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Secondary Vocational Education and the Transition from School to Work

Richard Arum and Yossi Shavit
Sociology of Education
Vol. 68, No. 3 (Jul., 1995), pp. 187-204
DOI: 10.2307/2112684
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2112684
Page Count: 18
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Secondary Vocational Education and the Transition from School to Work
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Abstract

This article reevaluates the effects of high school vocational education on students' odds of being unemployed and students' occupational attainment in the transition from school to work. The question posed is whether vocational secondary education actually benefits its clientele or is simply the crude mechanism of social exclusion that some claim it to be. The authors find that although vocational education inhibits students' likelihood of attending college and subsequently of finding employment in the professions and managerial occupations, it also reduces the risk of unemployment and increases students' chances of employment as skilled workers. Therefore, for students who are unlikely to continue on to college, vocational education is a safety net that reduces the risk of falling to the bottom of the labor queue.

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