Estimates by the International Labour Organization based on data from 130 countries show that only about half of all workers hold jobs corresponding to their level of education. About 16 percent are overeducated and 37 percent are undereducated. The data shows that the degree of “matching” increases with a countrys income level.
According to the ILO, the mismatch in education and jobs “points to a significant disconnect between the world of education and the world of work” and that “undereducation and overeducation reflect an inadequate use of human capital and, if persistent, such mismatches can result in high economic and social costs for workers, employers and society as a whole”.
Definitions used in the ILO estimates:
- Matched: workers whose highest level of education corresponds to the educational requirements for their occupation
- Overeducated: workers whose highest level of education is above the educational requirements for their occupation.
- Undereducated: workers whose highest level of education is below the educational requirements for their occupation.