• Jobs are described at a level of job-specific detail that makes it difficult to conduct cross-occupation comparisons. Thus, it would be difficult to determine to what extent the incumbents of one occupation would have the necessary general skills for easy transition to other work. As a result, the goal of using the system as a resource for workers transitioning from obsolete or downsized occupations could not be realized.
  • Jobs are described solely according to tasks. Information about the skills, abilities, knowledge, and other individual qualities needed to perform jobs is not directly collected. The latter information may be crucial to answer questions inherent in person-job matching, training, skill transfer, and wage and salary administration.
  • The DOT provides some information about the physical and ergonomic aspects of jobs, such as noise, temperature, and work schedules. However, other contextual factors, such as interpersonal demands and stressors, organizational influences, and exposure to other hazards, are not covered.
  • The time and expense involved in updating descriptive job information ensure that a substantial portion of the information in the DOT is outdated at any given time.
  • The discrete, qualitative descriptions in the DOT do not allow for linkages with other occupational or labor-market databases.

This evaluation led to the development of a prototype to address these weaknesses and replace the DOT. This replacement was named the Occupational Information Network or O*NET™.

Occupational Information Network (O*NET™)1

The Occupational Information Network—O*NET™—is an electronic database of information, rather than a book. In it, the information about each occupation has been considerably expanded and the number of occupations included in the system


The material in this section was heavily borrowed from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) Technical Executive Summary (American Institutes for Research, 1997).

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