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Graduates’ Competencies For The Innovation Labour Market


  • Natalia Shmatko

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, Department for Human Capital Studies)


The paper highlights key research questions that concern skills and abilities of highly qualified personnel who are employed in the innovation related professions in the labour market. Developing a national system of competencies which would allow selecting and training personnel capable of creating and applying innovations is a very challenging task. The solution implies first of all the construction of the relevant methodologies and tools for the assessment of competencies acquired during vocational education and training and competencies required at working places. A survey of engineers conducted by the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge of the National Research University Higher School of Economics in 2011 strives for moving beyond the simple slogans of the knowledge economy and the received wisdom about shifts from low to higher skills, from blue to white collars. This study investigates how far the trend in skill requirements follows market expectations. Two large groups of highly qualified STI personnel are studied: the first includes the engineering and technical personnel with top-level qualifications employed by industrial enterprises, the other involves the staff of research, development, design organisations whose responsibilities include R&D (à total of 3158 graduates were surveyed). The paper is organized as follows. First, the data collection approach and analysis methodology are introduced and results discussed. Second, engineering education and application of acquired skills are analysed. The paper concludes with a summary of the major findings that show the important role of ‘general’ competencies required from engineers at their jobs, such as self-organisation, openness to new information, the ability and willingness to learn, and communication skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Natalia Shmatko, 2013. "Graduates’ Competencies For The Innovation Labour Market," HSE Working papers WP BRP 13/STI/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:wpbrp13sti2013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anna Zaytseva & Olga Shuvalova & Dirk Meissner, 2013. "User innovation - empirical evidence from Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 08/STI/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. Leonid Gokhberg & Irina Kouznetsova, 2009. "Innovation in the Russian Economy: Stagnation before Crisis?," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 3(2), pages 28-46.
    3. Messinis, George & Ahmed, Abdullahi D., 2013. "Cognitive skills, innovation and technology diffusion," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 565-578.
    4. Martin HUMBURG & Andries de GRIP & Rolf van der VELDEN, 2017. "Which skills protect graduates against a slack labour market?," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 156(1), pages 25-43, March.
    5. Heijke, Hans & Meng, Christoph & Ris, Catherine, 2003. "Fitting to the job: the role of generic and vocational competencies in adjustment and performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 215-229, April.
    6. Leonid Gokhberg & Tatiana Kuznetsova & Vitaly Roud & Stanislav Zaichenko, 2013. "Monitoring innovation activities of innovation process participants (2011: R&D organisations)," HSE Working papers WP BRP 06/STI/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    7. Ian Miles, 2010. "Nanotechnology Foresight: How Can We Explore Employment and Skills Implications?," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 4(1), pages 20-36.
    8. Mane, Ferran, 1999. "Trends in the payoff to academic and occupation-specific skills: the short and medium run returns to academic and vocational high school courses for non-college-bound students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 417-437, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Konstantin Fursov & Ian Miles, 2013. "Framing Emerging Nanotechnologies: Steps Towards A Forward-Looking Analysis Of Skills," HSE Working papers WP BRP 15/STI/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item


    competency; innovation economy; engineers; graduates; knowledge economy; labour market; researchers; skills; vocational education and training.;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

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