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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Julien Calmand, Jean-François Giret and Christine Guégnard

In France, the vocationalization of higher education has resulted in an increase in the number of graduates and created new opportunities. The access of these vocational…

Abstract

Purpose

In France, the vocationalization of higher education has resulted in an increase in the number of graduates and created new opportunities. The access of these vocational bachelor graduates to the labour market raises the issue of their professional prospects amid changing economic and social circumstances. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

To provide insights into these issues, the employment situation of bachelor graduates during the first years of active working life will be compared with other tertiary graduates entering the labour market in the same years, using econometric models that estimate the effects of vocational courses “all other things being equal”, incorporating a range of individual characteristics.

Findings

Overall, vocational bachelor graduates experienced fewer difficulties in seeking to enter the labour market during difficult economic circumstances. They did not achieve upward social mobility with a lower probability of obtaining a managerial/professional occupation three years after graduation. These results confirm that diplomas continue to play a central and hierarchized role in France.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is to highlight the labour market transition of vocational bachelor graduates during a period of economic crisis, inquiring on the social benefit of this new diploma in France: what were the impacts of the changing economic conditions and influx of vocational bachelor graduates on their labour market transition and their chances of upward social mobility?

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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