Three Educational Pathways to Good Jobs: High School, Middle Skills, and Bachelor’s Degree
Carnevale, Anthony P.
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In the post-World War II period, workers with a high school diploma or less were able to attain jobs with middle-class wages in American industry. Good jobs were available in manufacturing and other blue-collar industries that employed large numbers of high school educated workers. But as automation, globalization, and related phenomena have led to major structural changes in the American economy, economic opportunity has shifted toward more educated workers with higher skill levels. Whereas two out of three entry-level jobs in the industrial economy demanded a high school diploma or less, now two out of three jobs demand at least some education or training beyond high school. This report examines the three pathways to good jobs, each defined by education and skills: the high school pathway, the middle-skills pathway, and the bachelor’s degree (BA) pathway.