The rapid transition from an elite to a mass higher education (HE) system in Spain influenced both labor market status of existing graduates and the opportunities of employment for new graduates entering the labor force. Past and present trends in the labor-market status of higher education graduates (HEG) are analyzed in terms of a) changes in the occupational distribution of graduates; and b) changes in the conditions faced by younger graduates entering the market. Results show a more polarized job-holding structure than in the past, with gender, age group and length of HE program completed being relevant factors in the assignment of HEG to jobs and positions. The creation of typical graduate positions has been too slow compared with the growing numbers of college graduates, so the chances for younger HEG have worsened in general. 1 2Higher Education is in the grip of a strong feeling of loss of social exclusiveness. Academic careers lose their glamour in terms of social status, income, superior knowledge and professional self-control. Students ofte
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