Augustin Emane (Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes)
Patricio Solís (El Colegio de México, Mexico City)
Anja Weiß (Universität Duisburg-Essen)
In many societies, (higher) education has been equated with a form of professional formation whose focus lies on the requirements of enterprises. At the same time, a reduced individual dividend for education (that is, a decreasing value of titles and degrees because of an increasing level of education throughout the whole society) has become observable. To what extent are opportunities in the labor market dependent on education and (to what extent) has this connection loosened during the last decades? Besides university studies, which alternative routes are likely to lead to a successful career? How are the factors of inter-generational inequality, on the one hand, and education and the labor market, on the other, intertwined?
Augustin Emane: “A Continuing Question in Gabon: The Correlation Between Education and Labor Market Needs”
In his talk, Emane tries to explain the paradox Gabon is facing. Here, the level of schooling is relatively high compared to other African countries, but nonetheless the country still has to deal with social inequalities and high levels of unemployment. As office jobs were seen as more prestigious since colonial times, the literary field in education was privileged over the scientific field which only seemed to offer less favorable careers as technicians or manual workers. Due to changes in the labor market, the opposite is the case today: scientific courses guarantee more job opportunities. Emane looks at differences in the academic fields, among schools and in the nationality of the company of employment, differences that have a big effect on inequality.
Patricio Solís: “Educational Attainment and Early Occupational Trajectories of Youth in Mexico City”
Solís discusses the results of research on early occupational trajectories of youth in Mexico City. After the economic recession of 2008/2009, many educated young adults have been facing increased labor market vulnerability. Returns on education have decreased and being highly educated no longer secures access to top-level positions, as it used to be the case for previous generations. Although higher education still is an important advantage, many well-educated young professionals enter the work force in “low-quality” occupations and some of them stay there.
Anja Weiß: “Cultural Capital in a Transnational Perspective”
In transnational settings, migrants are not always able to make use of their cultural capital since foreign educational credentials are often considered to be of less value and may not be recognized. Based on the findings of the international study group “Cultural Capital During Migration”, Anja Weiß focuses on the situation of highly skilled migrants and the factors that impact the evaluation of their educational credentials in diverse labor markets.