This paper provides an exploratory analysis on the relationship between educational
qualification and work status in Italy, with a particular focus on entrepreneurs and selfemployed
workers. Rough data are drawn from four waves (1995, 1998, 2002, and
2004) of the Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) carried out by the Bank
of Italy. Stylised facts emerging from the empirical evidence are the surprisingly low
level of educational qualification exhibited by employers and the tendency of workers
holding higher levels of educational qualification not to choose to undertake an
entrepreneurial activity. Such workers generally become members of the arts and
professions, or take up a career as high-level employees.