Four questions and answers for career guidance!

Skills Panorama has recently celebrated three years of providing Skill and labour market intelligence. Originally it has been designed to serve the needs of policy makers. Now, the Skills Panorama has added 8 new Indicator that provide valuable information for career guidance practitioners too. You will find a complete list of these indicators at the end of this blog, but we will now concentrate on the ones that have been prominently featured in our occupation section.

An important part of career guidance is to provide information on skill requirements and the availability of jobs. Some of the key questions career guidance practitioners receive include: “what are the future prospects of a specific job?”, “what tasks will I be doing?”, “how much will I make?” or “what education do I need for a certain job?”

Four questions for future careers

After thorough exploration of existing data sources and consultation with career guidance providers, Skills Panorama offers some answers to these questions. The answers aim to paint the picture for EU as a whole, and compare the developments across its Member States.

The entry point for career guidance practitioners is undoubtedly the job someone is interested in. Such level of detail, however desirable, cannot be achieved at European level due to data limitations. Instead, Skills Panorama clusters jobs with similar content and requirements into groups of occupations.

This blog discusses how important questions of career guidance can now be answered through Skills Panorama!

What are the future prospects?

The labour market prospects of a given occupation are at the centre of attention for job seekers and career guidance practitioners.

The new future job prospects indicator looks at the current number of jobs (within an occupation) and compares them to the future job openings (for the same occupation). The higher is the score, the higher will be the jobs availability in the future. For example, health professionals have a score of 0.8, suggesting that their future job prospects are above average. This score means that for every 10 current jobs of health professionals there will be 8 job openings in the future.

VisualisationEditAddExportthis visualisation.PNGPDFSVGEPSXLSXAPISharethis visualisation with the world.FacebookPinteresttwitterLinkedinEmailHTMLAnalysing data

The sum of job openings not only includes newly created jobs, but also vacancies aimed at filling empty posts workers have left. This, so-called, replacement demand will account for nine out of ten future job openings and thus needs to be taken into consideration while talking about future prospects. A result of the above is that occupations with high average age, or with lower inflow of graduates, tend to have better prospects and among the top ones are found occupations, such as legal and social associate professionals, customer clerks or even agricultural labourers.

What tasks will I be doing?

A second question that may come up while talking about perspective careers is what one will be doing at work. Our new indicator on tasks within occupations uses a 0-1 scale, where values close to 1 indicate higher importance. The importance of intellectual, physical and social tasks as well as the importance of technology (like ICT) and of methods applied at the workplace, such as autonomy or teamwork are assessed for every occupation. As one would expect, the importance of tasks increases together with rise of educational level. At the same time, some occupations, like care workers, employ a wide variety of tasks, while for others, such as machine & plant operators, just one or two may be of higher importance.

Routine in Use of methods : 0.72

Creativity and
Gather and evaluate
Manage and
Service and attend
Sell and influence
Teach, train and
Use of ICT
Use of machine
Use of methods
Use of technology
Tasks within occupations for Machine and plant operators in EU in 2016. The top three are Routine, Teamwork and Use of machine.

Dataset European Jobs Monitor 2016
Source Eurofound
Indicator Tasks within occupations

How much will I make?

A third, but definitely of crucial importance, question concerns the income made from a job! Given that it varies greatly among people employed in the same occupation, the offered indicator captures the “usual range” of income, showing what the lowest 10% to the highest 90% of people employed in the occupation typically earn. So, for example, a care worker at the bottom 10% can make less than five hundred Euro, while at top 90% she or he can be earning well above two thousand! [1]