The Role of Schools in Occupational Attainment in Japan: School Mediated Job-search Systems and High School Vocational Education

Yukiko Furuya

Advisor: Dae Young Kim, PhD, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Members: Joseph A Scimecca, Byunghwan Son, Tyler W. Myroniuk, Hiroshi Ishida

Research Hall, #161
April 06, 2020, 11:00 AM to 02:00 PM


This dissertation examines the role of schools on micro and macro level occupational attainment patterns in Japan. Using two survey datasets – the Japanese Life Course Panel Surveys (JLPS, N=4,800) and the Tokyo Metropolitan High School Student Survey (TM-S, N= 2,830) – and in-depth interviews with high school teachers as supplemental data, this research investigates how vocational programs and school mediated job-search systems, which are instituted with school-employer networks and in-school job placement offices, function to prepare young people, especially high school graduates, to enter the labor market. Overall, the study finds mixed effects of school mediated job-search systems on occupational attainment. While school mediated job-search systems increase the chances of finding relatively stable and high prestige jobs for high school graduates from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, they also increase occupational gender segregation.