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Different Types of IT Skills in Occupational Training Curricula and Labor Market Outcomes

Fabienne Kiener, Ann-Sophie Gnehm, Simon Clematide and Uschi Backes-Gellner
Additional contact information
Ann-Sophie Gnehm: University of Zurich, Institute of Sociology
Simon Clematide: University of Zurich, Institute of Computational Linguistics

No 159, Economics of Education Working Paper Series from University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Abstract: Due to an increasing diffusion of information technologies (IT), the labor market requires more and more so-called “IT skills”. Recent studies confirm that IT skills are relevant for individual labor market outcomes. However, so far researchers do not use a consistent definition and measure of IT skills. In our paper, we distinguish different types of IT skills that may lead to structurally different labor market out-comes like wages. To measure these different types of IT skills, we propose an innovative way of measuring skills based on training curricula of apprenticeship occupations. We use modern computational linguistics methods, i.e. a topic model-ling algorithm called Non-Negative Matrix Factorization. By doing so, we identify different types of IT skills like e.g. implementing ICT (Information and Communi-cations Technologies), developing applications, designing webpages or installing software, handling system technology, CNC (Computerized Numerical Control), CAD (Computer-Aided Design), and handling control technology. Our results show that although IT skills in general have a positive effect on wages, different types of IT skills are associated with differing labor market returns, e.g. general digital skills like ICT and developing applications relate to higher wages than technology-specific IT skills like handling system technology.

Keywords: IT skills; information technologies; apprenticeship; training; curricula (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I26 J24 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2019-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ict and nep-knm
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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