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Transitions from Education to Employment (TREE)
Third-party funded project
Project title Transitions from Education to Employment (TREE)
Principal Investigator(s) Imdorf, Christian
Jann, Ben
Becker, Rolf
Project Members Hupka-Brunner, Sandra
Koomen, Maarten
Meyer, Thomas
Müller, Barbara
Sacchi, Stefan
Von Rotz, Christina
Scharenberg, Katja
Organisation / Research unit Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften / Sozialforschung und Methodologie (Bergman),
Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften / Bildungssoziologie (Imdorf)
Project Website
Project start 01.04.2014
Probable end 31.05.2015
Status Completed


TREE has moved to the University of Bern. See

TREE has moved to the University of Bern. Read more…

Transitions from Education to Employment (TREE) is a longitudinal survey of a Swiss school-leaver cohort, based on the sample of the Swiss PISA study in 2000, which includes PISA as a base survey and eight TREE panel waves. It covers an observation span of ten years. The database includes measures on cognitive and non-cognitive skills at the end of compulsory education, as well as detailed individual and contextual data on the entire phase of post-compulsory education and early labour market participation. The survey is conceptualized as a pluridisciplinary multi-user survey. The Scientific Use Files of TREE are intensively used by a multitude of researchers who investigate education and labour market pathways, as well as the psychosocial development of youth during the critical transition phase from compulsory education to employment and young adulthood. Some 150 data users, including education researchers, economists, psychologists, specialists in preventative medicine, and sociologists make TREE one of the five most intensely and widely used social scientific data infrastructures of Switzerland. A ninth follow-up survey wave of the PISA 2000/TREE cohort was conducted in 2014, as average cohort age reaches about 30. The start of a second cohort study of school leavers is scheduled for 2016 (TREE2). The continuation of the first longitudinal study with a further survey wave in 2014 extends the overall observation period of the cohort from ten to almost 15 years, from the end of compulsory education to the transition into middle age. In Switzerland, most young adults between 26 and 30 years of age consolidate Vocational education and training (VET) careers or transition from tertiary education into the labour market, and they begin to found families. By extending cohort observation to this age bracket, these processes can be analysed prospectively and longitudinally for the first time. Accordingly, it would enable researchers to take into account the cohort’s academic achievement, as well as cognitive and non-cognitive skills (PISA) at the end of compulsory school, previous educational and employment pathways, psycho-social development since compulsory school and a host of other contextual factors. The launch of a second longitudinal survey of school leavers (TREE2) in 2016 generates a dataset of post-compulsory education and labour market pathways representative of today’s school leavers. The survey is designed for maximum comparability with the first cohort TREE1. With this design, Switzerland will be one of the first non-Anglo-Saxon countries with a strong VET system and strong, early tracking during compulsory schooling to dispose of a school-to-work multi-cohort study available to the national and international scientific community. This opens a broad field of new research opportunities, especially with regard to cohort comparisons, analysing the changes of school-to-work transitions since 2000, thereby taking into account demographic, family, school, institutional and labour market context factors, as well as a host of education reforms implemented in Switzerland since 2000.

Keywords Transitions in youth, /post-compulsoroy) educational pathways, school-to-work transitions, labour market entry
Financed by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

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