This paper analyzes the relationship between education and employment in Malawi, using data from the 2004-05 Integrated Household Survey (IHS-2). For both men and women, education is the passport to formal employment and leads to higher hourly earnings. Within regular wage employment, secondary education is associated with a 123 percent wage premium, and university education with a 234 percent wage premium (relative to illiteracy). In both rural and urban areas, income is positively correlated with specialization in regular wage employment. For example, in urban areas 60 percent of the households who derive at least 75 percent of their income from regular wage employment belong to the highest quartile of the income distribution. This reflects the relative scarcity of human capital. Among prime age males (25 to 39 years old), only 10 percent have completed secondary education. For women in the same age group, the situation is even worse, with the rate of completion of secondary schooling as low as 3 percent. The analysis of school enrolment highlights that teenage women experience high dropout rates, which prevent greater female enrollment in higher education, and therefore constrain future participation in the best forms of employment.