02 SES 10 B, VET and Higher Education
The presented results derive from a project focusing on the competition between vocational and higher education. Qualification and skill utilization of the respective educational programmes shall be evaluated regarding occupational status, positions and income.
Germany expects deep changes in the educational system and on the labour market due to the introduction of three year, vocationally qualifying bachelor programmes. Two central arguments constitute the substitution or even erosion of apprenticeships and firm-based trainings: due to changes in recruitment patterns of firms, vocationally trained persons could be competing with academically trained bachelor graduates for the same positions and students leaving school with a higher degree allowing them to go to a university could increasingly flow into bachelor programmes instead of taking up an apprenticeship. The new bachelor programmes have a comparable duration to apprenticeships (leaving aside the possibility of shortening VET programmes for high-performance trainees), but promise a higher prestige and a higher wage classification as well as giving access to a broader set of follow-up programmes (cf. Baethge et al. 2014; Dobischat/Fischell/Rosendahl 2008; Severing/Teichler 2013).
Further trainings regulated by public law can be linked to three levels of the German National Qualification Framework (GQF). The first level (“Fachberater”) is linked to level 5, master craftsmen and comparable vocational degrees (“Meister” and “Fachwirte”) are linked to level 6 and the third group (“Betriebswirte”) is linked to level 7. This means they are equivalent to bachelor (level 6) and master (level 7) degrees. Changing recruiting strategies of firms to favour academically trained graduates would cut traditional vocational career paths and thus the attractiveness of VET as a whole. Commercial and theory oriented occupations are expected to experience high competition between vocationally and academically (especially in bachelor programmes) trained graduates, unlike industrial and skilled manual occupations (cf. Weiß 2007).
Up to now, several surveys among companies have been conducted to learn more about the acceptance of, experiences with and partly (first steps) of bachelor graduates‘ career paths. Results differ and show relatively high acceptance and positive employment prospects of bachelor graduates (cf. Konegen-Grenier/Placke/Schröder-Kralemann 2015; Briedis et al. 2011; DIHK 2011) but also dissatisfaction due to bachelor programmes being out of step with actual practice. (cf. DIHK 2015).
This paper analyses data from the BIBB/BAuA Employment Survey 2012 and focuses on employees’ income. From an individual perspective the monetary outcomes of persons with equivalent qualifications are compared. Equivalence of qualifications refers to the GQF. To find comparable occupational positions the national classification of occupations which includes information on qualificational requirements is used.
Following human capital theory and the approaches of skill-biased technological change and task-based technological change (Autor/Handel 2009) different qualifications will lead to different wages. Segmentation theory (Doeringer/Piore 1971; Piore 1978) shows that longer job tenure will bring employees in more secure segments of firms’ internal labour markets. This would result in competition regarding positions, not tasks, with longer job tenure. Beside these the project draws on the signaling and screening approaches.
In the former (Spence 1973, pp. 355 ff.) reduction of information asymmetries is achieved by using signals. The side with better information will act first and give a signal indicating a non-obvious characteristic. In the latter approach (Stiglitz 1975) the side with less information acts first. Traditionally the education system is viewed as an important screening institution, where screening is a secondary function: „providing knowledge (skills) and guiding individuals into the right occupations“ (Stiglitz 1975, p. 294).
The main research question in the project is whether bachelor graduates increasingly replace candidates qualified in the VET system on the labour market. The presented paper investigates income differences between those groups.
Autor, D. H./Handel, M. J.: Putting Tasks to the Test: Human Capital, Job Tasks and Wages. NBER Working Paper No. w15116, 2009. Baethge, M./Kerst, C./Leszczensky, M./Wieck, M.: Zur neuen Konstellation zwischen Hochschulbildung und Berufsausbildung. HIS: Forum Hochschule 3/2014. Hannover 2014. Briedis, K./Heine, C./Konegen-Grenier, C./Schröder, A.-K.: Mit dem Bachelor in den Beruf. Arbeitsmarktbefähigung und -akzeptanz von Bachelorstudierenden und –absolventen. Essen 2011. DIHK: Kompetent und praxisnah – Erwartungen der Wirtschaft an Hochschulabsolventen. Ergebnisse einer DIHK Online-Unternehmensbefragung. Berlin 2015. DIHK: Erwartungen der Wirtschaft an Hochschulabsolventen. Berlin 2011. Dobischat, R./Fischell, M./Rosendahl, A.: Auswirkungen der Studienreform durch die Einführung des Bachelorabschlusses auf das Berufsbildungssystem - Eine Problemskizze. Düsseldorf 2008. Doeringer, P. B./Piore, M. J.: lnternal Labor Markets and Manpower Analysis. Lexington, Mass. 1971. Konegen-Grenier, C./Placke, B./Schröder-Kralemann, A.-K.: Karrierewege für Bachelorabsolventen – Ergebnisbericht zur Unternehmensbefragung 2014. Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Hrsg.), Analysen, Essen 2015. Kopatz, S./Pilz, M.: The Academic Takes it All? A Comparison of Returns to Investment in Education between Graduates and Apprentices in Canada. In: International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training, Volume 2, No. 4, 2015, p. 308-325. Piore, M. J.: Lernprozesse, Mobilitätsketten und Arbeitsmarktsegmente. In: Sengenberger, Werner (Hrsg.): Der gespaltene Arbeitsmarkt. Probleme der Arbeitsmarktsegmentation. Frankfurt am Main/New York 1978, S. 67-99. Psacharopoulos, G./Ng, Y. C.: Earnings and Education in Latin America. In: Education Economics, 2(2), 1994, p. 187-207. Severing, E./Teichler, U.: Akademisierung der Berufswelt? Verberuflichung der Hochschulen? In: Severing, E./Teichler, U. (Hrsg.): Akademisierung der Berufswelt? Bielefeld 2013, S. 7-18. Spence, M.: Job Market Signaling. In: The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1973, 87(3), p. 355–374. Stiglitz, J. E.: The Theory of „Screening“, Education and the Distribution of Income. American Economic Review, 1975, I. 65, Yale, p. 283–300. Weiß, R.: Bachelor Professional – ein Beitrag zur Aufwertung der beruflichen Bildung? In: BWP 4/2007, S. 47-50.
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