In our previous post, we described how O*NET Intermediate Work Activities (IWAs) can be used as proxies for competences, both within and across occupations.

This post shows a pair of observations in the increase in the significance of certain IWAs since their introduction in 2014.

The figures show the changes in significance ratios for IWAs in two key activity areas within Manufacturing and Engineering occupations between O*NET v24.0 (August 2019) and v18.1 (Mar 2014).  The two activity areas are:

  1. Data Science-related activities, such as gathering and analysing data for operational improvements;
  2. ‘Green’ activities, such as evaluating and implementing sustainable business technologies and processes.



For ‘green’ IWAs in particular, we can clearly see indications of increasing significance, with 9 of 13 highest increases in significance1 being attributed for ‘green’ IWAs.

By selecting data science and green activities we are starting to understand how two major sets of changes across the labour market and economy are impacting occupations. We can see how the balance of work is changing and how these changes need to be accommodated in both school and vocational education and training. In particular, skills and abilities around data science are increasingly becoming a requirement of all occupations – at least at the appreciation and simple applications levels.

We will explore both the data science and greening of occupations in future blogs as our project and client work in these two areas progresses.


  1. For a definition of significance see this previous post.