analysis using O*NET data to quantify how each skill contributes to regional prosperity. The institute found that analytical and social intelligence skills have a significant positive relationship with regional wages, while physical skills have a negative relationship. In addition, their research found that analytical skills are more closely related to regional wages than are social intelligence skills. They also determined that analytical and social intelligence skills increasingly result in positive impacts on wages over time and that the positive impact of physical skills on wages has decreased over time.
The Editorial Projects in Educational Research Center, a non-profit tax-exempt organization, conducted a study published online in Education Week. The study, Learning and Earning (Swanson, 2007), was part of the Diplomas Count series which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The study examined the relationship between education and pay using the O*NET database and data obtained from the 2005 American Community Survey. The study was based on the strong correlation between educational attainment and O*NET job zones. Results showed that only a small percent of people working in low job zones have attained the levels of education or training associated with high job zones and vice versa. Researchers looked at median incomes within each of the five O*NET Job Zones. One of their findings was that median incomes for workers in Job Zone 1 occupations are about 20 percent of the median income for workers in Job Zone 5 occupations.
Ability versus Personality: Factors that Predict Em ployee Job Performance from Center for Hospitality Research of Cornell University
The Center for Hospitality Research of Cornell University conducted a study titled, Ability versus Personality: Factors that Predict Em ployee Job Performance (Tracey, Sturman & Tews, 2007). The researchers used O*NET definitions, education and training requirements, tasks, and required knowledges, skills, and abilities as part of their research to test the hypothesis that cognitive ability is more important for predicting performance among inexperienced employees than among experienced employees in frontline restaurant jobs. In addition, they hypothesized that conscientiousness was more valid for predicting performance among experienced employees than inexperienced employees. These hypotheses were supported in their research.
The Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri was called on to provide data to attract a germanium wafer (a solar cell semiconductor component) manufacturer to Quapaw, Oklahoma. Oklahoma is part of a four-state WIRED region, so workforce data on all four states was analyzed, using EMSI’s labor market tool, Strategic Advantage. Strategic Advantage uses O*NET data to define the knowledges, skills, and abilities available to employers in a region. With this data, the WIB was able to clearly demonstrate the skills and availability of workers in the area. The manufacturer was convinced that the small town of Quapaw had the necessary workforce, resulting in a $51 million investment and 250 new jobs.
The Iowa Data Dissemination Bureau provides occupational publications and web reports for employers, job seekers, educators, and economic developers. The publications cover data such as the fastest growing jobs by educational achievement level, the top skill sets, high demand and high wage occupations, and education/training requirements. O*NET occupational skills data, by level of importance and education and training requirements, are used for these projects.
The Research and Analysis arm of Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development completed a study (Leeuw, 2008) designed to guide individuals, educators, and workforce professionals in identifying occupations that share similar skills. The study used O*NET skills data to create a new career cluster model that emphasizes relationships between seemingly unrelated industries and occupations. These clusters are being used to prioritize and focus resources on programs and curricula that support pathways to emerging high wage and high demand occupations.
A researcher in the Department of Management and Organizations at the Tippie College of Business in Iowa headed a team doing research to validate the WorkKeys Fit Assessment, a tool which uses occupational interests and work values to measure person-occupation congruence. The team used the O*NET database to develop and validate the assessment. Results of their work suggest that the fit between person and occupation predicts positive work attitudes and outcomes. This relationship is a useful concept that can be applied to personnel staffing. Organizations which include an interest-values assessment of person-occupation congruence may increase job satisfaction, job match, and job commitment among their employees.
To address the pressing need for talented and skilled computer 3-D graphic artists and traditional animators, California’s Employment Development Department (CA EDD) conducted an industry study with the endorsement of the California Skillsnet Consortium. O*NET’s survey data collection instruments and other materials were used in the study. Relying on O*NET data, human resources personnel modified local training and education initiatives to help close the gap between industry needs and local workers’ skills. Training programs defined the skills and requirements for the evolving occupations of computer 3-D graphic artists and traditional animators. State and local leaders forged important partnerships with local establishments, educators, WIBs, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders to meet industry demands and develop needed talent.
The CAEDD also assisted workers at Boeing's Monrovia, California plant as Boeing prepared to close the plant in response to changing business needs. CAEDD staff used the O*NET's Skills Survey to interview workers, identifying the skills used in their jobs. The skills information was used with the O*NET database and state and local labor market information to create a report describing how Boeing employees could use their skills in jobs outside the aircraft manufacturing industry.
The Connecticut Department of Labor used O*NET data to respond to the Workforce Investment Act requirements that states assess (1) current and future job opportunities in the state, (2) the skills necessary to obtain these jobs, and (3) the skills necessary to meet the economic development needs of the state. To meet these requirements, it collected and analyzed labor market information and published an extensive report. O*NET Skills and skill descriptions were used in the report sections describing skills necessary for Connecticut’s high-demand occupations and industry sectors important for state economic development.
Profile of the Health Care Industry from Kansas Department of Labor
The Kansas Department of Labor used O*NET skills, knowledges, and abilities as a tool in their research for the report, Profile of the Health Care Industry. The report profiles the three health care industry sub-sectors and the occupations within these industries. The goal of the research was to assist workforce development planners and policy makers in decisions aimed at achieving desired turnover and retention rates and to develop necessary training programs.
The Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board in Pennsylvania uses O*NET information in research and service delivery activities designed to support economic development efforts in the county. Using an industry clusters model, The Lancaster WIB cooperates closely with the economic development community. After the industry clusters are defined, the primary occupations are profiled and a Skills Map is developed. Information for all occupations and the various career ladders in the cluster are analyzed to identify common skills and attributes, as well as those unique to a particular occupation or career ladder. The resulting Skills Map is a helpful way to involve the educational community in addressing skills gaps, taking a systemic approach to the identification of industry’s skill needs. O*NET data are a key part of the Skills Map used to develop the profiles, providing extensive information about skills and knowledge requirements of occupations in each cluster.
The Northern California Regional Competitiveness Network (NCRCN) analyzed data from U.S. Census Bureau nonemployer statistics for the Northern California WIRED Cluster study. This self-employment study identified occupations within clusters with career potential, high-mid-entry level wages, and small size occupations. Science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) occupations were of particular interest. A focus was placed on occupations that offer workers the opportunity for upward mobility and lateral transfer among industries. The study used O*NET data concerning key characteristics of each occupation, including the description, wages, educational requirements, skills, knowledges, abilities, and work activities. The study provided a data-driven foundation for the economic and workforce development programs of the Northern California WIRED project and focused talent development on occupations that show job and wage growth.