02 SES 11 A, Motivation and Career Decisions in VET
The career entry of graduates is a central issue of career research in educational science. Consequently universities have repeatedly examined the career entry of its graduates (e.g. Krüger & Züchner, 2002; Krüger et al. 2003; Leuze, 2010; Little, 2008; Smidt, 2016). Typically for many (educational) professions, the career start is marked by some uncertainty. Temporary employment, job changes and low wages are characteristic of this period of time, especially in the field of early childhood education, but also in other educational fields (Schmidt, 2011; Züchner, 2012; Züchner, Schmidt & Broering, in press). Particularly affected are new professional groups, which are not yet established in the labor market.
In the study the career entry and the conditions of employment of two professional groups for the field of early childhood education in Germany are compared: the longtime existing and therefore established educators (Erzieher) with a professional degree (below university level) and the new profession childhoodpedagogues (Kindheitspädagogen) with a university degree. Most of the new Bachelor degree programs of childhood pedagogy in Germany have been set up between 2004 and 2010 at universities of applied sciences (Oberhuemer, 2015a). One of the reasons was the standardization of European diplomas as a consequence of the Bologna Process.
The assessment of the career entry and the conditions of employment of the two professional groups is based on the concept of ‘normal employment’ by Mückenberger (1985). Essential criteria of this concept are permanent employment, full-time employment, regular income, dependent employment, and state-insured employment. It is taken into account, however, that not all of these criteria fit exactly to the educational labor markets in the field of early childhood education in Germany and other European countries (Oberhuemer, 2015b; Züchner, Schmidt & Broering, in press). Based on the structural conditions of the labor market in early childhood education in Germany and the recent state of research our hypotheses are:
- Due to the currently high demand for skilled workers in early childhood education in Germany (esp. in day care centers), we suppose that both professional groups, educators as well as childhood pedagogues, have little difficulty finding a job.
- Due to the dynamics of the field of early childhood education it is expected that a large proportion of graduates is working in newly created jobs.
- Despite the demand for labor, recent research and labor market data suggest that a high proportion of graduates is employed merely in part-time, that a larger proportion has a fixed term contract and that many graduates (also the graduates of the university degree programs) are paid under ‘academic level’.
- We also suppose that study participants with a university degree have more problems to be placed on the labor market as participants with a professional degree, due to the fact, that the childhood pedagogues, as a new professional group, are less established in the labor market.
- Finally we suppose that mainly those graduates got hold of leadership positions, who have a professional degree as well as a university degree (and thus also some relevant work experience).
Krüger, H.-H. & Züchner, I. (2002). Karriere ohne Muster? Berufsverläufe von Hauptfach-PädagogInnen. In H.-U. Otto, Th. Rauschenbach & P. Vogel (Eds.), Erziehungswissenschaft: Arbeitsmarkt und Beruf (pp. 75-92). Opladen: Leske & Budrich. Krüger, H.-H., Rauschenbach, T., Fuchs, K., Grunert, C., Huber, A., Kleifgen, B., Rostampour, P., Seeling, C. & Züchner, I. (2003). Diplom-Pädagogen in Deutschland. Survey 2001, Weinheim: Juventa. Leuze, K. (2010). Smooth Path or Long and Winding Road? How Institutions Shape the Transition from Higher Education to Work. Opladen; Farmington Hills/Mich.: Budrich UniPress. Little, B. (2008). Graduate development in European employment-issues and contradictions, Education and Training, 50 (5), pp. 379 -390. Mückenberger, U. (1985). Der Wandel des Normalarbeitsverhältnisses unter Bedingungen einer „Krise der Normalität“. http://library.fes.de/-gmh/main/pdf-files/gmh/1989/¬1989-04-a-211.pdf. (01.05.2015). Oberhuemer, P. (2015a). Parallel discourses with unparalleled effects: Early years workforce development and professionalisation initiatives in Germany. International Journal of Early Years Education, 23(3), pp. 303-312. Oberhuemer, P. (2015b). Professional profiles in early childhood education and care: continuity and change in Europe. In H. Willekens, K. Scheiwe, K. Nawrotski (Eds.), The Development of Early Childhood Education in Europe and North America: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp. 195-214). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Schmidt, T. (2011). Kritische Anmerkungen zur beruflichen Platzierung von Diplom-Pädagogen. In Rapold, Monika (Eds.), Pädagogische Kompetenz, Identität und Professionalität (pp. 151-160). Hohengehren: Schneider Verlag. Smidt, W. (2016). Occupational activities of nonacademic and academic pedagogues working in the field of childhood education - an Investigation of differences and predictor variables. Early Child Development and Care, 186(1), pp. 2-22. Züchner, I. (2012). Ausbildung, Arbeitsmarkt und Ausbildungsbedarfe in der Kinder- und Jugendhilfe. Archiv für Wissenschaft und Praxis der sozialen Arbeit, 43(4), pp. 1-11. Züchner, I., Schmidt, T. & Bröring, M. (in press). Berufliche Platzierung und Beschäftigungsbedingungen von Erzieher(inne)n und Kindheitspädagog(inn)en nach Ausbildung bzw. Studium. In K. Fuchs-Rechlin, G. Kammermeyer, S. Roux & I. Züchner (Eds.), Was kommt nach Ausbildung und Studium? Untersuchungen zum Übergang von Erzieherinnen und Kindheitspädagoginnen in den Arbeitsmarkt. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
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