The effect of soft skills on French post-secondary graduates’ earnings

Ines Albandea (Centre for Research on Education (Céreq), Institute on Sociology and Economics of Education, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France)
Jean-François Giret (Centre for Research on Education (Céreq), Institute on Sociology and Economics of Education, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Publication date: 3 September 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to construct soft-skill indicators and measure their effects on graduates’ earnings using survey data from a sample of master’s degree graduates in France.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a quantile analysis to measure the effects of soft skills on income.

Findings

Certain soft skills explain a proportion of the earnings of recent master’s graduates. In particular, they influence the highest salaries and are important for the most highly skilled jobs.

Research limitations/implications

Most of these soft skills are measured using declarative responses and may result from the feeling of having skills rather than actually possessing the skill. Moreover, this paper only looks at graduates who are employed, and a deficit in soft skills may be more penalising for job seekers.

Social implications

While some young people take advantage of soft skills early and benefit from them in the labour market, it is likely that it is even more important for those less endowed with these skills to further develop them before entering the labour market.

Originality/value

This research illustrates the heterogeneous nature of the skills that young post-secondary graduates acquire. French diplomas do not seem to homogenise all of the skills that young people develop through their academic and professional experiences.

Keywords

Citation

Albandea, I. and Giret, J. (2018), "The effect of soft skills on French post-secondary graduates’ earnings", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 39 No. 6, pp. 782-799. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-01-2017-0014

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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