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Education Level

Not so long ago schoolchildren have taken state finals and had their Leavers Ball. Papers admission for universities is in a full swing now and soon comes the time for entrance exams. About 70% of Russian schoolchildren and more than 90% of school leavers, having finished 11 years of school training, are going to college. Another study, prepared by Bashkirova and partners based on representative data, is giving an answer to the question “What are the pluses of high education in the labor market?”


The first thing we would like to point to is the breakdown of respondents across their income level: i.e. which share of the interviewed with secondary education and which percentage of high school graduates have incomes below the average median across the sample. The percentage of people with secondary vocational education with income level below average made up 57%, while in respondents with university diploma across our sample we found only 43% of those with income level below average median.  

So we can see evident advantages for university graduates in the labor market, whose working activity is at an average is considered of greater value by employers, than work, fulfilled by employees with secondary and primary vocational education.

We have used unemployment level in our respondents as second comparative criterion (according to ILO procedures). Despite the shortage of qualified industrial workers and professionals with secondary vocational education in Russia, recognized by entire expert community, unemployment within this category is greater than amongst Russians holding university diplomas. We may suppose the reason for such a state of things is extensive using labor migrants in activities not requiring high skills and qualifications, as well as lack of demand for huge number of specialists with secondary and vocational education, who had started their employment in time of the USSR, and who in time of massive job cuts were fired from manufacturing industry plants (process triggered by the Russian economy structural transformation and production flow automation growing).

Based on the resulting data from this study, we feel sure to recommend to young people, who have successfully passed the USE, to go to college. Even if they don’t find a good job on specialty they have been trained for, they are anyway going not only to get relevant skills on how to handle massive information volumes (skills to learn), significantly add to their extensive knowledge, but also gain noticeable advantage in the labor market over other candidates.


This study was conducted in June 2015 based on all-Russia random route sample (18+) by means of face-to-face interviews in place of residence. Altogether 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 150 settlements, 200 sample points, have been surveyed. The sample error makes up ± 2,5% with C.I. of 95%. 


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