Panel Paper: Informing the Design of Career Pathway Programs Using Data on Occupational Transitions in the Wider Labor Market

Saturday, November 9, 2019
Plaza Building: Concourse Level, Plaza Ballroom D (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Matthew Zeidenberg, Abt Associates, Inc.

The presentation will cover work done by Abt under contract to the U.S. Department of Labor as part of the Descriptive and Analytical Career Pathways Study. As part of the Study, a database of occupational transitions was constructed by the team from federal data, including the Current Population Survey, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997 cohort), and the American Community Survey, and from a corpus of resumes. This database allows researchers and policymakers to understand the nature of career transitions in the labor market, the relative frequency of transitions, and the nature of the transitions: who makes them, what are their education and skills, and what wages are associated with each occupation in the transition. One major purpose of the database is to inform the design of career pathway programs. If a particular transition has been included in a career pathway program, but is not found commonly in the labor market, that might raise a question as to whether it should have been included. Conversely, if a transition is commonly found in the labor market, is associated with an increase in wages and skill, and has not been frequently included in career pathway programs, it would be a candidate for inclusion. We give examples of transitions of each of these two types from the occupational transitions database. We also will present novel ways of visualizing these transitions, both statically and interactively.