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The Determinants of Education-Job Match among Canadian University Graduates

  • Brahim Boudarbat
  • Victor Chernoff

This study uses data from the Follow-up of Graduates Survey Class of 2000, to look at the determinants of education-job match among Canadian university graduates. From a public policy perspective, the question of education-job match is relevant given the substantial investment society puts into its postsecondary institutions, and the role devoted to human capital in economic development. Our results indicate that one graduate out of three (35.1%) is in a job that is not closely related to his or her education. The most important result is that demographic and socioeconomic characteristics (gender and family background) do not significantly affect the match. On the other hand, education characteristics strongly influence match, with field specific programs (such as Health sciences and Education) having the highest likelihood of obtaining an education-job match. In addition, the level of education (i.e. graduates with a postgraduate degree vs. a bachelor degree), as well as good grades, strongly affect the match. Employment characteristics also affect the match, but to a mixed extent, with certain characteristics, such as industry, as well as working full-time (vs. part time) affecting the match to a strong extent, while others, such as the permanence of employment, as well as the method used to obtain employment, not having a significant effect on match. Cette étude utilise les données de l'Enquête de suivi auprès des diplômés de la promotion de 2000, réalisée en 2005. L'objectif est d'examiner les déterminants de la correspondance entre le programme d'études complété et l'emploi obtenu par les diplômés universitaires canadiens. D'une perspective de politiques publiques, la question de la correspondance entre les études et l'emploi est pertinente compte tenu de l'importante des moyens investis par la société canadienne dans ses institutions d'enseignement postsecondaire, ainsi que le rôle dévoué au capital humain dans le développement économique. Nos résultats indiquent qu'un diplômé sur trois (35,1 %) est dans un emploi qui n'est pas étroitement lié à ses études. Toutefois, le résultat le plus important est que les caractéristiques démographiques et socio-économiques des diplômés (sexe et background familial) n'affectent pas de manière significative la probabilité d'obtenir un emploi correspondant à ses études. Ce sont les caractéristiques du programme d'études (niveau et domaine) qui influencent fortement cette probabilité. Les diplômés des domaines d'études à caractère spécifique comme la santé et l'éducation sont les plus susceptibles d'obtenir un emploi qui correspond à leurs études. En outre, un niveau de scolarité élevé (deuxième ou troisième cycles), ainsi que de bonnes notes, ont un grand effet positif sur la probabilité d'accéder à un emploi en adéquation avec les études. Les caractéristiques de l'emploi affectent également cette adéquation, mais dans une mesure contrastée, avec certaines caractéristiques, comme l'industrie et le travail à temps plein, qui ont un effet significatif, tandis que d'autres, telles que la permanence de l'emploi et la méthode utilisée pour obtenir un emploi, qui n'ont pas d'effet significatif.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2010s-14.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2010s-14
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  1. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2007. "The International Transferability of Immigrants’ Human Capital Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 2670, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. John Robst, 2007. "Education, College Major, and Job Match: Gender Differences in Reasons for Mismatch," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 159-175.
  3. Melanie K. Jones & Peter J. Sloane, 2010. "Disability and Skill Mismatch," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(s1), pages 101-114, 09.
  4. Heijke Hans & Meng Christoph & Ris Catherine, 2003. "Fitting to the Job: the Role of Generic and Vocational Competencies in Adjustment and Performance," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  5. Di Pietro, Giorgio & Peter Urwin, 2003. "Education and Skills Mismatch in the Italian Graduate Labour Market," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 59, Royal Economic Society.
  6. van Smoorenburg, M. S. M. & van der Velden, R. K. W., 2000. "The training of school-leavers: Complementarity or substitution?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 207-217, April.
  7. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
  8. Brahim Boudarbat & Claude Montmarquette, 2009. "Choice of fields of study of university Canadian graduates: the role of gender and their parents' education," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 185-213.
  9. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  10. Drolet, Marie, 2005. "Participation in Post-secondary Education in Canada: Has the Role of Parental Income and Education Changed over the 1990s?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005243e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  11. Allen, Jim & van der Velden, Rolf, 2001. "Educational Mismatches versus Skill Mismatches: Effects on Wages, Job Satisfaction, and On-the-Job Search," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 434-52, July.
  12. Robst, John, 2007. "Education and job match: The relatedness of college major and work," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 397-407, August.
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