Occupational and economic attainments of college and university graduates in Israel

Uri Shwed, Yossi Shavit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Until the early 1990s, the vast majority of students in Israeli higher education attended one of six universities. Since then, the system expanded dramatically through the establishment and accreditation of public and private colleges alongside the veteran universities. Some scholars suggest that the new colleges are nothing short of a lower track that diverts working class and minority students away from the elite universities and into less lucrative positions in the labour market. We examine this claim by comparing the occupational attainment and income of university graduates with those attained by private and public college graduates. We also compare attainments of tertiary-level graduates with those of respondents who did not attain higher education. Our main findings are university graduates attain more desirable occupations than graduates of other tertiary institutions. Private college graduates attain incomes that are similar to those attained by university graduates but substantially higher than those attained by public college graduates. The differences in the occupational and income attainments between university and college graduates are largely due to differences between them in the fields of study on offer and in social selection. They are only marginally due to differences between institutions in scholastic achievements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-442
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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