What is O*NET?
O*NET, the Occupational Information Network, is a comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics. As the replacement for the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), O*NET is the nation's primary source of occupational information.
O*NET is being developed as a timely, easy-to-use resource that supports public and private sector efforts to identify and develop the skills of the American workforce. It provides a common language for defining and describing occupations. Its flexible design also captures rapidly changing job requirements. In addition, O*NET moves occupational information into the technological age.
As the basis for enhanced product development, the O*NET database can serve as the engine that drives value-added applications designed around core information. It provides the essential foundation for facilitating career counseling, education, employment, and training activities. The database contains information about knowledges, skills, abilities (KSAs), interests, general work activities (GWAs), and work context. O*NET data and structure will also link related occupational, educational, and labor market information databases to the system.
Who Developed O*NET?
O*NET is being developed under sponsorship of the US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). The National O*NET Consortium was organized to accomplish the development of O*NET and its related products for ETA. O*NET continues to be developed through a grant to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission which operates the National Center for O*NET development.
The National Center for O*NET Development (Center) provides core staff with acknowledged expertise in the areas of occupational analysis and assessment research and development. Under the direction of USDOL/ETA, and in its leadership role, the Center manages projects and contracts and provides technical support and customer service to O*NET users.
The Center leads a partnership of public and private-sector organizations that carry out the work of USDOL/ETA's O*NET project. In addition to the Center, the partnership currently includes RTI International (RTI), the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), North Carolina State University (NCSU), MCNC, and Maher & Maher.
The O*NET Content Model
The O*NET database identifies, defines, describes and classifies occupations. The Content Model is organized into six major domains. These are: Worker Characteristics, Worker Requirements, Experience Requirements, Occupation Requirements, Occupational Characteristics, and Occupation-Specific Information. The structure enables the user to focus on areas of information that specify the key attributes and characteristics of workers and occupations.
O*NET Data: To Build on a Foundation
No one effort, public or private, can capture all aspects or target all the dimensions involved
in the changing workplace. Government participation helps insure objectivity and fairness in
data collection, but government alone cannot build the extensive occupational information network
today's economy demands.
The O*NET database will serve as the publicly funded hub of a vast network of developers,
agencies and organizations working with a common goal: to create materials that enhance the employment
potential of all Americans.
O*NET is part of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration's
comprehensive workforce development strategy to build and display critical information for job
seekers and employers in a user-friendly manner.
O*NET is designed to serve as an occupational/labor market information resource for
public and private sector use and development.