28 ago. 2016

Attainment and labour market outcomes among young tertiary graduates


Among 25-34 year-olds with a tertiary degree, the proportion of those who obtained at least amaster’s or equivalent degree varies from 4% in Chile to 79% in the Slovak Republic. 

Among 25-34 year-olds with a tertiary degree, the proportion of those who obtained at least a master’s or equivalent degree varies from 4% in Chile to 79% in the Slovak Republic. Tertiary attainment also varies across generations: while 49% of tertiary-educated 25-34 year-olds have a bachelor’s or equivalent degree as their highest educational attainment, this falls to 39% among 55-64 year-olds. Employment prospects tend to improve with tertiary attainment levels: the average employment rate of 25-34 year-olds with a doctorate is 88%, for those with a master’s or equivalent degree it is 84% and for those with at most a short-cycle or a bachelor’s degree it is around 80%. In some countries, however, increased tertiary attainment is not associated with improved employment prospects among 25-34 year-olds, except for doctorate holders. In other countries, short-cycle tertiary graduates are more likely to be employed than those with a bachelor’s degree.



Educational reforms are often grounded in a predominantly supply-side approach; and governments and higher education institutions often expect labour markets to adjust easily to these reforms. But in order to safeguard the future of young people it is much more important to look at the interaction between the supply and demand sides. In order to co-ordinate the acquisition of skills and qualifications with the exigencies of jobs and workplace needs, education and labour market stakeholders need to work together. In most countries, a well-balanced supply of bachelor’s and master’s degrees now seems to be in place, and that’s a major achievement. In these countries, the bachelor’s degree is now a well-established level of tertiary qualification, providing access to jobs and professions. But in a large group of countries, better policies are needed for both sides of the equation to match the supply with the demand for skills and qualifications.

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