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With sociologist Monique Dagnaud, a survey of the “over-educated generation”


Sociologist Monique Dagnaud, research director at CNRS, guest of franceinfo on Friday January 29, 2021 (FRANCEINFO / RADIO FRANCE)

Despite the Covid-19 crisis, and after it, they “will be at the helm to think about the world of the future”. Sociologist Monique Dagnaud, research director at CNRS, publishes with Jean-Laurent Cassely a survey entitled Over-educated generation, the 20% who are transforming France (Odile Jacob).

The two authors started from an observation: today, one in five young people leaves the school system with a master’s degree or a diploma from a large school. This phenomenon is recent. “There have always been good students, explains Monique Dagnaud, but the workforce was much smaller. For the last twenty years, we have seen, through this educational boom, young people being trained further and further away. New schools have been created. Today there are 230 schools, more or less large. “

“In general, they are children of the middle bourgeoisie, of the cultural bourgeoisie, continues the sociologist. But their way of functioning, of projecting themselves is very different from their parents (…) We do not reproduce in the same way as before ”. According to her, “These young people who are in innovation or in engineering work in a different way from the old middle and upper layers. In their management methods in particular: they create start-ups, are in the idea of ​​disruption, of an innovative capitalism… “

Some have high salaries, for example if they work in a large tech company. But others not at all, if they are for example social entrepreneurs, “while being endowed with very high diplomas.”

Many companies are looking for what they call “talents “. They value “the ability to present themselves, creativity, dynamism (…) These people are also driven by a talent for telling their stories, presenting themselves, almost building a legend for themselves”, explains Monique Dagnaud.

How will these highly educated young people overcome the current crisis? Better than the others, according to Monique Dagnaud, because “They have something that is really convertible into cash on the job market today: it’s a diploma.”

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