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Educational Mismatch In the Career of STEM Workers: The Role of Postdoctoral Study and Gender


Project Description

A key determinant of economic growth is the research and development done by science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers. A more efficient operation of the labour market for STEM workers will likely generate increased research and development as well as economic growth. One potential impediment to efficiency is when a STEM worker’s education does not match the job that he or she is doing. Indeed, economics research has consistently found that mismatch is correlated with adverse labour market outcomes such as lower pay, lower job satisfaction and increased turnover.

Less research has focused on mismatch over the career, as the research findings above tend to focus on cross-sectional data. This calls into question the findings since the dynamic nature of labour market interactions over the career might either mitigate or exacerbate the labour market impacts of mismatch depending on where workers are in their career.

Using a unique panel dataset of highly educated workers in the US, this PhD will examine the impact of mismatch over the career of STEM workers. An important area of study will be the impact of postdoctoral study and work on mismatch, comparing the career paths of those who do postdoctoral study and those who do not. In addition, gender differences will also play a large role in the PhD research given the substantial heterogeneity of rates of females across STEM fields and the more complex career paths that females tend to have.

Funding Notes

Applicants interested in this research project should submit a more detailed research proposal that expands on the topic given above. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate thorough training in labour market theory and quantitative skills. Therefore, there is an expectation that the student who undertakes this research would have a first degree in Economics and/or, preferably, a postgraduate taught degree in Economics.

This project is funded by a University of Aberdeen Elphinstone Scholarship. An Elphinstone Scholarship covers the cost of tuition fees, whether Home, EU or Overseas. Selection will be made on academic merit

Related Subjects

How good is research at Aberdeen University in Business and Management Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 13.30

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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