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Does updating education curricula accelerate technology adoption in the workplace? Evidence from dual vocational education and training curricula in Switzerland


Schultheiss, Tobias; Backes-Gellner, Uschi (2024). Does updating education curricula accelerate technology adoption in the workplace? Evidence from dual vocational education and training curricula in Switzerland. Journal of Technology Transfer, 49(1):191-235.

Abstract

In an environment of accelerating technological change and increasing digitalization, firms need to adopt new technologies faster than ever before to stay competitive. This paper examines whether updates of education curricula help to bring new technologies faster into firms’ workplaces. We study technology changes and curriculum updates from an early wave of digitalization (i.e., computer-numerically controlled machinery, computer-aided design, and desktop publishing software). We take a text-as-data approach and tap into two novel data sources to measure change in educational content and the use of technology at the workplace: first, vocational education curricula and, second, firms’ job advertisements. To examine the causal effects of adding new technology skills to curricula on the diffusion of these technologies in firms’ workplaces (measured by job advertisements), we use an event study design. Our results show that curriculum updates substantially shorten the time it takes for new technologies to arrive in firms’ workplaces, especially for mainstream firms.

Abstract

In an environment of accelerating technological change and increasing digitalization, firms need to adopt new technologies faster than ever before to stay competitive. This paper examines whether updates of education curricula help to bring new technologies faster into firms’ workplaces. We study technology changes and curriculum updates from an early wave of digitalization (i.e., computer-numerically controlled machinery, computer-aided design, and desktop publishing software). We take a text-as-data approach and tap into two novel data sources to measure change in educational content and the use of technology at the workplace: first, vocational education curricula and, second, firms’ job advertisements. To examine the causal effects of adding new technology skills to curricula on the diffusion of these technologies in firms’ workplaces (measured by job advertisements), we use an event study design. Our results show that curriculum updates substantially shorten the time it takes for new technologies to arrive in firms’ workplaces, especially for mainstream firms.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Business and International Management
Social Sciences & Humanities > Accounting
Physical Sciences > General Engineering
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:1 February 2024
Deposited On:17 Dec 2022 06:15
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0892-9912
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-022-09971-9
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:23029
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)