Social Networks and the Transition from Education to Work

Research question/goal: 

The transition from the education system to the labour market is a crucial period in setting the course for the future working life. At the same time, there is general agreement that social relations are important for the labour market success of individuals. While there is substantial research on these topics, relatively little empirical studies exist which analyse the influence of social networks on the education to work transition. This is especially true for the German context. The aim of the project is to aid in reducing this research gap. In order to do so, effects of the actual mobilization of social contacts as well as of several network characteristics on the transition are analysed utilizing data from the German National Educational Panel Study. Apart from the extensity and the social composition of the network, the ethnic network composition of migrants as well as gender specific network aspects are also examined. Additionally, the question is addressed, if correlations between networks and search success can really be traced back to causal network effects. To gain a comprehensive picture, besides the transition from secondary school to vocational training, the transition of bachelor graduates to the German labour market is investigated. Social capital approaches serve as a theoretical foundation for the project.

Current stage: 

Last year, we analysed ethnic differences in the mobilization of social networks in the transition to vocational training and education. Furthermore, we examined the influence of the ethnic composition of parents' networks on the success of their children’s apprenticeship search and on ethnic inequalities in this transition. Findings were presented at scientific conferences, and several manuscripts are currently under review or in preparation.

Fact sheet

2015 to 2020
Data Sources: 
Secondary Data Analysis, National Educational Panel Study
Geographic Space: