Tuesday, 16 January 2018


A college degree has usually been considered as key to a good job and higher wages. But as the share of tertiary-educated adults throughout OECD countries has almost doubled over the remaining two decades, can the labour market soak up this growing provide of skills. At first glance, the answer isn’t encouraging: the wide variety of unemployed tertiary-educated adults has been growing across OECD international locations for many years. However, a closer look displays that the unemployment charge for these adults is nonetheless a good deal lower than for these barring a college degree.

The present day Education Indicators in Focus coverage short analyses long-term tendencies in employment outcomes of adults based on their easiest stage of academic attainment. The parent above shows that, in all OECD countries, adults with tertiary schooling still enjoy higher employment prices than these besides by using 10 proportion points, on average, and this gain has changed little over the previous two decades.

While this may seem reassuring, in some countries the reality is extra troubling. In Korea, for example, labour market demand has not kept pace with an ever-increasing supply of tertiary graduates. As a result, the employment benefit of tertiary-educated adults diminished slightly, through 0.6 point, between 1995 and 2006. In 1995, tertiary-educated adults in Korea were 13% more probable to be employed than those with an upper-secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education; these days they are solely 6% more in all likelihood to have a job. With 70% of younger adults in Korea retaining a tertiary degree, some might surprise whether tertiary expansion has reached its limit. But with populations of school-aged children shrinking throughout OECD countries, the worry about too many college graduates competing for too few high-skilled jobs may prove to be misplaced.

The know-how financial system has accelerated the demand for better-educated and well-skilled workers. But in many countries, even as enrolments in greater schooling have grown, businesses nonetheless record that they can't discover employees with the abilities they are looking for. While technological development and globalisation continue to venture training systems, automation and digitalisation will be, in the phrases of two Harvard economists*, an ongoing “race between education and technology”. Countries  thus fear much less about the share of tertiary-educated adults in the labour force and extra about the competencies that training provides. Ensuring that the capabilities college students graduate with are relevant to the labour market will go a lengthy way in the direction of making the enlargement of higher schooling sustainable two and really helpful for all.

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