Graduate pay gap hits record level

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 9 Sep, 2014 Updated Tue 9 Sep 2014 12:16 CEST

The gap in pay in Germany between those with a degree and those without has increased massively since 2000, according to a report released on Tuesday, which found levels of education were largely dependent on your parents' education.


Difference in wages between more and less educated workers has increased worldwide but the gap has widened particularly drastically in Germany, the OECD education report found.

Today, workers with a degree earn 74 percent more than those who did not go to university. In 2000, the pay difference was 45 percent. The OECD average is 59 percent.

A gender pay gap also still exists even between people with the same level of education. Women with a university qualification are paid only 72 percent of the earnings of a similarly-educated man.

The report praised Germany’s education system but highlighted worrying trends, including “downward mobility” – when children achieve a lower education level than their parents. This applies particularly to young adults.

“Among 25-34 year-olds in Germany, educational upward mobility is less common than downward mobility,” the report found. "Among non-students of this age, only 19 percent have higher educational attainment than their parents, while 24 percent have a lower attainment."

A person’s education success was strongly linked to their social background - 58 percent of adults have the same level of education as their parents. 

The report, which compared the education systems of the 30 biggest industrial countries, also noted that German adults were less literate than their counterparts in other countries.

The 2012 Survey of Adult Skills found the average mean literacy score of adults was below the OECD average.

But the report praised Germany for trying to get more young people into university and for increasing education funding, although at 5.1 percent of GDP it remains below the OECD average of 6.1 percent.

SEE ALSO: German students fail to graduate in time


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