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Russell Sage Foundation

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Transitions into the labor market

Skills, Majors, and Jobs: Does Higher Education Respond?

September 2019
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Kevin Stange, Steven Hemelt, Bradley J. Hershbein
Higher education institutions play an outsized role in facilitating skill development, yet employers regularly cite a gap between the skills they need and those new college graduates possess. One explanation for this disconnect is that technological change, industrial restructuring, and international trade are continuously evolving the demand for skills in the labor market, but that investment is slow to respond. This project uses several quasi-experimental techniques, and the universe of all online job ads paired with novel data on college course-taking over the past decade, to study how...