Borradores de Economía - The Dynamic Market for Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs

Keep in mind

La serie Borradores de Economía es una publicación de la Subgerencia de Estudios Económicos del Banco de la República. Los trabajos son de carácter provisional, las opiniones y posibles errores son responsabilidad exclusiva del autor y sus contenidos no comprometen al Banco de la República ni a su Junta Directiva.

Carranza, Juan Esteban
María Marta, Ferreyra
Gazmuri, Ana Maria

The series Borradores de Economía (Working Papers on Economics) contributes to the dissemination and promotion of the work by researchers from the institution. On multiple occasions, these works have been the result of collaborative work with individuals from other national or international institutions. This series is indexed at Research Papers in Economics (RePEc). The opinions contained in this document are the sole responsibility of the author and do not commit Banco de la República or its Board of Directors.

Publication Date


We investigate the entry and exit of short-cycle higher education programs (SCPs), which last two or three years and can address local skill needs. Exploiting administrative data from Colombia, we study markets defined by geographic location and field of study. We find that institutions open new programs in response to local labor market demand, competition, and costs. Within markets, they often close and open programs simultaneously, possibly due to capacity constraints. SCPs are more responsive to local labor market demand than bachelor’s programs; private and non-university SCP providers are the most responsive. These findings have implications for workforce development.