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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

OVERQUALIFICATION: MAJOR OR MINOR MISMATCH?

From The Institute for Social and Economic Research
University of Essex by Malcolm Brynin, Beate Lichtwardt, Simonetta Longhi

We have shown above that, when explicitly measured as an excess of actual over required qualifications, overqualification exists at all levels of the educational system in four European countries, and especially at the lower and the middle levels. It is not therefore an outcome of the tertiary extension of education. Nevertheless, this broad educational distribution of the phenomenon also implies that we must see the source of overqualification in the system of education itself, not in the labour market. It would be odd indeed if the labour market required or even encouraged excess at all skill levels. What happens is simply that many people with marginal qualifications are required or pressurised to remain in education longer than they need for the very limited jobs they will subsequently get. Their education is no doubt beneficial for them and for society, but it relates poorly to the work they will do.
Please note that the word pressurized is an informal term when used about individuals. It will not normally be found in academic papers.



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