A DATABASE FOR A CHANGING ECONOMY
Review of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET)
Nancy T. Tippins and Margaret L. Hilton, Editors
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Award No. DOLJ081A20686 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Labor. The work of the Committee on National Statistics is supported by a consortium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (Number SES-0453930). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
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Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2010). A Database for a Changing Economy: Review of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). Panel to Review the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). Nancy T. Tippins and Margaret L. Hilton, editors. Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
PANEL TO REVIEW THE OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION NETWORK (O*NET)
NANCY T. TIPPINS (Chair),
Valtera Corporation, Greenville, South Carolina
Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
JOHN P. CAMPBELL,
Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Columbus
Texas Workforce Commission, Austin
Georgia Career Information Center, Georgia State University
Department of Statistics, Oregon State University
Westat, Inc., Rockville, Maryland
KENNETH PEARLMAN, Independent Consultant,
ANN MARIE RYAN,
Department of Psychology, Michigan State University
JUAN I. SANCHEZ,
Department of Management and International Business, Florida International University
Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, University of Virginia
MARGARET L. HILTON, Study Director
THOMAS J. PLEWES, Associate Study Director
CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director,
Committee on National Statistics
RENÉE L. WILSON GAINES, Senior Project Assistant
COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS
WILLIAM F. EDDY (Chair),
Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University
KATHARINE G. ABRAHAM,
Department of Economics, University of Maryland, and Joint Program in Survey Methodology
Department of Statistics, Iowa State University
Phase Forward, Inc., Waltham, Massachusetts
Department of Economics, University of Maryland
V. JOSEPH HOTZ,
Department of Economics, Duke University
Department of Statistics, Indiana University
DOUGLAS S. MASSEY,
Department of Sociology, Princeton University
Statistics and Epidemiology, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Division of Health Policy Research and Education, Harvard University
SAMUEL H. PRESTON,
Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania
Department of Statistics, University of California, Irvine
Joint Program on Survey Methodology, University of Maryland, and Survey Research Center, University of Michigan
Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School
CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director
This report would not have become a reality without the hard work of study panel members, important contributions of leadership and staff of the National Research Council (NRC), and many other individuals and organizations.
First, we acknowledge the support of the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor. We particularly thank O*NET/Competency Modeling Team Leader Pamela Frugoli, whose initial request for the study, ongoing engagement with the panel, and responsiveness to our questions supported the development of the report.
We are especially grateful to the experts who quickly responded to our request for presentations and written materials related to O*NET. At our first meeting, Pamela Frugoli and Gay Gilbert of ETA provided an overview of the key questions to be addressed in the study, and David Rivkin and Phil Lewis, O*NET technical officers, presented an overview of the development and current status of the O*NET database and its uses.
At our second meeting, we explored different uses of O*NET. We would like to thank Lance Anderson, ICF International; Hope Clark, Indiana Department of Workforce Development; Rada Dorman, Manpower, Inc.; Dan Erdmann, University of Oregon; Bonnie Graybill, California Employment Development Department; G. Francis Green, University of Kent, UK; P. Richard Jeanneret, Valtera Corporation; Sylvia Karman, Social Security Administration; Phil Lewis, National Center for O*NET Development; Brian O’Leary, Office of Personnel Management; Don Phillips, XAP Corporation; Douglas Reamer, New York Department of Labor; David
Rivkin, National Center for O*NET Development; Dixie Sommers, Bureau of Labor Statistics; and Jane Styer, Department of Defense.
At our third meeting, experts provided perspectives on how O*NET might be improved to increase its usefulness and the quality of the data. We thank Marcus Berzofsky, RTI International; Scott Butler, The Usability Team; Erich Dierdorff, DePaul University; Michael Handel, Northeastern University; Robert J. Harvey, Virginia Polytechnic Institute; Fred Morgeson, Michigan State University; Michael Penne, RTI International; Elizabeth Sadler, University of Virginia; Marilyn Silver, JBS Associates; and Suzanne Tsacoumis, Human Resources Research Organization.
We thank our colleagues on the panel for their enthusiasm, hard work, and collaborative spirit in writing this report.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the NRC. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Lance E. Anderson, Human Capital Strategies, ICF International, Fairfax, VA; Andrew Crapuchettes, Chairman’s Office, Economic Modeling Solutions, Moscow, ID; J.W. Cunningham, Department of Psychology Emeritus, North Carolina State University; Donald W. Drewes, Department of Psychology, North Carolina State University; Sigrid B. Gustafson, Health Research and Policy Analysis, American Institutes for Research, Chapel Hill, NC; Richard W. Judy, Chairman’s Office, Workforce Associates, Indianapolis, IN; S. Morton McPhail, Office of the Senior Vice President, Valtera Corporation, Houston, TX; Frederick P. Morgeson, Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University; Ron Page, Assessment Associates International, LLC, Minnetonka, MN; Norman G. Peterson, Research Directorate, Satisfaction Performance Research Center, Inc., Minneapolis, MN; Jay J. Pfeiffer, Senior Associate, MPR Associates, Inc; and Alan R. Tupek, Chairman’s Office, Arbitron, Inc., Columbia, MD.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Neal W. Schmitt, Department of Psychology and Management, Michigan State University. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully con-
sidered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution.
We are grateful for the leadership and support of Michael Feuer, executive director of the NRC’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and Constance Citro, director of the Committee on National Statistics. We are particularly grateful for the work of Thomas Plewes, associate study director, who developed the study scope, assembled an excellent panel and an array of useful background materials, and provided invaluable contributions throughout the study process. Finally, we thank Renée L. Wilson Gaines, senior project assistant in the Center for Education, for her assistance in supporting the panel at every stage of its deliberations and in preparing drafts and revisions of the report.
Nancy Tippins, Chair
Margaret Hilton, Study Director
Panel to Review the Occupational Information Network (O*NET)