Client: Ministry of Education and Research

Period: 2013-2014

Information processing skills play a crucial role in surviving and succeeding in today’s society. But what role do basic skills play in the labour market? In this research, we tried to answer this question by analysing the data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

One of the most important research results was that people should invest in their education − no matter how skilled a person is, a higher level of education provides them with better opportunities. There have been frequent debates in Estonia about the fact that as a society we tend to overestimate the importance of academic higher education and many students could instead benefit from a lower level formal education with better practical preparation for the labour market. The outcomes of this analysis do not support this thinking. Comparison of people with higher and lower levels of education shows that regardless of their information processing skills the people with higher academic education can clearly command higher salaries. From an individual’s point of view it would therefore be rational to obtain as high level of education as possible.

The project was carried out in cooperation with Praxis Centre for Policy Studies for the Ministry of Education and Science.