The U.S. Department of Labor for years produced a wonderful book that almost no one knew about. The biggest drawback with the book was it’s massive size of over a thousand pages in a large format. After more than a decade of transitioning and vastly expanding the information to a website they have created a totally amazing site that should be widely used from high school on up. We strongly recommend The Occupational Outlook Handbook to anyone who wants to finds the career that’s the best fit for them. From the home page, www.bls.gov/ooh/, it all starts with 25 Occupational Groups:
• Architecture and Engineering
• Arts and Design
• Building and Grounds Cleaning
• Community and Social Service
• Computer & Information Technology
• Construction and Extraction
• Education, Training, and Library
• Entertainment and Sports
• Farming, Fishing, and Forestry
• Food Preparation and Serving
• Installation, Maintenance, & Repair
• Life, Physical, and Social Science
• Media and Communication
• Office and Administrative Support
• Personal Care and Service
• Protective Service
• Transportation & Material Moving
Under these headings are hundreds of very detailed profiles of individuals professions. For instance under healthcare alone there’s 44 career categories. For each of these careers there’s highly professional data by:
• Summary: a great overview of this career (see sample, page 53).
• What They Do: Duties that are carried out by these professionals
• Work Environment: Work setting, work schedules, full time vs. part time, staff vs contract positions.
• How to Become One: What’s needed: Education, Licenses, Certifications and more. Great insights in a readable format and links to more info.
• Pay: Not merely the average salary, but ranges by different qualifications and experience.
• Job Outlook: This is key since no one wants to spend years training for a job in a career with few openings. Shares employment trends over a ten year period.
• Similar Occupations: Helpful chart plotting similar occupations. This is GREAT for seeing other jobs that might be the one for you in the long run.
• Contacts for More Info: This is the jumping point for lots more information and organizations you should know about.
Additionally, you will find a list that looks to include a thousand or more occupations, as well as where to get more information about them, at www.bls.gov/ooh/a-z-index.htm#A.
I’ve chosen to highlight the summary page from the handbook for Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers because I strongly feel there is a HUGE need for more Latinos to enter this profession. I come from a family where EVERYONE was a teacher, principal, professor, etc. My wife, Magdalena, teaches first grade at a school where over 70% of the students are Latino and yet only about 15% of the teachers are. Nationwide 23% of all children in K-12 schools are Latino – and yet only 7% of the teachers are. These kids need to have Latino role models – and their parents, who often prefer to speak in Spanish, need teachers they can talk with. Over the next ten years 281,500 new teachers will be hired. Think about this career, you might find it rewarding.
Some additional reasons that this is a great site:
• Numerous resources for additional information about careers in that field.
• The information is so detailed it doesn’t merely have nursing as a profession, which ones need just an AA degree to those that needs a bachelors degree to nursing careers that needs an advanced degree.
• Another plus is that the site has hundreds if not thousands of pages of information in Spanish.
• In total there’s tens of thousands of pages of information about hundreds of careers.
To illustrate the power of this site, there are at least half a dozen career oriented books where the majority of their information came from this site. Save money – and get more timely information – by using this excellent web site.
Now that everything is online, keep checking back as they continue to add exciting new features. And accessing the website is much easier than carrying around that heavy old book.
By Kirk Whisler