Germany. Vocational qualification as safety-net? Education-to-work transitions of higher education dropouts in Germany
In Germany, almost 15 per cent of all first-year students leave higher education without obtaining a degree. The German post-secondary educational system is tracked however, and many dropouts enter the labour market with pre-tertiary vocational training certificates. We therefore examine if higher education dropouts benefit from these vocational qualifications obtained outside higher education and use vocational credentials as a safety net. We conclude that pre-tertiary vocational qualifications do serve as a safety net in case of drop out, because they protect from protracted pathways into the labour market. Apart from this we do not find evidence for additional returns of vocational certificates in terms of occupational status.