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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Brahim Boudarbat & Victor Chernoff, 2010. "The Determinants of Education-Job Match among Canadian University Graduates," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-14, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2010s-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. 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.
    3. 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 434-452, July.
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    5. 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, September.
    6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Giorgio Di Pietro & Peter Urwin, 2006. "Education and skills mismatch in the Italian graduate labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 79-93.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Summerfield, Fraser, 2014. "Labor Market Conditions, Skill Requirements and Education Mismatch," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2014-19, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Apr 2014.
    2. Sergey Roshchin & Victor Rudakov, 2015. "Do Starting Salaries for Graduates Measure the Quality of Education? A Review of Studies by Russian and Foreign Authors," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 137-181.
    3. Domadenik, Polona & Far?nik, Daša & Pastore, Francesco, 2013. "Horizontal Mismatch in the Labour Market of Graduates: The Role of Signalling," IZA Discussion Papers 7527, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Brahim Boudarbat & Claude Montmarquette, 2013. "Origine et sources de la surqualification dans la région métropolitaine de Montréal," CIRANO Project Reports 2013rp-08, CIRANO.

    More about this item


    education-job match; university graduates; Canada; Follow-up of Graduates Survey; correspondance études-emploi; diplômés universitaires; Canada; Enquête de suivi auprès des diplômés.;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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