The work in progress to be presented focuses on the income mobility of non-traditional alumni in comparison to their traditional counterparts. Based on a rational-choice-approach, I assume that non-traditional alumni are driven to study by their desire to earn more money. Due to their previous occupational career, non-traditionals have more human capital to exchange for better earnings in the labor market than traditional alumni. This results in higher paying positions at the beginning of their post-study career. At the same time they are anchored at vocational career ladders by the state dependence upon their first vocational career. Therefore, they will earn less than the traditional alumni over the subsequent career. If their additional human capital will balance that difference remains an empirical question.
I will present preliminary findings of the estimated growth models based upon waves 1 to 32 of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). The findings suggest, that, in contrast to their occupational status placement, the non-traditional alumni in my sample do not differ from their traditional counterparts in regard to their hourly wage – regardless if they include bonuses or not.