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What affects lifelong learning of scientists and engineers?

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  • Grip Andries de
  • Smits Wendy

    (METEOR)

Abstract

This paper greatly enriches the discussion on the determinants of lifelong learning of scientists and engineers (S&Es). In our analysis, which is based on a survey among S&Es in the Netherlands, we take account of both formal training and different modes of informal learning. We find that S&Es employed in firms which apply innovative production processes more often participate in formal training and also benefit from the informal learning potential of their jobs. Therefore, public policies that stimulate process innovation also prevent skills obsolescence among S&Es. However, lifelong learning is not triggered in firms with many product innovations. S&Es who are employed in firms which operate on highly competitive markets also participate in formal training less often. The same holds for S&Es employed in small firms, although the latter compensate their lower participation in formal training by more hours of self-teaching. S&Es employed in jobs which require a high level of technical knowledge have more formal training, whereas those employed in jobs which require more general skills are significantly more involved in informal learning. Furthermore, older S&Es with long firm tenures participate in formal training less often and have fewer opportunities for learning in their jobs. Therefore, their competence level is at risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Grip Andries de & Smits Wendy, 2009. "What affects lifelong learning of scientists and engineers?," Research Memorandum 047, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2009047
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ferreira Sequeda M.T. & Grip A. de & Velden R.K.W. van der, 2015. "Does on-the-job informal learning in OECD countries differ by contract duration?," ROA Research Memorandum 008, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    2. BeblavĂ˝, Miroslav & Thum, Anna-Elisabeth & Potjagailo, Galina, 2013. "When do adults learn? A cohort analysis of adult education in Europe," CEPS Papers 8059, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    3. Andries de Grip, 2015. "The importance of informal learning at work," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 162-162, June.
    4. Juan Gabriel Brida & Marta Meleddu & Manuela Pulina & Vania Statzu, 2014. "Investigating informal learning at a cultural site," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 634-650.

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