High School Graduates' Transition from School to Work in Mexico: Differences between Academic and Vocational Programs

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 09:00
Oral Presentation
Jose NAVARRO CENDEJAS, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Mexico
The purpose of this research is to compare the transition from school to work of Mexican high school graduates’ according to their type of program: academic or vocational. The Integral Reform of Upper Secondary Education of 2008 was aimed to offer more opportunities to young people by standardizing the curriculum into a common curricular framework and the creation of a National Upper Secondary System, that includes academic and vocational programs. Among other things, the reform introduced three groups of competencies (generic, disciplinary and professional) in order reinforce both the labour market skills for academic program and the academic skills for the vocational ones. Using a national data set of 8390 high school graduates aged 18 to 20 (ENILEMS), we analyze the factors influencing the probability of continue to college, being employed or inactive. The results show that the likelihood of attending college is significantly higher for academic program graduates, but the there is no significant effect between programs regarding the other two situations. In a second stage of the research, we analyze the labor conditions between full-time employed graduates and we found no significant differences between programs, though we confirm the difficulties that young high school graduates face in the labor market: low salaries, informality, instability, among others. These reflects a probable skill mismatch that affects both academic and vocational high school graduates that needs to be addressed through educational and labour policies.