Category Archives: Education/Qualifications

How can Universities Train Graduates for Jobs that Constantly Evolve?

Between November 2021 and April 2022, we have conducted a series of focus groups with large and small employers in various sectors to understand what technical and “soft” skills employers look for when hiring new graduates, and whether the pandemic has changed the required balance between technical and soft skills.  The results are remarkably similar across different types of employers.  Read our report here.

Employment and Earning Differences in the Early Career of Ethnic Minority British Graduates

Ethnic minorities in the U.K. are more likely than the white majority to gain university qualifications, but experience worse labour market outcomes on average. This paper compares employment and earnings of British graduates from ethnic minorities to those of white British graduates to analyse whether ethnic labour market differences exist among the highly qualified, and whether they can be explained by differences in parental background, local area characteristics or differences in university careers. These factors account for a substantial part of persistent ethnic differences in earnings, but explain very little of the differences in employment. Compared to the literature estimating ethnic labour market inequalities on people with any level of qualification, we find smaller ethnic differences in employment and almost no differences in earnings among graduates entering the labour market. The results are robust to various changes in model specification.

Zwysen W., Longhi S. (2018) Employment and Earning Differences in the Early Career of Ethnic Minority British Graduates: the Importance of University Career, Parental Background and Area Characteristics, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(1) 154-172.

Overqualification, Major or Minor Mismatch?

A proportion of employees are overqualified for their work. This generates a wage premium relative to the job but a penalty relative to the qualification, and is therefore. A puzzle for human capital theory. A part of this derives from the use of measures of time spent in education for the calculation of overqualification. Analysing data from four European countries, we split years of education into two components, one reflecting certification, another reflecting time. While a qualification higher than required mostly generates a wage premium, time does not. The result is that the combination of time with excess (or deficit) qualification may make overqualification either a major or a minor mismatch. The probability of either outcome varies with the institutional arrangements of different countries’ educational systems.

Brynin M., Longhi S. (2009) Overqualification, Major or Minor Mismatch?, Economics of Education Review, 28 114-121.