Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Zertifikat "audit berufundfamilie"

Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Specificity and Similarity of Occupations - Measurement of Transferability of Skills between Occupations

Project Number


Head of Project

Project Start

July 2015

End of Project

June 2021


The occupation-specific orientation of the labor market in Germany is often made responsible for relatively rare changes of occupations. In this system, the acquisition of occupation-specific human capital through vocational education or training on-the-job plays a central role. These acquired occupation-specific skills and knowledge are by definition employable across firms. Consequently they can be easily transferred in a change of employer - however the transferability is limited in a change of professional activity.
The aim of the project is to develop a concept for measuring the transferability of occupation-specific skills and knowledge between occupations. The transferability depends on how much the skills and knowledge of the starting occupation match the required skills and knowledge in the target occupation. If the match is large, we speak of a high similarity between two occupations; if it is small, we speak of a low similarity. In case there is little or no similarity to other occupations, we call this occupation specific. The degree of specificity can be described as an attribute of an occupation.
In this project we have been developing both indicators and testing their relevance in empirical analyses.