There has been a great increase in the count of graduates in United Kingdom especially in the last 25 years, and this number continues to increase. Also the gap between the wage disparities between groups is quite apparent (Machin, 1996). It becomes difficult to explain the differences between workers who have similar qualifications ad the disparity in the human capital those who are similarly qualified have. There has been a rise in the numbers of individuals enrolled in universities for different degrees. The newer degrees that have emerged have been because of varying economic needs rather than being career oriented. Because of this it is expected that the employees might be overly educated for the job for which they are hired and in this research paper we inspect the effects that over education may have on the increasing wage disparity and growing academic participation. We inspect alumni data from a large public university in order to analyze the labor market in the U.K.
According to The Economist (July 2000), universities offer more than 40,000 degrees, and there are doubts regarding the belief that a sound education is key to economic success. Hutt (1939) says that the employees placed in the wrong jobs leads to more wastage of resources rather than joblessness and Freeman (1976) says that predicament is greatest of those who cannot get employment according to their educational qualifications. Using the data of University of Birmingham, about 40% of the graduates have over education, and from the Newcastle Survey, about 22% have jobs that are not in accordance with the qualifications they have.
In the literature available, there is not much to offer on the theory of over education.
Key Findings on this Study
1) Language, Humanities or Arts graduates are more educated than graduates from other fields. Students who passed out with higher grades are given preference and the pass and third grade degrees are moving down the occupational ladder. Also, people with post-graduate qualifications are given more preference while looking for jobs and it becomes advantageous too.
2) Men are over-educated than women in their current or in their first jobs.
3) Graduates who has financial debt commitment have bad prospects when it comes to education-employment match than that of their peers.
4) On the job training and experience has little influence on the possibility of being over educated. Also, people who are over-educated have difficulties in getting graduate-level jobs.
5) When people have surplus education in the current job, there are no returns on investment they did for education. Ie., Graduates who has degrees earn less than that of the one who works with same qualification in the same job.
6) In allocating graduates to good jobs, Geographical mobility plays a major role than the graduates who change the position more likely to find work with commensurate with their educational qualifications.
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