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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2021

Valentina Goglio and Sonia Bertolini

The study aims to investigate whether participation to massive open online courses (MOOCs) may lead to labor market returns and through which mechanisms such relative…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to investigate whether participation to massive open online courses (MOOCs) may lead to labor market returns and through which mechanisms such relative advantage may take place. Indeed, despite high figures of registered users, empirical studies on occupational returns are limited and MOOCs may represent a viable, cost-efficient example of lifelong learning practice to respond to the demand of a better skilled workforce for the fourth industrial revolution.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on qualitative empirical material constituted by a set of 21 qualitative semi-structured interviews conducted in 2019 among learners who registered in MOOCs provided by European higher education institutions.

Findings

Interviews return a situation in which MOOCs are beneficial for work: learners appreciate the new knowledge and skills they can access, with time flexibility and low entry cost. However, MOOCs positive contribution is not at everyone’s reach: self-selection issues tend to further advantage individuals with high levels of education and individual resources. Moreover, MOOCs can increase the risk of a shift of responsibility for training to the employees and qualify as a lower tier type of qualification, reinforcing social closure mechanisms based on educational credentials.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the empirical analysis of MOOCs economic returns empirically, by providing original qualitative material. Second, it contributes theoretically by bridging literature on economic and occupational returns to education on one side and literature on digital technologies in education on the other, providing new insights on the potentials and limits of MOOCs as a new form of lifelong learning.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2019

Sonia Bertolini and Valentina Goglio

The purpose of this paper is to analyse whether and to what extent the labour market situation of young Italians affects their chances of exiting the parental home…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse whether and to what extent the labour market situation of young Italians affects their chances of exiting the parental home, differentiating between leaving parental home with or without a partner. The paper also considers whether contextual factors, such as the occurrence of the economic crisis and family-related characteristics, might play a moderating role. The main focus is to understand if new modes of becoming adult are emerging in a country in which leaving home occurs relatively late and where family ties are at the same time a source of protection and a source of reproduction of inequalities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses longitudinal data from European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions for the period 2007–2014 and applies Event History Analysis techniques for discrete time data. The analyses estimate the hazard rate of leaving the parental home for a sample of Italian individuals in the age range of 16–40 who, at the beginning of the observation period, were living with their parents.

Findings

The empirical analyses highlight a negative association between exclusion from the labour market and housing autonomy, robust and consistent across gender and across types of transition. On the contrary, a situation of objective job insecurity does not emerge as being associated to lower chances of housing autonomy, compared to individuals with job stability. Moreover, the educational background of the family of origin does not show any mediating role on the relative disadvantage of unemployed and inactive individuals, while the relative disadvantage of inactive individuals tends to further worsen in the period after the economic crisis (2010–2014).

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the study of transitions to housing autonomy by differentiating between two modes: in couple or alone. Moreover, by introducing information on the educational background of parents and the time effect, the paper aims to combine different traditions of research coming from the sociology of work, family and inequalities.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 39 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Valentina Goglio and Roberto Rizza

The purpose of this paper is to achieve a greater understanding of the transitions young adults experience into and out of the labour market and the influence that gender…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to achieve a greater understanding of the transitions young adults experience into and out of the labour market and the influence that gender and married/cohabiting status have on employment careers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses on young adults (25-34 years old) in four European countries – Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and Norway – that are representative of different youth transition regimes. Using longitudinal data from EU-SILC survey (for the years 2006-2012) and event history analysis, the authors investigate the effect of the particular set of institutional features of each country, the effect of the cohort of entry and the effect of gender differences in determining transitions across labour market status.

Findings

Findings show that the filter exercised by the national institutions has a selective impact on the careers of young adults, with some institutional contexts more protective than others. In this respect, the condition of inactivity emerges as an interesting finding: on one side, it mainly involves women in a partnership, on the other side it is more common in protective youth regimes, suggesting that it may be a chosen rather than suffered condition.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to existing literature by: focusing on a specific category, young adults from 25 to 34 years old, which is increasingly recognised as a critical stage in the life course though it receives less attention than its younger counterpart (15-24); integrating the importance of family dynamics on work careers by analysing the different effects played by married/cohabiting status for men and women.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 38 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Sonia Bertolini and Valentina Goglio

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the debate on the employability of graduates from the standpoint of employers by presenting original empirical evidence from…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the debate on the employability of graduates from the standpoint of employers by presenting original empirical evidence from a case study on Piedmont, in Northwestern Italy.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical material of this paper provides an encompassing view of the educational system and of the labor market, based on qualitative data collected from 98 qualitative interviews and two focus groups that involved employers, teachers, school administrators, and public service authorities.

Findings

Despite important differences between big and small companies, the findings show some common traits that influence decisions on hiring: interpersonal skills, reliability, and motivation to learn and adapt to change are highly valued; social networks play a central role in finding a job, with consequences in terms of equality of opportunities; firms tend to establish long working relationships with the new hirees (especially college graduates), considering them as investments whose potential will be fulfilled in the long run.

Originality/value

The focus on the aspect of the demand is the added value of this paper. In fact, while scholars have largely addressed the supply of human capital, the demand side has received little attention and little evidence is available on employers’ decision-making process in hiring new personnel. In addition, the Northwest of Italy is known for its good economic performance but also has some potential weaknesses due to a production system that is rather traditional. Although geographically delimited, the case study provides interesting insights on the employers’ demand, which can be generalized to other contexts. The findings of this work can also have significant applications in other European contexts with similar characteristics, particularly Southern European countries.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

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