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Godofsky, Jessica; Zukin, Cliff; Van Horn, Carl - 5/1/2011

The research explores students’ first jobs in some detail. Questions focused on the intersection of their areas of study in college with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their workplace. We note the number who took jobs that did not require a college degree, the overall satisfaction of their first job, and their overall satisfaction with salary, job responsibilities, and opportunities for advancement. We also examine how these experiences are different for those having entered the job market before the Great Recession and those entering it while unemployment raged as the economy shed eight million jobs, and what recent entrants had to give up or compromise to get started in their work life. We also examine the current job for those having had more than one job in their work history. The survey was fielded between March 15 and April 5, 2011 by Knowledge Networks of Menlo Park, California. Knowledge Net Networks has the only nationally representative sample of young people (between the ages of 22 and 29) that can be surveyed online. The overall survey has a sampling error of +/- 4.5 percentage points. The questionnaire used and the details of the sampling methodology can be found in Appendices A and B.

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