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The Academic Takes it All? A Comparison of Returns to Investment in Education between Graduates and Apprentices in Canada

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  • Kopatz, Susanne
  • Pilz, Matthias

Abstract

This paper analyses the returns to education of specific occupations in Canada. The purpose is to scrutinize whether and in how far academic and vocational education do differ in monetary benefits regarding individual returns. Therefore, two different methodologies of calculation are used to compute the concrete returns to education. As a result it is shown empirically that within the here selected occupational groups (e.g. librarians and electricians) there is no decisive earnings benefit regarding academic careers, although a positive correlation of income level and educational achievement can be verified. Our findings justify revisiting the underlying assumption that vocational education and training cannot generate benefits comparable with those generated by higher education. The earnings data suggest that monetary aspects may be less crucial than generally assumed to the reputation and perceived value of vocational education and training. Therefore, social status and prestige seem to be the most significant contributory factors to vocational training’s low status in Canada.�

Suggested Citation

  • Kopatz, Susanne & Pilz, Matthias, 2015. "The Academic Takes it All? A Comparison of Returns to Investment in Education between Graduates and Apprentices in Canada," International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training (IJRVET), European Research Network in Vocational Education and Training (VETNET), European Educational Research Association, vol. 2(4), pages 308-325.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ijrvet:142457
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. Michael Coelli & Roger Wilkins, 2009. "Credential Changes and Education Earnings Premia in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(270), pages 239-259, September.
    6. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    7. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 2004. "Task-Specific Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 203-207, May.
    8. Thum, Anna-Elisabeth & Roth,Felix, 2010. "The Key Role of Education in the Europe 2020 Strategy," CEPS Papers 3827, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    9. Elchanan Cohn & John Addison, 1998. "The Economic Returns to Lifelong Learning in OECD Countries," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 253-307.
    10. Vahey, Shaun P., 2000. "The great Canadian training robbery: evidence on the returns to educational mismatch," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 219-227, April.
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