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“Full time versus part time students, does regular employment lower returns to schooling?”(with Qiny

Time:2014-07-03 Clicks:


In China, colleges and universities offer various degree programs for adult workers. There is a large percentage of workers who got their degree while at work, which ranges 17-35% across 1995-2007. It raises the questions: will the degree received while at work have different values compared to a regular degree? Will the quality of education be compromised by admitting full-time workers/professionals in a formal education program? We investigate the above issues using three waves of Chinese Household Income Project (CHIP) 1995, 2002, 2007 survey data. The results show there is a significant difference in the return to education between regular students and on-job students, with an annual rate of return approximately 20% lower for on-job students. The differences mainly occur for college and graduate degrees, while no significant gap between the two groups of junior college students can be seen. The paper further analyzes the potential causes of the lower returns for on -job learners such as the quality of the school programs, the quality of students, students’ efforts and learning capacity with age. The research sheds light on individual education strategy, corporate training and country’s life-long learning policies.