The value of educational paths on the Swiss labour market

How do the individual opportunities and risks on the Swiss labour market differ for people with different educational backgrounds and qualifications? And how have these differences changed over the past 20 to 25 years? A study by Dr. Manuel Aepli, Dr. Andreas Kuhn and Prof. Dr. Schweri explored these questions.

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This report (in German) outlines the main changes in the educational structure of employees in Switzerland. The proportion of people holding a tertiary-level qualification has risen significantly. This development is explained by a general trend towards higher qualifications, the immigration of well-educated people and an increasing participation of women in the labour market.

The study focuses on describing the labour market situation of people with different educational pathways and qualifications along various characteristics (e.g. participation rate and level of pay, but also subjective criteria like job satisfaction) and over the course of time. In their analysis of pay, the researchers found significant differences in median salary between people with different educational qualifications. People who completed a higher vocational education and training (VET) programme or a university degree programme after upper-secondary training or education earn more than those who do not. However, whether this higher qualification is preceded by basic vocational  training or a general educational qualification plays a subordinate role in terms of the salary achieved.