I Could Have Been a Nuclear Engineer!

Nuclear EngineerAt least, that was the top occupational match for me yesterday in an occupational skills test I took online at O*NET OnLine. Whodda thunk?

Well, here’s the thing I have to wonder, does everyone show up as a potential nuclear engineer?

Maybe I overestimated my skillsets, who knows? Why not rocket scientist? Science is one of my favorite non-art/design subjects, and I think that artists and scientists have more in common with each other than they have differences. Both are intensely curious, both are creative, and both like to experiment and see…what will happen if I do this?

I took a paper-and-pencil type of occupational test the 3rd time I was in college decades ago, when I was on my 5th major. What that test did that this test didn’t was ask questions about preferences–do you like to work with your hands, is your working environment important to you–things like that. ‘Cuz I gotta tell you, I would not be interested in most of the occupations on that list. Nothing in the medical field–I am the most squeamish person I know! Sales engineer? What is that? A salesperson? Definitely not my strong suit.

But the cool thing about this occupational test is that you can look at all sorts of occupations and see if you might have the skills that your desired occupation requires.

Skills Match for Nuclear Engineer and more

So I looked at “27-1013.00 – Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators.” Dig it: my occupation of choice uses many of the skills that I have. It shows that my other occupations (the ones that pay the bills), “27-1024.00 – Graphic Designers” and “15-1099.04 – Web Developers,” use most of the same skills as fine art–with a few more here, a few less there–and other than time and money management (which I’m getting better at), I’m good!

Here’s the thing: a lot of the skills I now possess I did not have when I was 20 or 30 or–well, let’s stop there. A lot of the skills required for the types of work I do, I developed along the way in order to do the types of work I do. I’m pretty sure I never would have thought about learning any kind of computer programming had the web not come along.

And the website shows, in summary and in detail, the Tasks, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Work Activities, Work Context, Job Zone, Interests, Work Styles, Work Values, Related Occupations, and Wages & Employment Trends. You can also create a Custom Report, which I haven’t tried yet, but it looks cool.

I think this website could be an extremely useful tool for anyone still trying to make a future career decision. For me, it’s just confirmation. Check out the O*NET OnLine occupational skills test and see what you think. I’ve love to know if “nuclear engineer” ranks high on everyone’s list!

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