The Relationship Between High School Coursework and Labor Market Outcomes for Non-College-Bound Youth: Evidence from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988
Sullivan, Corey E.
Increasing the rigor of high school curriculum requirements is often touted as a method for improving the career readiness of graduates. However, the connection of specific coursework to labor market outcomes is not well understood, particularly for individuals who do not enroll in post-secondary education following high school graduation. This study examines the relationship between high school course-taking patterns and both short- and long-term employment status and earnings for the population of youth who are not initially college bound. Using data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS), I regress employment and earnings on course-taking variables, controlling for a number of demographic, parental, and school factors. The results indicate that English and vocational courses are associated with increased employment and earnings in the short term, but these influences disappear by the time respondents are eight years removed from high school. Outside of course taking, higher grades and high school work experience are associated with more sustained employment and increased earnings. These findings suggest that high school policy reformers should not necessarily presume that increasing academic coursework will best meet the needs of the non-college-bound population.
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The Community College Pathway & Student Outcomes: Evidence from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 Fuschillo, Alanna Lee (Georgetown University, 2016)Over the past decade, postsecondary education has become essential to compete for a broader array of job opportunities. Over the same period, the cost of college has risen exponentially, creating financial barriers to ...