Six Takeaways on How Young Adults Find Good Jobs

By on December 7, 2018

From Brookings:  How do young people find their way to high-quality jobs in adulthood? In broad outlines, the answer is simple: finish high school, enroll in and complete college or training that is affordable and a good fit, gain some work experience along the way, and launch a career. 

This approach works well for many young people—particularly those from middle-class and affluent families who attend good high schools, and whose parents have the know-how and financial means to navigate the college application and financial aid processes and to support their kids throughout their years in higher education.

A lot of young people, however, don’t fit this profile. So what works for them?

With this question in mind, we set out with Child Trends, a leading nonprofit research organization focusing on children and youth, to identify routes to high-quality jobs for young people from low-income families or whose parents did not go to college. Among such young people, are there particular training, education, or employment experiences from adolescence through their mid-twenties that make it more likely they will find a high-quality job in adulthood? Most of us know people who were the first in their family to graduate from college, or who succeeded despite difficult circumstances or tight budgets in childhood or adolescence. Can we identify and shine a light on the experiences that seem to make a positive difference for them?

Below are six key findings from our recent report, in which we focused on employment and job quality at age 29. Although there is no one age that signifies “adulthood,” by age 29 people have had sufficient time to finish high school, enroll in and complete college or training, perhaps have a few detours along the way, and settle into a job that provides financial security.

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About Dede Hance