Occupational Analysis

The Army's ability to efficiently manage its personnel, in complex and rapidly changing contexts, would be enhanced by an occupational analysis system that efficiently links workforce capabilities with mission planning and provides the structure for recruiting, training, assignment, and promotion of personnel. Such a system would contain all the information needed for such tasks as assembling a special operation in the field or for developing training requirements for a combined military occupational specialty.

Having considered the advantages of O*NET™, the committee sees that it offers promise for meeting the future occupational analysis needs of the Army. AP*NET, an adaptation of O*NET™ proposed for the Army, has several useful features, including linked readiness, occupations, and training databases that allow easy access to descriptions of training courses that teach a particular skill, to lists of soldiers who have skills and abilities relevant to a particular type of mission, and to Army jobs that have similar requirements. Also, AP*NET would be menu-driven with a user-oriented interface that allows access to data at the level of aggregation and specificity that is best suited to each application.

The committee recommends that the Army consider building a prototype of a system whose functional capabilities include those in the AP*NET concept.

Implications for Research

Need for Multidisciplinary Studies of Work

In the committee's view, cross-disciplinary collaboration is essential to future progress in the study of work and occupational analysis. However, we do not suggest that all individual studies should abandon their disciplinary focus or traditions. Instead, communication and dialogue across disciplines is needed to inform both the framing of questions and the interpretation of results from multiple disciplines.

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