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Does Success Stem from Non-STEM Fields?

06.12.2022 14:00 CET Seminar Series of the Economics Dept.

Talk by Antonella Rocca (Naples) as part of the Research Seminar Series of the IOS Economics Department.

The school-to-work transition (STWT) is defined as the period from the end of studies until achieving a stable job. Using the survey on the professional integration of graduates provided by the Italian National Statistical Institute(ISTAT), this paper considers the possibility that the job search may end with the transition to the status of inactivity, still very frequent among Italian workers, especially females. Further, based on the very rich set of information provided by the ISTAT survey, we compare the STWT duration conditioned on several relevant characteristics, such as those entailing a satisfactory job, a job matching personal education, etc. The findings show the existence of a dual labour market: shorter transitions are indeed associated with satisfactory jobs, with jobs not associated with over-education, and with an indefinite contract. In addition, being male and obtaining a university degree in a short period strongly reduce the duration of the STWT. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields of studies are associated with shorter duration, both in comparison to humanistic fields of study and to social sciences. Policy implications from our study are clear. Actions that could help in reducing the duration of the STWT are: stimulating more young people, in particular women, to choose STEM disciplines; reinforcing universities in the South and their connections with the productive sphere, in order to reduce the territorial divide; incentivizing students to participate in the courses, and increasing opportunities for stages and Erasmus. A final suggestion could be to monitor the new skills and competencies required by the labour market, and consequently adapt and update university courses according to these requirements.

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