Occupation-Specific Requirements Occupation-specific descriptors such as tasks, duties, machines, tools, and so on cannot generally be derived from literature reviews; they require input from job holders and their supervisors. In the prototype O*NET™ system, tasks were the sole occupation-specific variables included, and these tasks were primarily extracted from existing DOT descriptions, supplemented by other sources. Additional kinds of occupation-specific descriptors are being generated for occupations and organized according to the broader cross-job structure. So far, research suggests that identification of job-specific descriptors can be facilitated by the availability of a broader, cross-job organizing structure. Furthermore, it appears that by organizing the specific descriptors in terms of a broader common language, it becomes possible to apply job-specific information more efficiently.

Occupational Characteristics Occupation characteristics refer to economic conditions that shape the nature of the organization, its market, and employment conditions. Measures of these constructs are drawn into O*NET™ by linking with databases, such as those maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, the Occupational and Employment Statistics Classification System and the Current Population Survey. Many but not all of these variables, such as compensation and employment projections, will be of interest to both those considering or counseling about entry into specific jobs and those doing manpower and succession planning for organizations or industry trade associations.

Field Test and Prototype Evaluation The current O*NET™ is a prototype for an eventual fully developed system, the goal being a comprehensive, flexible occupational information and analysis system that is national in scope and that tracks changes in a way that provides a basis for future projections and the design of new jobs. The developers of the system, along with those working on its validation now, have several years of experience with O*NET™, including initial technical evaluations and valuable lessons learned about the potential problems, prospects, and policy issues associated with a full-scale system.

An initial set of studies was conducted with the O*NET™



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