Contents, Methods, and Skills Outcome of University Education by Academic Disciplines in Humanities and Social Sciences

Author Name HONDA Yuki (University of Tokyo)
Creation Date/NO. November 2017 17-J-071
Research Project Reform of Labor Market Institutions
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The aim of this paper is to show the differences in university education by academic disciplines in humanities and social sciences, and to examine the effect of educational contents and methods on the job skills of university graduates in Japan, using both a cross-sectional questionnaire survey data on university graduates and a panel survey data on university students. Main findings are: first, the characteristics of educational contents and methods are quite different by academic disciplines. While disciplines in social sciences such as economics and law are characterized by the relative scarcity of interactional education, educational contents of disciplines in humanities such as philosophy and history relatively lack vocational relevance. Pedagogy is characterized by the high level of vocational relevance. Sociology and psychology are intermediate and balanced according to both contents and methods. These differences by academic disciplines are partly influenced by the difference of the student-teacher (S-T) ratio between national universities and private universities. Second, these differences of educational contents and methods have some effect on acquired skills before and after graduation. According to the result of an analysis of university graduates at around the age of 30, both the frequency of interactive education and the relevance of contents are positively correlated to decision skill and negotiation skill. The interactive education is also positively correlated to information skill. An analysis of panel data from the third year of university to two years after graduation implies that both the interaction and relevance of education have an effect on decision skill and negotiation skill, mediated by flexible skill in the last year of university.