CGHE Seminar 37

Should governments worry about graduate underemployment?

  • Thursday, 01 Dec 2016 12:30 - 14:00
  • Room 537, UCL Institute of Education
  • Francis Green, UCL Institute of Education
  • CGHE Research Programme 2


Every few weeks some new report raises concerns about graduate underemployment, whereby graduates are obliged to undertake non-graduate jobs. So, should governments be concerned?

Professor Green’s short answer to this question is: ‘Yes, but …’. In this presentation, he examines theory and evidence surrounding graduate educational underemployment in 21 countries.

Yes, underemployment’s association with lower job satisfaction and pay is widespread, and this is the primary reason for concern. But there are external benefits associated with higher education, even for those who are underemployed.

Professor Green concludes that governments should monitor graduate underemployment, but that higher education policy should be based on social returns and should recall higher education’s wider purposes.

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Francis Green

Francis Green

Francis Green is Professor of Work and Education Economics at UCL Institute of Education and a Co-Investigator at CGHE and at the LLAKES Centre. He writes on skills, education, training, job quality and industrial relations issues, and has worked as an advisor to the OECD, the European Union, the World Bank, and the UK and Singapore governments. He is the author of Skills and Skilled Work. An Economic and Social Analysis, Oxford University Press (2013). His research focuses on skills, training, work quality and industrial relations issues.

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