• Further education;
  • higher education;
  • labour market;
  • wages;
  • Germany

In times of rapid technological and organisational change, it is argued that lifelong further education becomes more and more important for labour market success. Especially in labour market segments for the highly qualified, it is essential to constantly update one's qualifications. This is reflected in the finding that graduates with tertiary education are closely involved in further training measures at the beginning of their life courses. Almost all take part in at least one further training measure in the first five years after graduation. The further education strategies of higher education graduates, however, vary greatly in terms of frequency of participation, duration of measures, financing of the measure and the type of skills acquired. Using a German graduate panel which traces a sample of graduates up to five years after they obtained their degree in 1997 (HIS Absolventenpanel), we analyse which of these strategies are most successful in terms of wages. Using random effect panel models, we find — controlling for a variety of other factors — that the frequency of participation in further education only has a significant positive influence on male graduates' wages. Moreover, it is mainly measures paid exclusively by the employer and courses directed at personality development, i.e. management skills, which have substantial wage premiums.