Older Men Training Variables

Training questions were fielded during all personal interviews except the 1990 resurvey (i.e., 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1976, and 1981). Information was collected during the initial survey on the training experiences of these then middle-aged men while in high school and since their regular schooling ended. Subsequent surveys updated that information. Questions on the training plans of respondents and their participation in pre-retirement planning programs were fielded during select survey years.

The 1966 survey first collected information on whether the respondent had been enrolled in any vocational or commercial training in high school. Respondents then reported whether, since completing regular schooling, they had obtained additional training from a business college/technical institute, a full-time (six weeks or more) company training school, the Armed Forces, or another vocational/technical/apprenticeship program. The survey also asked about general training in English, math, or science. For each training program, data were collected on the type of training (professional/technical, managerial, clerical, skilled manual, or general courses), the length of the training, and whether the respondent completed the program or used the acquired skills on his current job. For the longest vocational training taken outside of regular school, the Census Bureau created three variables that summarized the type of program, the sponsor or training provider, and whether that training was used on the respondent's current job. Coding categories for the created training type and sponsor variables are consistent with those of the raw variables, with "apprenticeship" added as a separate type of training provider.

Subsequent surveys updated the respondent's record from the date of the last personal interview. Data on additional training courses or educational programs in which the respondent had enrolled either on the job or elsewhere were gathered. In addition to the core information on each program (i.e., type, length, sponsor, completion status, and use on current job), information was collected on hours per week spent in the training, the reason the respondent did not complete, and the reason for enrollment in additional training. Created variables are present for the 1967, 1969, and 1971 surveys that summarize the total number of hours and number of weeks between the current and last interview dates that the respondent spent in training. In 1971, a new set of questions was fielded on the respondent's plans to take additional training courses in the near future. The 1976 survey added a question on whether the respondent expected to use this training in retirement; the 1981 interviews asked whether a pre-retirement planning program had been taken and, if so, who sponsored the program, the program's duration, whether it had been completed, or whether the respondent found it helpful.

Table 1 presents by survey year and race the number of Older Men (and Young Men) respondents participating in training programs.

Table 1. Numbers of Respondents Participating in Training Programs by Survey Year and Race: Older and Young Men 1966-81

Year Older Men Young Men
Total Non-Black Black Total Non-Black Black
1966 1846 1520 326 577 464 113
1967 382 316 66 363 268 95
1968 1 1 1 564 448 116
1969 434 367 67 651 523 128
1970 -- -- -- 767 613 154
1971 413 342 71 776 613 163
1973 1 1 1 1061 870 191
1975 1 1 1 1095 912 183
1976 437 377 60 944 781 163
1978 1 1 1 1090 914 176
1980 1 1 1 1061 910 151
1981 252 216 36 8112 705 106
Note: The 1966 variable for both cohorts was constructed from four separate questions that asked the respondent whether he had ever participated outside of regular school in specific types of training programs. Thus the reference period for 1966 was "ever participated" while that of subsequent survey years was participation "since the last interview," "in the past five years," etc. Excluded from this table is participation in military training reported in separate question series by the Older Men in 1966 and by the Young Men during the 1966, 1969, 1971, 1976, and 1981 surveys.
1 No training questions asked of the cohort in these years.
2 Does not include respondents who were enrolled in a training program at the 1980 interview date and reported attending that program between the 1980 and 1981 interviews. Information about these at-last-interview training programs was collected in a separate series of questions.

Related Variables:Two variables, created in 1966 and 1971, are titled 'Skill Content Current Last Job' and provide information on the usual length of training time necessary to perform the respondent's current/last job.

Survey Instruments: The "Education & Training" sections of the 1966, 1967, 1969, and 1971 questionnaires and the "Retrospective Work History" sections of the 1976 and 1981 instrument.

Young Men Training Variables

Created Variables

Summary variables were created from data collected in 1966, 1968, and 1971 that indicate whether the respondent completed or used various types of training, e.g., 'Completed or Used Professional or Technical Occupational Training as of 66?,' 'Completed or Used Clerical Occupational Training, 66-71?,' etc.

During the initial survey, respondents not enrolled in school who were not college graduates were asked a series of questions on their plans for more education or training. These respondents also reported whether they had ever been enrolled outside of regular school in business/technical training, a company training school, other vocational training (including apprenticeship) and whether they had taken additional general courses (e.g., English, mathematics, or science) since they stopped attending full-time school. For each training experience, information was collected on the type of training (technical/professional, managerial, clerical, skilled or semi-skilled manual, or other training including basic or general courses); number of months and hours per week spent in training; whether the program was completed and if not, the reason; and use of the skills acquired in the training program on the respondent's current/last job. Each subsequent survey continued the core data collection with information on whether additional formal training or educational courses had been taken either on the job or elsewhere, the type of training, duration and intensity, completion status, reason for the training, and use on present job. These questions referred to the period since the date of the respondent's last interview or since October 1 of the previous interview year if he had not participated in the previous interview. Changes in the eligible universe of respondents, new sets of questions, and changes in the coding categories of the core data collection are discussed below. Table 1 above presents the number of Young Men respondents participating in training programs.

Over time, the universe of respondents asked the training questions was expanded. In 1966 and 1967, only respondents who were not enrolled in school and who were not college graduates were asked about their training experiences. In 1968-76, all respondents not currently enrolled in regular school answered questions about training experiences, regardless of college graduation status. In 1978-81, all respondents, both enrolled and not enrolled, reported participation in training programs other than regular school.

Information on the type of institution providing the training was added beginning with the 1967 survey. Core coding categories for the type of school variables include business college/technical institute, company training school, correspondence school, regular school, and other (including federally funded MDTA or Title V programs). Codes for apprenticeship and Armed Forces were added as permanent categories in 1973. During the 1971 and 1976 survey years only, the regular school category was differentiated into community or junior college, high school, and area vocational school. Information was collected during the 1976 survey on training programs offered by a community agency (church, YMCA, etc.).

The 1970 questionnaire included a retrospective on any training courses or educational programs taken prior to October 1967. During the 1971 and 1976 surveys, a series of questions on plans for future training courses or educational programs were added. The number of questions varied but included the type of training, reason, month and year such training was expected to be taken, and factors influencing the decision to seek training. The 1973, 1975 and 1976 surveys added a question to the core series that provided information on whether the respondent was still enrolled in the last survey year's training program. Stop dates (month completed training) were collected during the 1967-71 and 1976 surveys.

Limited information was collected regarding apprenticeships and journeyman's status. The 1975 interviews included a retrospective on whether the respondent had ever been enrolled prior to October 1971 in an apprenticeship program, start and stop dates, whether the program had been completed, and the type of trade learned. Journeyman's status questions included in the 1978 survey collected information on whether the respondent held a journeyman's card, the occupation of up to three journeyman's trades, whether journeyman's status was attained following an apprenticeship, and the year the first card was received.

User Notes

1. As noted above, the type of training provider question included an Armed Forces answer category. In addition to any information collected in the regular training series, respondents in the Young Men cohort answered a second series of questions referring specifically to military training. These questions are discussed in the Military section of this guide.

2. Rumberger (1984) states that participation in training may be understated due to a questionnaire skip pattern that omitted from questioning respondents enrolled in school during the fall fielding period who might have participated in training prior to their current school enrollment.

Related Variables: The 1966 "CPS" section included a question on whether the respondent's current job required more or less or about the same skills as the job held one year ago. (The CPS section refers to the series of employment questions that replicated the questions asked in the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) of American households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Department of Labor). The 1966 "Attitudes Towards Work" section included three hypothetical questions dealing with the type of training, the type of school, and the method of financing additional schooling should the respondent permanently lose his present job and decide to return to school or get training. The "CPS" section of the 1980 questionnaire included a set of questions on the training methods used to learn the respondent's current/last job and, for those with more than one method, the most helpful method was identified. Coding categories included college courses, vocational school, company training, Armed Forces, apprenticeship, on-the-job training, promotion, relative/friend, informal training, etc. This 1980 series replicated a set of retrospective questions from a supplement to the April 1963 Current Population Survey that collected information on the training methods used to learn a specific job. Hills (1982c) presents comparison data from the 1980 NLS of Young Men and a sample of young people from the 1963 CPS.

Survey Instruments: The "Education & Training" section of the 1966 questionnaire; the "Educational Status" sections of the 1967-71, 1976, and 1981 questionnaires; and untitled sections of the 1973, 1975, 1978, and 1980 questionnaires.

Documentation: "Attachment 2: 1960 and 1980 Census Industrial & Occupational Classification Codes" in the Young Men Codebook Supplement contains the codes for the 1975 and 1978 apprenticeship training and journeyman trade variables.


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Grasso, John T. and Myers, Steven C. "The Labor Market Effects of Investment in Human Capital." In: Career Thresholds, Volume 6: A Longitudinal Study of the Educational and Labor Market Experience of Young Men. A.I. Kohen, et al. Columbus, OH: CHRR, The Ohio State University, 1977.

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Mangum, Stephen and Ball, David. "Skill Transfer and Military Occupational Training." In: The Changing Labor Market: A Longitudinal Study of Young Men. Stephen M. Hills, ed. Columbus, OH: CHRR, The Ohio State University, 1986.

Rumberger, Russell W. "The Incidence and Wage Effects of Occupational Training among Young Men." Social Science Quarterly 65, 3 (September 1984): 775-88.

Rumberger, Russell W. "The Intensity of Occupational Training and its Effect on Earnings." In: Market Defenses: Early Work Decisions of Today's Middle-Aged Men. Stephen M. Hills, ed. Columbus, OH: CHRR, The Ohio State University, 1983.