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Measuring Mismatch in Cognitive Skills in National and International Studies: Challenges for Higher Education

Student: Vera Maltseva

Supervisor: Fedor Dudyrev

Faculty: Institute of Education

Educational Programme: Management in Higher Education (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2019

Master thesis researches the problem of measuring mismatch in cognitive skills and its implications for higher education. The concept of skill mismatch differentiates in various forms according to the type of mismatch and measuring party (employer/employee). The study compares the approaches of measuring skill mismatch in cognitive skills used in both international and national projects. All measurement approaches are differentiated in three types: direct objective, indirect (or empirical) and direct subjective. Approaches to measuring skill mismatch in the international projects combine two types (e.g. PIAAC, STEP) or are indirect (OECD Skills for Job), and almost none are direct objective in measuring both skill supply and demand. While most national research projects on skill mismatch exploit direct subjective approach – survey of employers and (or) employees (Russia, E.U.), and only the U.S. experience direct objective measurement of several cognitive skills. Estimates of skill mismatch according to the measurement approach are very different both in quantity and quality in all analyzed cases (the U.S., EU, Russia). The U.S. approach of direct objective measurement (ACT WorkKeys project) is approbated. Approbation includes the implementation of probe tests in two employable skills on the sample of students of the undergraduate program in economics. As a result, the mismatch is revealed in the two skills as well as the students’ demand for improving these two skills during university studies. Recommendations for the implication of the skill mismatch information for higher education institutions are formulated. The first track includes information about the current and forecasted cognitive skills needs derived by empirical and direct subjective measurement. Second track implies the results of direct objective measurement of mismatch between supply and demand. Keywords: skill mismatch, cognitive skills, demand for skills, higher education institutions.

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