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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ganna Vakhitova & Christopher R. Bollinger, 2011. "Labor Market Return to Computer Skills: Using Microsoft Certification to Measure Computer Skills," Discussion Papers 46, Kyiv School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kse:dpaper:46
    Note: Submitted to Contemporary Economic Policy
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.kse.org.ua/pdf/KSE_dp46.pdf
    File Function: December 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Computer skills; human capital; Microsoft certification; IT wage premium;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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