The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Web site for kids provides introductory career information for students in Grades 4-8. Most of the material on the site has been adapted from the Bureau's Occupational Outlook Handbooka career guidance publication for adults and upper-level high school students that describes the job duties, working conditions, training requirements, earnings levels, and employment prospects of hundreds of occupations.
On the kids' site, wording and labor market concepts have been simplified and some statistical detail has been eliminated. In addition, the occupations on the site are categorized according to interests and hobbies common among students. The twelve categories and their corresponding occupations are shown at the end of this Teacher's Guide. To help students continue their career exploration, each occupational description on the kids' site links to related information in the Handbook. The Bureau's Web site for kids is updated every 2 years with each new edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Because the kids' site is designed to give a quick introduction to a career, the information provided is general. For example, the most common way of preparing for an occupation is described, while other, less common, methods of entry might be mentioned only briefly or not at all. In the same way, the earnings figures given are representative and might not illustrate the variety of earnings found in an occupation. The Occupational Outlook Handbook gives more precise and detailed information.
When describing projected job growth in an occupation, the kids' site uses phrases such as "faster than average," "average," and "slower than average." The "average" referred to in these phrases is the projected job growth across all occupations. These projections are developed by economists in the Bureau's Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections.
In addition to the kids' site and the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed other sources of career information that might be useful to teachers and students. One source is the Occupational Outlook Quarterly. The Quarterly is a career guidance magazine that includes articles about specific occupations and industries, types of training and education, and methods for exploring careers and finding jobs. The magazine also previews upcoming Handbook statements and summarizes current labor market research, and presents brief 2-page profiles of unusual careers.
Another source of career information is the Bureau's Career Guide to Industries. This publication is online at http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/home.htm and describes employment opportunities and prospects in many industries.
For the most detailed employment projections, visit the Employment Projections Web site. The site includes prepared tables, searchable databases, and technical publications about the projections.
For comprehensive data on earnings and employment by occupation, see the homepage of the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey. The OES Survey provides earnings and employment data for more than 700 occupations and shows how earnings and employment vary by geographic area and industry.
To find employment and earnings data related to demographic variables, such as age, sex, race, and educational attainment, visit the Current Population Survey homepage.
The U.S. Department of Laborof which the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a partoffers additional career information of use to students. The Department of Labor's Youth Rules! site uses simple language to explain the laws that govern youth employment. America's Career InfoNet provides links to career resources, including a library of occupational information. And Career Voyagesa joint effort of the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Educationoffers career-related posters, brochures, and information about occupations and industries.
Finally, the U.S. Department of Education maintains a database of lesson plans on the website Gateway to Educational Materials. Some of these lesson plans relate to careers and can be adapted for use with the Bureau of Labor Statistics kids' site.
NOTE: The text on the BLS Web site for kids is in the public domain and can be reproduced without further permission. Appropriate citations are requested. In addition, one may link to this site without obtaining special permission. Lastly, information from the BLS Web site for kids will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice Phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.
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