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Understanding Emsi’s Occupational Compatibility Scores

Our occupational competency requirements are taken directly from the O*NET database. This database compiled various types of knowledge, skills, and abilities required by different occupations, including the level of competency needed and its importance to the occupation.
Emsi has a method for creating occupational compatibility scores, which it uses to suggest occupations with a similar knowledge/skill set to any other given occupation. Emsi calculates the compatibility of two occupations by comparing their O*NET skill, knowledge, and ability profiles, which contain two scores for each competency element (e.g., knowledge of biology): the attainment level and the importance level. Our algorithm uses the differences between competency levels, weighted by importance levels, to determine how compatible two occupations are.
Several assumptions are made in calculating compatibility:
• The O*NET categories of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities are sufficient to determine compatibility between occupations.
• The desirability of transitioning workers from one occupation to another decreases exponentially as the distance increases between a source occupation’s O*NET score in one category and the target occupation’s score in that category.
• Over-qualification is just as much of a problem as under-qualification for a worker moving from one job to another.

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