The Future at Work

Labor-Market Realities and the Transition to Adulthood

Published In: Transitions From School to Work : Globalization, Individualization, and Patterns of Diversity / edited by Ingrid Schoon, Rainer K. Silbereisen (New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009), Ch. 16, p. 352-384

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Lynn A. Karoly

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Young people making the transition from school to work in the twenty-first century in the United States and other developed economies can be expected to face a very different world of work than their parents' generation. For example, "globalization" was not in the vocabulary of the typical American worker. This chapter highlights the national and institutional contexts and policies that shape the ways that people transition from school to work, and addresses the broad questions and issues characterizing the transition to adulthood in the contemporary world. It compares and assesses variations in school-to-work transitions, providing empirical evidence on how young people negotiate the different options and opportunities available and assessing the costs and returns associated with different transition strategies. The author addresses policies aimed at improving the capacity of individuals to make effective transitions and at enabling societies to better coordinate educational and occupational institutions.

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