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Vooren, M., Haelermans, C., Groot, W. and Maassen van den Brink, H.: Employers' Preferences for IT-retrainees: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment



This paper presents the results of a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) on the competencies of potential IT-retrainees. The results give insights in the monetary value and relative returns to soft and hard skills. We present to employers seven pairs of hypothetical candidates that differ on six observable skill characteristics. Candidates with a master’s degree are valued higher than candidates with a bachelor’s degree. Candidates who possess a degree in an exact field are valued higher than candidates from other disciplines. Programming experience from previous jobs is the most highly valued characteristic for an IT-retrainee. In monetary terms, it seems that employers value this previous programming experience at 39 per cent of additional wage. The most high-valued soft skill is listening skills, which is valued at 35 per cent of additional starting wage. The results of this paper show that both hard and soft skills are important, but not all soft skills are equally important.

skills, monetary valuation, information technology, soft skills, discrete choice experiment

JEL classification codes: J23, J24.

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