Accessibility information 
OOQ Logo OOQ Online banner

Winter 2012–13
Vol. 56, Number 4
Grab bag
You're a What?

About OOQ Online

Occupational Outlook Handbook Home
Career guide to Industries Home
Employment Projections Home
MLR: The Editor's Desk
OES Occupational Profiles
BLS Home

Grab bag

How to best view PDF files Download the PDF (4.4M)
Grab Bag from past issues

Career info on the go

Carry all the career information you need, wherever you go! Now you can easily browse the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) on your mobile phone or tablet.

The mobile version of the OOH, a publication of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides quick links to occupations and occupational groups. You'll find the same information in this platform that you're familiar with online. Learn about an occupation's job duties, what it pays, its projected growth between 2010 and 2020, how to become a worker in the occupation, and much more.

To read the OOH from your handheld or mobile device, visit

Top of pageTop

Online tools for comparing colleges

If you're planning to continue your education after high school, you may be wondering: how do 2- or 4-year colleges and universities stack up against each other? Are they affordable? How likely are their students to transfer—or to graduate? How diverse are the faculty and student populations?

Several websites have tools for comparing data from public and private postsecondary schools. The sites allow users to search by state, school name, school type, and other variables. These sites include the following:

  • College InSight ( highlights data on schools' affordability, diversity, and student success. Users can browse and compare data from four sources at the college, state, and national levels, choosing search criteria to focus in greater depth.
  • College Measures ( aims to improve higher education through better access to information. The site draws from multiple data sources to show schools' performances in areas such as student success, school efficiency and productivity, and graduates' pay and debt.
  • College Navigator (
    can help college-bound students find the right school. Using data primarily from a program for the National Center for Education Statistics, the website allows users to build and compare lists of schools, export search results to a spreadsheet, find schools using an interactive map, and more.
  • College Results Online (, a Web tool from the Education Trust, provides information about college graduation rates. The site lets users compare colleges by many criteria, including graduation rates, financial aid, student cost, and admissions data.

Data on each of these sites is available for free, without registration. Other sites, however, require registration for some searches or may filter search results to benefit their advertisers or sponsors. As with using any online search engine, consider the source when evaluating results.

Top of pageTop

More education for better access to paid leave

Here's another reason to finish high school: Workers who stay in school have more access to paid leave compared with workers who drop out.

As the chart shows, workers' access to paid leave increased as educational attainment rose, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2011, workers with a high school diploma, some college, or a college degree were more likely than not to have access to paid leave at their main job. That contrasts sharply with workers who did not finish high school, most of whom had no access to paid leave.

The data were collected directly from wage and salary workers age 25 and over. They come from questions about access to leave, use of leave, and ability to adjust work schedules that were asked as part of the 2011 American Time Use Survey and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau. (For another look at leave and benefits data, see the OOChart, "Best bets for job perks," elsewhere in this issue of the Quarterly.)

For more information or to see more of the data from this Time Use survey, visit To contact the BLS American Time Use Survey program, write 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Suite 4675, Washington, D.C. 20212; call (202) 691-6339; or visit


Wage and salary workers with access to paid leave at their main job, by educational attainment, 2011 (percent)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey

Top of pageTop

Learn about fire sprinklers, enter to win a scholarship

When activated during a fire, automatic sprinklers save lives and property. The American Fire Sprinkler Association does its part each year to spread this message by awarding $20,000 in scholarships to high school seniors.

Here's how it works: High school seniors read an essay, available online and for download from the association's website, about automatic fire sprinklers. Then, they take a 10-question, open-book, multiple-choice test on the information. Each correct answer counts as one entry into a drawing for a $2,000 scholarship; 10 correct answers equal 10 drawing entries.

Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship or legal residency and enrollment in an accredited college, university, or trade or technical school by fall semester 2013. The contest ends April 3, 2013, and winners' names will be posted online the following month.

Ten students will be awarded scholarships of $2,000 each, paid directly to the accredited postsecondary school they plan to attend. Accepting a scholarship does not obligate the recipient to study fire safety or a related subject.
For more information or to enter the contest, visit

Top of pageTop



U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: December 27, 2012