Labour market mismatch among master’s graduates in the humanities from 1995 to 2015 in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The future of the humanities has been the subject of debate in several countries where it is often stated that too many students are accepted into courses that offer relatively poor employment opportunities. In this article, we examine the development in mismatch among master’s graduates in Norway for the period 1995–2015, to see whether this situation is reflected here, and if it applies to all subfields of the humanities. Two types of market mismatch among new graduates are investigated: unemployment and over-education. The findings indicate that master’s graduates in the humanities are slightly more exposed to unemployment than other graduates and clearly more exposed to over-education. The proportion of over-educated graduates increased during the latter part of the 1990s but has been relatively stable since 2003. Graduates in language studies are less frequently mismatched, while graduates in literature, culture studies and philosophy face more challenges. Combined with the fact that labour market mismatch of graduates in the humanities in Norway is substantially lower than neighbouring countries, this suggests that transition from higher education to the labour market for graduates in the humanities should not be perceived as challenging per se, but depends on subfields and contextual factors.