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Regular version of the site

Article

Student employment and school-to-work transition: the Russian case

Education and Training. 2020. Vol. 62. No. 4. P. 441-457.

Purpose

The paradigm of school-to-work transition is changing, with an increasing number of students combining work and study. Furthermore, there exists some mixed evidence for the impact of student employment on future earnings and employment likelihood. The purpose of the present paper is to examine additional evidence that would shed light on the pros and cons of student work as a function of whether or not it matches the student’s field of study. We also discuss practical implications for specialists who facilitate the transition of graduates to the job market.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a quantitative study based on the National Statistical Survey of Graduate Employment (SGE) conducted by the Russian Federal State Statistic Service (Rosstat) in 2016 with the help of statistical methods of data analysis (logistic regression, Mincer equations). The analysis makes use of monthly earnings.

Findings

We show that student work is a predictor of higher employment chances for both university and vocational college graduates. Moreover, the highest employment chances are associated with student work that is well matched to the field of study. As for earnings, the greatest returns are again associated with work related to a graduate’s major. Jobs unrelated to education significantly correlate with earnings only for university graduates.

Research limitations/implications

An important limitation of the present study is its consideration of the effects of student employment over a relatively short-term period only, making use of data on employment just after graduation and starting salaries. These findings suggest the need for further study of graduate competencies and the process of their acquisition.

Practical implications

Our findings suggest some directions for education development. The results can be used to analyze the government’s and other stakeholders’ initiatives in the field of vocational and higher education.

Social implications

The research results can be used by a wide range of stakeholders interested in graduate employment as a source of data for designing policy for improving graduates’ employability.

Originality/value: Our study obtained data on the impact of student work on later employment. Tertiary graduates get returns from all work experience, while VET graduates earn more only if their student employment is consistent with their field of study.

Purpose

The paradigm of school-to-work transition is changing, with an increasing number of students combining work and study. Furthermore, there exists some mixed evidence for the impact of student employment on future earnings and employment likelihood. The purpose of the present paper is to examine additional evidence that would shed light on the pros and cons of student work as a function of whether or not it matches the student’s field of study. We also discuss practical implications for specialists who facilitate the transition of graduates to the job market.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a quantitative study based on the National Statistical Survey of Graduate Employment (SGE) conducted by the Russian Federal State Statistic Service (Rosstat) in 2016 with the help of statistical methods of data analysis (logistic regression, Mincer equations). The analysis makes use of monthly earnings.

Findings

We show that student work is a predictor of higher employment chances for both university and vocational college graduates. Moreover, the highest employment chances are associated with student work that is well matched to the field of study. As for earnings, the greatest returns are again associated with work related to a graduate’s major. Jobs unrelated to education significantly correlate with earnings only for university graduates.

Research limitations/implications

An important limitation of the present study is its consideration of the effects of student employment over a relatively short-term period only, making use of data on employment just after graduation and starting salaries. These findings suggest the need for further study of graduate competencies and the process of their acquisition.

Practical implications

Our findings suggest some directions for education development. The results can be used to analyze the government’s and other stakeholders’ initiatives in the field of vocational and higher education.

Social implications

The research results can be used by a wide range of stakeholders interested in graduate employment as a source of data for designing policy for improving graduates’ employability.

Originality/value: Our study obtained data on the impact of student work on later employment. Tertiary graduates get returns from all work experience, while VET graduates earn more only if their student employment is consistent with their field of study.