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Friday, February 25, 2011

Investigative, Artistic...Conventional?

I took an aptitude test of sorts the other day.  It's called the O*NET test, and it helps you determine the direction you want to take in future employment, determining which jobs you will be compatible with, and which ones will just make you miserable.  Like the Voight-Kampff test, reaction time is a factor; you go through 180 job scenarios as quickly as you can, labeling them "Like," "Dislike," or "?"  The scenarios are laid out in a certain pattern:  you do two from the yellow group, two from the periwinkle group, and two from each of four other groups, then start over again with the yellow group.  You then add up all the "Like"s from each group, using the "?"s in the event of a tie.  Usually the answers match up surprisingly well with your self-assessment, and even better with the assessment of you by others.

There are six categories on the test:  Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.  "Realistic" refers to concrete tasks:  swinging a hammer, painting a fence.  "Investigative" are more intellectual tasks.  "Artistic" covers the gamut of artistic endeavors.  "Social" refers to tasks that primarily involve dealing directly with other people. "Enterprising" tasks tend to be entrepreneurial in nature.  "Conventional" is the slug work of the office:  making copies, using a calculator, entering data.

My highest score was in Investigative - no surprise there.  My rather distant second score was in Artistic - yep, that fits.  My third score, very close to my second, was a bit surprising: Conventional.  But in retrospect, that makes sense.  My years with Statistical Process Control?  There was a huge component of data entry there, and grinding through calculations, and drawing up and analyzing hundreds and hundreds of control charts.  In DVD Asset Management, I was engaging in customer service functions and typical office stuff almost as much as I was making nine Gigabits of disparate data hop on one foot and dance themselves into the form I told them to - in a calculation, at least.

My other three scores were very distant:  first Realistic - hell, I just spent the better part of four years running a piece of heavy injection molding equipment -. then Social, and finally, close to the lowest score possible, Enterprising.  I'm not the sort of guy who's going to run out and start his own business.  I might, however, work out how you should start yours.  From a theoretical point of view, at least.

So.  IAC.  Now I had my code, and I was given a website where I could enter the code to determine what jobs in Pennsylvania needed that particular mix of skills.

Family and General Practitioners
Internists, General
Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Pediatricians, General
Political Scientists


So here were six job possibilities being offered to me.  Four of them requiring an M.D.  Two of them most likely requiring a Ph.D. in areas I had barely studied at all as an undergrad.  Oh: and none of them were singled out as high-priority jobs.

OK.  Let's not panic.  It is suggested that you can also shuffle your categories to see if there is some job calling for a mix of skills only slightly different from yours - an ICA or CIA or...something.  Particularly something high-priority, where training costs would be subsidized by the state.

ICA and AIC presented no high-priority jobs.  ACI offered one:  Librarian.  CIA and CAI both had the same two high-priority jobs: Medical Records and Health Information Technicians and Office Clerks, General.   Yay.  I don't think I want to be a file clerk.  And a librarian?  Again, years of specialized training.  Drilling down into the job information about Librarians revealed this:

During 2006, there were approximately 7,140 people employed in this field in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 6,800 employed in 2016. This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 193 replacement openings for approximately 193 total annual openings. This occupation .
The latest solid data is from 2006 - well before the invention of electronic reading tablets that are threatening to send books the way of the vinyl record?  The job market is expected to shrink between 2006 and 2016?  All the job openings will be due to attrition?  And what the hell does "This occupation ." mean? "We were going to insert more information here, and realized we didn't have any"?

Ugh.  Back to the drawing board, I think.

1 comment:

Todd HellsKitchen said...

Keep us ;posted.... I did the Myers-Briggs at my last career juncture... These tools are very helpful in sorting it all out!!!