ERIC Number: ED347344
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Overeducation: Job Satisfaction.
The relationship between education and the economy is explained by opposing theories--functionalism and conflict. A way of assessing functionalism and conflict theory is to see if increasing educational attainment increases social equality. Higher educational attainment has occurred but has not led to an equal distribution of income. The extent of overeducation, workers with education in excess of job requirements, is a means of evaluating whether occupations are being upgraded at the same rate as educational attainment. Data from a national sample survey conducted in 1984, 1985, and 1986 by the National Opinion Research Center were compared to a Burris (1983) study using similar data from the years 1977-78. Overeducated workers showed a 3.5 percent increase over the years, but greater changes were in worker demographics. Workers with college degrees showed the greatest increase with 20 percent more women, blacks, workers from middle-class backgrounds, and workers 35 years of age and under being overeducated in 1984-86 than in 1977-78. Job satisfaction was examined for overeducation effects. Overeducation was a factor in job satisfaction with the slightly overeducated reporting the least job satisfaction. The findings of the study support the hypothesis that, although more people are acquiring higher levels of education, they are not in jobs comparable to their education. Conflict theorists say this is because of structural inequality in society. (47 references) (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).