Created Variables

CVC_TRN_CERT. States whether the respondent received a vocational license or certificate other than a GED as a result of any training program. Created for all respondents regardless of the round's interview status.

CVC_TRN_CERT_DATE. Lists the month and year the respondent received the license or certificate. Created for all respondents regardless of the round's interview status.


Important Information About Using Training Data

Beginning in round 3, some of the information about the respondent's training programs is organized in the TRAINING roster. 

NLSY97 data include formal training experiences of respondents outside of their regular schooling. The training section, addressed only to respondents 16 years of age and older as of the survey date, explores what kind of training youths obtain, where and when they are trained, how the training is paid for, and what skills are acquired.

Respondents are provided the following guidance in the questionnaire to help them distinguish between training and regular schooling: "Other than high school, college, or university degree programs you may have told me about earlier, since [date of last interview], have you attended any schooling, courses or training programs designed to help people find a job, improve their job skills, or learn a new job? Some sources of occupational training programs include trade schools, nursing courses, apprenticeships, vocational or technical institutes, company or military trainings, correspondence courses, employer training programs, and other continuing education."

In general, the training section collects information on each training program with which a respondent is involved. The Youth Questionnaire asks all respondents who were at least 16 years old whether they had ever participated in any occupational training programs outside of their regular schooling. For each program, the survey then collects basic information, including the type of program, start and stop dates, time devoted to the training, periods of nonattendance lasting a week or longer during training sessions of at least two weeks, and whether the program was completed (and if not, the reason). Starting in round 2, the survey confirmed the data from the previous round and then collected these details about training programs taken since the last interview.

Through round 15, an extended series of questions explored the financial aspects of the training program. Specifically, respondents were first asked if any aspect of the training was provided by a government program. They also stated whether they received any allowance or additional money for participating in the training. Respondents were then asked whether they or their families paid any fees for the training program and whether they used any student financial aid or loans--and the amount of that aid or loan--to help pay for the training. Examples of financial aid or loans included Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOGs), or scholarships. Finally, respondents were asked whether an employer helped to pay for the training. If an employer did pay, the respondent was questioned on whether the training was required by the employer and the main reason that he or she undertook the training (e.g., promotion, obtain a license/certificate, look for a new job). Starting in round 16, respondents were not asked these extended questions; instead, they only indicated if an employer paid for the program.  

The next series of questions explores the content of the training program. Through round 15, information was collected on whether any skill tests (i.e., reading, writing, math) were given upon enrollment in the program and what types of assessments (e.g., exams, skill demonstrations) were used to measure progress in the program. The surveys have also explored the types of certificates, licenses, or degrees the respondent received from the program and the types of skills learned through the program. Respondents were questioned about any classes taken while enrolled in the training program to improve their reading/writing/math skills, to get their GED or high school diploma, or to learn English. Starting in round 16, information gathered about training content was limited to the type of certificate/license/degree received.

The surveys also collect data on additional activities the respondent was participating in while involved in a training program; these include vocational training for a specific job, job search assistance classes, on-the-job training, work experience, or other classroom training for a certain job. Specific questions about these activities gather which one the respondent did the most, the job trained for if involved in on-the-job training, and the types of services offered in the job search assistance classes. The skills learned in job training sessions are also recorded; respondents report learning or improving their computer skills, team work skills, health or safety procedures, equipment operation or repair, sales or managerial skills, sensitivity training, etc.

Types of Training Providers. Information is collected on the type of organization providing the training in which NLSY97 respondents participated. Types of training providers include the following:

Adult Basic Education (pre-GED program) Government training
Apprenticeship program Nursing school (LPN or RN)
Business or secretarial school Seminar or training program outside of work
Community or junior college Seminar or training program at work run by someone other than employer
Correspondence course Vocational rehabilitation center
Formal company training run by employer Vocational, technical, or trade school
GED program School-based: K-12, including ROTC (round 1 only)

In addition, information on school coursework and school-based learning programs is recorded in the schooling section of the instrument and is collected for all respondents. See School-Based Learning Programs and School Experience for more information.

Comparison to Other NLS Surveys: Information on training programs has been collected from the NLSY79 respondents in each survey. Although the earlier surveys focused on government training programs, the questions in later surveys are very similar to the NLSY97. Children of the NLSY79 age 15 and older were asked comparable questions in 1994 and up. Questions about training both on and off the job were also asked of Original Cohort respondents in most surveys. Users should consult the appropriate cohort's User's Guide for more information about exact questions and universes.

Survey Instruments: These questions are found in the training section (question names begin with YTRN) of the Youth Questionnaire.

Related User's Guide Sections School-Based Learning Programs
School Experience
Assets & Debts
Main Area of Interest Training
Supplemental Areas of Interest Education: Achievement Tests
Assets & Debts
Employment: Industry & Occupation
Employment: Jobs & Employers