Youth’s “failure to launch” and what it means for PSE

October 1, 2013

Young Americans, men in particular, are taking longer to begin their career, according to a new report by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. Researchers found that in 2012, young workers reached the middle of the “wage spectrum,” an indicator of financial independence, at age 30, compared to 1980, when workers had reached the middle of the spectrum by age 26. The report also found that only one in 10 of 18- to 24-year olds consider his or her job a career. While the data are not surprising, the report, Failure to Launch: Structural Shift and the New Lost Generation, describes what the revealed trends mean to PSE: "the lockstep march from school to work and then on to retirement no longer applies for a growing share of Americans. ... As a result, the education- and labor-market institutions that were the foundation of a 20th-century system are out of sync with the 21st-century knowledge economy," says the report. Chronicle of Higher Education