The New York Times has published a special section devoted to continuing education, with a range of articles on sustainability training to white-collar workers heading back in droves to community colleges. You can check out the section here.
Here’s an excerpt from the lead article on choosing the right program, including a bit about the O*NET system:
A good first step is to determine which industries and professions are expanding — and how well someone might fit into them.
Studies from government agencies and labor groups show that some of the greatest job growth is expected in health care, education and environment-related work. Education or re-education is crucial to many of the industries and professions expanding the most, the studies found.
Within each of these areas a range of positions is likely to be available.
To help workers figure out which positions and skill sets are most in demand and best for them, the Department of Labor maintains the O*Net Web site, which has a vast database of information about jobs within each industry. It shows which are in highest demand, what kind of training, work experience and education are typical for each position, the expected salary and other information. There is even a way to search for jobs by the skills they require (for example, skills of persuasion, knowledge of systems analysis, fluency in Microsoft Excel and so on).