The Virginia Career Explorer system contains detailed information on over 900 occupations described in the O*NET database, which is organized into easy-to-read occupational profiles. These profiles provide a glimpse into the daily tasks and activities of each of these occupations, and when available are augmented with other relevant data.
The occupational listing pages contain a sorted, filtered table of occupations. Every listing page in the system has a similar layout and works the same way.
The top of the page contains a filter that allows you to refine the table by salary, educational requirements and other features.
You can click on the header of most columns to sort the underlying data in the table. Click once to sort in ascending order. Click again to sort in the opposite direction.
Each occupation listing in the table contains information in the form of badges and icons. Badges appear to the right of the occupation and indicate whether am occupation has been flagged, rated or is considered a "STEM" career (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).Icons can be found to the right of the badges. They tell you how much education is required for a particular occupation and whether an informational video about the career is available.
Profile pages are the heart of the Virginia Career Explorer system. These pages provide an abundance of information on the occupation and give you many options for further exploration. Each profile page contains the information described below.
The occupational information used throughout the system comes from the O*NET (Occupational Network) database. O*NET was developed by the United States Department of Labor to document and describe the jobs that exist in the American workforce. O*NET is unique in that it relates occupations to each other through a taxonomy of transferable attributes, or as they call them - the content model. Each occupation in the database is ranked over 300 data points on a scale, usually in the range of 0 to 7. This data allows us to compare occupations and provide analysis that was never before possible.
Over one third of the occupations in the system have videos and pictures associated with them. When you view an occupational profile that contains images, you will notice a media box in the top right corner of your screen. You can use the arrows on the left and right of the image to scroll through other images that might be available. To view a video, just click on play button found in the lower left corner of the screen. Once the video starts, you will see a full array of controls on the screen.
The occupational profiles within the Virginia Career Explorer contain the latest wage and employment information available. This information comes from OES (Occupational Employment Statistics), a federal program which collects such information from each state. You can filter OES data in the occupational profiles to help you find relevant information for more easily.
A listing of available jobs is accessible from all occupational profile pages by clicking on the Job Openings button. The listing that users see when they click on this button can be refined by state, zip code and/or when the job was posted. The listing of job openings is provided by Job Central. Clicking on the position title will take you directly to the listing as exists on their site.
The Resources section contains links that allow you to continue your career exploration beyond this site. Resources include specialty job boards and additional assessment tests.
Assessment tests are a great way find out about occupations you may wish to explore. All the assessments in this system function in a similar manner. You will be asked to answer a series of questions about your preferences. The system will then suggest a list of occupations suited to your responses. The occupations that appear in your results are those that you are most likely to enjoy based on your responses. Keep in mind that you may not be qualified for every occupation that appears in your results.
The Interest Profiler is an instrument that consists of a series of 180 statements that describe work activities from many different professions. Read each statement and decide if the given activity would be of interest to you. When you have completed each of the questions, the Interest Profiler will present you with a summary of your scores.These scores are based on the Holland Occupational Themes (also known as the RIASEC model), which were created by Dr. John Holland of Johns Hopkins University.
Work Importance Profiler
The Work Importance Profiler provides you with a list of occupations that match your work preferences. This tool is particularly useful for people who know what is important to them in a job, but have relatively little work experience. You will be asked to rank a series of preferences against each other to generate your profile.
The Skills Profiler allows you to find possible occupations based on the skills you already have. When you take the assessment, you will be presented with descriptions of cross-functional skill sets. The Skills Profiler will ask you to rank a series of skills based on your knowledge of and ability to perform them. After completing the assessment, the system will provide you with a listing of occupations that match your skill set.
The occupations in the system have been categorized into 23 job families based on the sectors where people are typically employed. Job family categories allow you to quickly identify occupations in interesting fields, such as the medical or legal fields.
The top of every page contains a search box. The search allows you to find most resources in the system, including occupations, colleges, and documentation. If the search is successful, the results of the search will be displayed in a table similar to other listings. If your search contains misspelled words, the system will automatically display results for the recommended alternative, or suggest possible suggest correct spellings with a link to a search for those terms.
By default, the search will show all items that matched your search. You can choose a specific type from the choices listed at the top of the page to restrict your search. From the restricted view, you will be able to filter on attributes specific to that result type - such as wages for occupations and location for educational institutions.