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Higher Education in Mexico

Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes

image of Higher Education in Mexico

Half a million higher education graduates enter the labour market every year in Mexico. While their labour market outcomes are considerably better on average than those of upper secondary education graduates, some higher education graduates face periods of inactivity and unemployment. Many graduates who find work end up being over-qualified or working in the informal sector. This report finds that the Mexican higher education system needs to be better aligned with the labour market to help students develop the skills employers seek. Students need better support to succeed in their higher education studies and develop labour market relevant skills, which will help facilitate their achievement of good outcomes in the workforce. This calls for a comprehensive whole-of-government approach and the involvement of all higher education stakeholders. The report proposes a set of policy recommendations to address these issues and help Mexican higher education graduates achieve better outcomes in the labour market.

The report was developed as part of the OECD Enhancing Higher Education System Performance project and is a companion to the OECD report, The Future of Mexican Higher Education: Promoting Quality and Equity, which focuses on broader issues in higher education, including governance, funding, quality and equity, as well as two key sectors of higher education: teacher education colleges and professional and technical institutions.

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Labour market outcomes of higher education graduates

This chapter presents the skills and labour market outcomes of Mexico’s higher education graduates based on OECD data, the Mexican Labour Force Survey, other national data sources and stakeholder views reported to the OECD review team. There has been major progress in increasing higher education attainment among Mexican youth, and currently over half a million higher education graduates enter the labour market every year. Their labour market outcomes are better than those with only upper secondary education, but their working conditions are not favourable; for example, large and increasing shares of higher education graduates have informal jobs and are overqualified for their jobs. Large differences exist by gender, age, field of study, level of study and geographic location.

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