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Job analyzer by VERTEK.

VERTEK, a computer software company, is the producer of two widely used computer programs in rehabilitation: the highly acclaimed OASYS Job Search program and the GATE Reporting System. They have now produced a third product, Job Analyzer, which is a stand-alone Windows-based software program with which to browse job information. What makes this program unique is its Windows-based simplicity enabling accessibility by clients as well as being easy to use by rehabilitation practitioners. While it does not have the sophisticated transferability of skills search engine as its bigger brother, OASYS, it is a feature-rich program which makes one wonder if you need more. Its user-friendliness also provides a glimpse into the direction of VERTEK's development of their other programs.

Job Analyzer arrives as a box of floppy disks and a small well-indexed manual. Even for the computer illiterate, installation takes only about 15 minutes using the colorful graphics-based Install feature which builds a program group and icons into your Windows program manager. The Install program creates the necessary subdirectory, loads the program, and changes some crucial files after which the program can be started with a double click of the mouse. The opening screen is a typical Windows work screen with the menu bar and pull-down commands, an icon-based sub-bar which provides the name of its function if you let the pointer stay on it, and three mouse-selected choices to: (1) Search DOT Occupations, (2) Search Military Occupations, or (3) Browse by Occupational Groups.

Search for DOT Occupations

A search of the occupations can be made by key word(s) in the title, description (or both), or by the DOT Code number or partial number. User-defined parameters allow you to pull up and display any number of matches. For example, entering the keyword of housekeep for Titles or in the descriptions provides 30 job possibilities from Administrative Assistant who supervises housekeepers to a variety of housekeeping occupations. These are listed alphabetically by title. A double click on any title brings up a screen filled with the occupational description and push-button choice to look at the Job Analysis, Job Requirements, Codes, Wages, and Outlook. In the enhanced version of the program, additional options are to look at Training Institutions and Employers.

The description can be in task-listed format or in a continuous paragraph as would be found in the DOT. The Job Analysis feature provides a window containing a completed job analysis form on the job which contains all the analysis information such as physical demands, work situations, work functions, other requirements and space to fill in an analyst's comments. This allows the performance of a job analysis starting with the Department of Labor information which can then be modified. The Requirements button brings up a screen containing the Specific Vocational Preparation (SVP), General Educational Development (GED), Aptitudes, Physical Demand, Environment, Situations, and Data, People, Things factors. Ali this fits in various windows on one page making for an attractive and easily readable screen. A double click of the mouse on any factor brings up another window with the definition for that factor. The Codes button presents the codes for: Work Fields (skills); Materials, Products, Subject Matter & Services (job knowledge); and Related Codes such as GOE, GAP, Industry, SOC, Census, OES, and CIP. These are useful in cross-referencing books of vocational data, such as the Mining and Manufacturing Guide, which list employers in a state by these codes. A click on the Wages button provides current Census Wage Data for the census code group in which the occupation fits. Thus, an average national wage is given based on hourly rate, weekly salary, monthly salary and yearly salary. The program provides information on the numbers of workers from which this wage data was derived. For the Outlook choice, the program provides a colorful graph of projected growth for the next decade with button bars on this screen to allow looking at detailed information on projected employment using low, moderate, and high economic growth scenarios. Further, the employment by industry can be broken out along with a projected employment by industry. This seems an excellent piece of information for vocational counseling.

In the Enhanced Job Analyzer, information is added on schools, employers, and state employment projections. For schools, data are available on local training opportunities for the job selected. A search can be made statewide or by county to discover the various training institutions and, once identified, they can be selected to provide a wealth of information including the address, contact person and phone number, tuition in-state and out-of-state, application fee, etc. Similarly, the Employers button allows you to search for employers using the DOT occupation or by Office of Employment Statistics (OES) category. In search for employers, parameters can be set as to type of employers (e.g., federal government or wholesale trade), the number of employees, and geographic area by zip code, county, or metropolitan statistical area. Once employers are located, the program lists the specific employers, their city, and phone number. For job placement, this seems a simple and straightforward approach. The details of an employer can provide more information including employee size ranges.

Search for Military Occupations

Selecting this option allows the search by key word(s) or military occupation code and can include all services or any one branch. By key word, a list is given of matches which provides information on which branch and military occupation classification number (MOC) as well as the title of the job. If a civilian equivalent is available, that is listed and the same information and choices are available as reported above. As an example, searching by the partial word infan resulted in 24 matches from Infantry in the Army to Infantry Unit Leader in the Marine Corps. The program suggested that for Infantry Unit Leader, there are two DOT jobs which match that occupation, i.e. Combat Rifle Crew Member and Infantry Unit Leaden Clicking on either would lead to the job description and the other data and features.

Browse by Occupational Groups

Selecting this feature gives a choice of searching the data by one of nine codes including Occupational Group Arrangement, Industry Code, Guide for Occupational Exploration, Occupational Aptitude Pattern, Work Field, MPSMS, SOC, OES, or Classification of Instructional Programs. Selecting any one of these, such as Industry Codes, brings up an alphabetic listing of possibilities. Selecting any one such as Automotive Services then lists a group of DOT occupations fitting that code. Once an occupation is selected from the list, it can be reviewed using all the features as listed in the first section. This just provides a quick method of locating occupations which are alike on the one code.

At any point in the process of using Job Analyzer, options are available to custom-design a printed report in terms of data included on the occupation, change the display values on how many occupations are listed, write the current report to disk, print a report on all occupations on a list or only highlighted occupations, close the current window which takes you back a step, or get help. The Help feature is easy and handy. A question mark is selected which changes the pointer to a question mark. The pointer is then positioned over some procedure and with a click of the mouse, a Help screen opens up that explains the function and gives alternatives to review information on related topics. The Help feature also has a choice for quick help which gives instructions on using Help, a glossary of terms, a history of Help menus selected, a bookmark, and forward and backward features. With this extensive and easily used system, there is rarely a need to use the manual.

With the Job Analyzer by VERTEK, the Dictionary of Occupational titles and a number of related publications become obsolete. Once this program is used with its slick graphics-based interface, plodding through a series of books to get this information will seem like the Dark Ages. As with other VERTEK products, this program is designed and coded from the ground up to perform its specialized function. Thus, it works effortlessly and smoothly without bugs or flaws. Further, on a Pentium-70 mhz. system, the searches were instantaneous providing quick results. Self-training takes only a few minutes of trial-and-error and, if familiar with Windows, mastering the program is quickly accomplished.

Job Analyzer is written for IBM-compatible machines and requires 12 megabytes of hard disk space, 512K bytes of RAM, and MS DOS version 3.0 or higher. Cost of the program is $695 for the regular program and $1,495 for the enhanced version. Multiple purchase discounts are available. Further information and purchasing can be obtained from VERTEK, Inc., 11811 N.E. 1st Street, Suite 306, Bellevue, Washington 98005, phone 1-800-220-4409.

Reviews of other such products are contained in:

Brown, C., McDaniel, R., and Couch, R. (1994). Vocational evaluation systems and software: A consumer's guide. Menomonie, WI: Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute-Materials Development Center.

Randall McDaniel Auburn University
COPYRIGHT 1996 National Rehabilitation Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:McDaniel, Randall
Publication:The Journal of Rehabilitation
Article Type:Evaluation
Date:Jul 1, 1996
Words:1495
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