Besides assessing general needs, we included questions regarding which content areas and skills are important to one’s work as well as which content areas and skills reflect the greatest need for education and training. Respondents first indicated how important content areas were to their jobs and then indicated, based on the same set of content items, the extent to which an item was an education or training need.
We used the same process to assess the extent to which skills were important to respondents’ work and if more education and training was needed on those skills. The response options for importance to work were “not at all important,” “somewhat important,” or “extremely important.” On whether the item was an education and training need, the response options were “not a need,” “a need,” or “an important need.” To compare the results with the 2003 data, we combined the “somewhat important” and “extremely important” categories to represent an “important” category. Likewise, the “need” and “important need” categories were combined to represent the “need” category. Based on the percentage that each item was important or a need, we rank ordered the items for each occupational subgroup.