Observations about Jobs and Training from the Website of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

While conducting a little research on the list of occupations at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, I made some unexpected observations

Of the 538 occupations listed there:

(1) Instructional designer isn’t listed anywhere.  My guess is that they’re included in Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Specialists, All Others.

Yet training managers get their own separate listing.

(2) Don’t look for User Experience (UX) designers.  My guess is that they’re included in I/O (that’s Industrial/Organizational) Psychologists.  But the description of that job reads like a therapist, which does not reflect the work of an I/O psychologist, not a UX designer or management-focused I/O psychologist..

(3) On-the-job training is characterized for each occupation. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics defines that as:  “Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.”

And how much on-the-job training is needed:

  • For 193 jobs, none, including aerospace engineers, cardiovascular technologists and technicians, chief executives, editors, financial managers, Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Specialists, lodging managers, network and computer systems administrators, and occupational research analysts (like the ones who prepared this report). (Apparently, a degree is enough to prepare these people for their jobs, even though many of these jobs only see degrees as preferred—not required—credentials and only offer voluntary certification.)
  • For 113 of the job categories, only short-term on-the-job training is needed, including gaming cage workers and technical writers)
  • For 135, moderate-term on-the-job training, including gaming dealers and parts salespeople)
  • For 57 categories, long-term on-the-job training, including writers and authors.
  • For 25 categories, an internship or residency is required, such as dentists, doctors, and dieticians
  • For 15 categories, an apprenticeship is required, including real estate appraisers and carpenters

Perhaps one of the reasons we have so few apprenticeship programs in the US is because so few jobs require one.

And perhaps the reason that overall spending on training has dropped over the past two decades (after adjusting for inflation and growth in the labor force) is that nearly 40 percent of the jobs do not require any on-the-job training, and another 20 percent only require some.

Furthermore,  given the number of jobs that require little or no on-the-job  training–but do have corresponding degree programs–perhaps we also have an explanation for the pressure that employers place on universities to prepare students for jobs.

Check out the database for yourself at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/occupation-finder.htm.

What are your thoughts about these observations?  Please share in the comments section.



About idmodelsandprocesses

Exploring, reporting, teaching, and advising on learning and communication for the workplace and consumers. saulcarliner.wordpress.com
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