Vocational schooling, occupational matching, and labor market earnings in Israel
The authors conducted a comparative analysis of the earnings of workers in Israel who had last attended vocational schools and those who had last attended academic secondary schools before entering the labor force. Their findings suggest that Israel may provide an example of an educational system in which vocational schooling is economically effective. Vocational schooling in Israel has proven more cost-effective than general academic training. In particular, vocational school attenders who later worked in occupations related to their course of study earned more. Their wages were up to 10 percent more a month than their peers who studied at academic secondary schools and those who attended vocational schools but found employment in other occupations not related to their field of study. These results reinforce similar findings in recent research on vocational schooling in the United States. A caveat is necessary to temper the generally positive findings concerning vocational schooling in Israel. While vocational schooling is cost-effective compared with other forms of secondary schooling, it does not compare favorably with other forms of training for skilled trades, such as apprenticeships and factory-based vocational schools. Another factor is the national consensus in Israel favoring education designed to equip young people for the social and cultural role of integrating the country's heterogenous, largely immigrant population.
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