Overeducation among Graduates from Universities of Applied Sciences: Determinants and Consequences

Andrea Diem


This paper investigates the phenomenon of qualification mismatch (overeducation) among graduates from universities of applied sciences. Using data from the Swiss graduate surveys, it analyses the incidence of mismatch, determinants, and the connections with earnings and job satisfaction. Analyses show that a year after graduating around one sixth of those employed (17%) are in a job which does not match, or only partially matches, the qualifications they have acquired, and that this proportion is not diminishing significantly in the medium term. The risk of mismatch varies considerably, however, by subject area and final grade. In addition, the results indicate that employment below the level of qualification on entering professional life significantly raises the probability of mismatch in the following years too. Analyses of the impacts suggest that employment poorly matched to education and training is associated with an income penalty of around 5% in the short to medium term. Graduates in a mismatch situation also demonstrate less job satisfaction than those in a position matched to their qualification.


Earnings; Job satisfaction; Overeducation; Universities of applied sciences.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/jefs.v3i02.105

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