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Labor Market Return to Computer Skills: Using Microsoft Certification to Measure Computer Skills

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  • Ganna Vakhitova

    ()
    (Kyiv School of Economics, Kyiv Economic Institute)

  • Christopher R. Bollinger

    (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

Using data from a Microsoft survey and the Current Population Survey, we examine the returns to Microsoft Certification in early 2000’s. The formal structure of Microsoft Certification provides a well documented external measure of computer skills rather than the ad-hoc self reports used in other research. We find that the wage premium for MS certification may be over 30% in the full labor market. When certificate holders are compared to only individuals in IT occupations, the overall wage premium falls to a range of 3-7%. We find that the hierarchical structure of Microsoft Certification is reflected in the wage premium associated with specific certificates, further supporting the claim that these certificates measure skills valued in the labor market. We also find that different IT occupations have different values for these skills. The similarity between the return to certification and the return to general education is examined.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kyiv School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 46.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:kse:dpaper:46

Note: Submitted to Contemporary Economic Policy
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Keywords: Computer skills; human capital; Microsoft certification; IT wage premium;

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