COMMUNITY, RESEARCH

Entry-Level Work as a Stepping Stone, Not an End Point

man at laptop with Lightcast pattern overlay

How Young Workers Get Ahead

Half of young workers are able to parlay their first job, one that typically requires less than a bachelor’s degree and less than two years of experience, into better-paying jobs within five years.

Entry-Level Work as a Stepping Stone, Not an End Point, examines the work histories of young people aged 16 to 24 not in school, without college degrees, and lacking work experience. Just over half (52%) of entry-level workers with no bachelor’s degree and less than two years’ experience reached better paying jobs in five years, while 48% of these workers remained in a cycle of entry-level jobs.

The report was conducted by Burning Glass Technologies (now Lightcast) with support of the Schultz Family Foundation and in partnership with the Hire Opportunities Coalition (now SkillUp) The companies studied included the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative corporate members at the time of study and were compared to peer companies – defined as the 50 largest retailers not already part of the coalition, according to retail sales data.

Entry-Level Work as a Stepping Stone, Not an End Point,
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