International Standard Classification Occupations and related skills - competency to match the Domain Specific Knowledge Graphs

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

International Standard Classification Occupations and related skills - competency to match the Domain Specific Knowledge Graphs

Domain-specific knowledge graphs (KGs) are specialized databases that capture knowledge in a particular domain, structuring it in a way that facilitates better comprehension, reasoning, and interpretation for both humans and machines1. They are constructed by integrating data from multiple sources and describing it using ontologies, which define the content in terms of the entities and relationships relevant to that domain2.

On the other hand, the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) is a framework used to organize job information into a set of groups based on the tasks and duties performed in the job3. It’s a tool for statistical applications and various client-oriented applications, such as job matching and vocational training. The ISCO-08 structure divides jobs into 10 major groups, which are further organized into sub-major, minor, and unit groups. The classification is based on skill level and specialization required for the occupations.

Comparing domain-specific KGs to the ISCO graphs for job descriptions involves looking at how each structures and utilizes data. While domain-specific KGs are focused on capturing detailed knowledge and relationships within a specific field, ISCO graphs categorize occupations broadly based on skill levels and tasks. Both serve to organize complex information, but they do so with different purposes and methodologies in mind. Domain-specific KGs are more about knowledge representation and retrieval, while ISCO graphs are about standardizing job classifications for various practical applications.

When comparing the underlying knowledge requirements in the information available from the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) to domain-specific knowledge graphs (KGs), we can consider several aspects:

  1. Structure and Organization:

    • ISCO is organized hierarchically, categorizing jobs based on skill level and specialization. It provides a standardized framework for classifying and comparing jobs internationally.

    • Domain-specific KGs are structured around entities and their interrelations within a particular domain, focusing on capturing detailed, interconnected knowledge that can be queried and analyzed.

  2. Knowledge Representation:

    • ISCO’s classifications are relatively static, with updates occurring periodically to reflect changes in the labor market.

    • Domain-specific KGs are dynamic and can be continuously updated as new knowledge emerges within the domain. They represent knowledge in a way that can be easily expanded and refined.

  3. Purpose and Application:

    • ISCO is used for statistical analysis, job matching, and vocational training. It helps in understanding labor market trends and informing policy decisions.

    • Domain-specific KGs are used for knowledge discovery, decision support, and advanced analytics within a specific field. They can support AI applications, such as recommendation systems or expert systems.

  4. Knowledge Requirements:

    • ISCO provides a broad overview of the skills and competencies required for various occupations, which can be somewhat generic and applicable across multiple domains.

    • Domain-specific KGs detail the specific knowledge, skills, and expertise required within a particular domain, often at a granular level.

  5. Flexibility and Adaptability:

    • ISCO’s structure is less flexible due to its standardized nature, which is necessary for consistent international application.

    • Domain-specific KGs are highly adaptable and can be tailored to the evolving needs of the domain they represent.

In summary, while ISCO provides a macro-level view of job classifications and knowledge requirements suitable for broad applications, domain-specific KGs offer a micro-level, detailed representation of knowledge within a specific domain. ISCO is about standardization and comparability across different job markets, whereas domain-specific KGs are about depth, detail, and the specific interplay of knowledge within a domain. Both have their unique strengths and serve different but complementary purposes in the context of job classifications and knowledge requirements.

To illustrate how ISCO categorizes jobs and skills as required knowledge and how this can be aligned with a domain-specific knowledge base, let’s consider an example within the domain of Information Technology (IT).

In the ISCO framework, jobs are divided into major groups based on skill level and specialization. For instance, within the IT domain, we might have:

  • Managers (ISCO Major Group 1): This group includes roles like IT Project Managers and Chief Information Officers. They require leadership skills, strategic planning, and a comprehensive understanding of IT operations.

  • Professionals (ISCO Major Group 2): This includes IT Specialists, Software Developers, and Data Analysts. The required knowledge encompasses programming languages, data management, and system design.

  • Technicians and Associate Professionals (ISCO Major Group 3): Roles like Network Technicians and Support Analysts fall here. Skills required include troubleshooting, hardware setup, and user support.

  • Clerical Support Workers (ISCO Major Group 4): This group might include IT Administrators who need skills in database entry, scheduling, and maintaining records.

Now, let’s align this with a domain-specific knowledge base where entities represent skills and the domain is the job category:

  • Entity: Programming Languages (Skill)

    • Domain: Software Developer (Job Category)

    • ISCO Group: Professionals

  • Entity: Strategic Planning (Skill)

    • Domain: IT Project Manager (Job Category)

    • ISCO Group: Managers

  • Entity: Troubleshooting (Skill)

    • Domain: Network Technician (Job Category)

    • ISCO Group: Technicians and Associate Professionals

  • Entity: Database Entry (Skill)

    • Domain: IT Administrator (Job Category)

    • ISCO Group: Clerical Support Workers

In a domain-specific knowledge base, these entities (skills) would be linked to other relevant entities, such as tools, methodologies, or frameworks used in the IT domain. For example, the entity “Programming Languages” might be connected to entities like “Java,” “Python,” or “Agile Methodology.”

This structured approach allows for a detailed representation of the knowledge and skills required for each job category, facilitating better job matching, career development, and training programs within the IT domain. It also enables organizations to map their workforce capabilities to the standardized ISCO framework, ensuring consistency and comparability across different job markets.

Here are examples of different domains and the corresponding skills within ISCO groups:

  1. Healthcare Domain:

    • Major Group 2: Professionals

      • Doctors, Nurses, Therapists

      • Skills: Patient care, Medical knowledge, Diagnostic skills

    • Major Group 3: Technicians and Associate Professionals

      • Medical Technicians, Dental Hygienists

      • Skills: Medical equipment handling, Clinical procedures

  2. Education Domain:

    • Major Group 2: Professionals

      • Teachers, Education Administrators

      • Skills: Curriculum development, Teaching, Educational research

    • Major Group 4: Clerical Support Workers

      • School Secretaries, Education Clerks

      • Skills: Administrative support, Record keeping

  3. Engineering Domain:

    • Major Group 2: Professionals

      • Civil Engineers, Mechanical Engineers

      • Skills: Engineering design, Project management

    • Major Group 3: Technicians and Associate Professionals

      • Engineering Technicians, CAD Technicians

      • Skills: Technical drawing, Equipment maintenance

  4. Finance Domain:

    • Major Group 2: Professionals

      • Accountants, Financial Analysts

      • Skills: Financial reporting, Investment analysis

    • Major Group 4: Clerical Support Workers

      • Bank Tellers, Accounting Clerks

      • Skills: Financial transactions, Bookkeeping

  5. Agriculture Domain:

    • Major Group 6: Skilled Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Workers

      • Farmers, Foresters, Fishers

      • Skills: Crop management, Livestock care, Sustainable fishing practices

    • Major Group 7: Craft and Related Trades Workers

      • Agricultural Equipment Operators

      • Skills: Machinery operation, Equipment repair

These examples illustrate how ISCO groups categorize jobs based on the level of skills and specialization required in various domains. The skills listed are indicative of the types of competencies that are typically associated with each job group within the respective domain. It’s important to note that the actual skills required for specific jobs can vary widely depending on the employer, the specific role, and the region.

Did you find this article valuable?

Support Menno Drescher by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!