For a Good Job by 30, Do This in Your 20s | Kanebridge News
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For a Good Job by 30, Do This in Your 20s

New research shows which career paths pay off and why steps made between ages 20 and 26 are so critical

Wed, May 3, 2023 8:18amGrey Clock 4 min

Skepticism about the value of college is growing, but earning a four-year degree by your mid-20s is the surest route to a good job by age 30.

That is a key takeaway from a new analysis by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce that aims to identify the paths that bring people to good jobs. The findings are important as companies, individuals and families are trying to better understand how college degrees affect career outcomes.

Georgetown researchers examined government data for more than 8,000 Americans born in the early 1980s from adolescence through age 30. They identified 38 decision points that could influence workers’ ability to land what they deemed a good job by age 30—one that pays the minimum for economic self-sufficiency, a median annual salary of $57,000.

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree made more of a difference than any other decision that researchers analysed.

“The main road to a good job is still to go get the BA,” said Anthony Carnevale, who directs the Georgetown centre.

The researchers focused on people who didn’t go directly from high school to college, because the cohort that graduated college in their early 20s had a high rate of good job outcomes.

Millions of people start bachelor’s degrees, but don’t finish them by their mid-20s. Those non-finishers have a 40% chance of getting a good job by 30, Georgetown data show. If they eventually earned a bachelor’s degree by age 26, they would have a higher chance—56%—of getting a good job, Georgetown estimates.

Even starting a bachelor’s degree by age 22 made a difference for some high-school graduates. People who pursued an associate degree, skills training or certificate had a 29% shot at a good job, compared with 23% for those who didn’t pursue higher education by that age.

College Debt—and Payoff

Escalating college costs have complicated people’s decision to attend, said Zack Mabel, an author of the Georgetown report and a research professor of education and economics at the university.

The expected payoff to getting a bachelor’s degree is higher than it has ever been, Prof. Mabel said, but added, “with the rising cost of college, and the increasing debt that students and families have to take on, the risk of pursuing higher education is higher than it’s ever been.”

Some 56% of respondents to a recent Wall Street Journal-NORC poll said a four-year degree isn’t worth it, because students often leave with large student debt loads and no specific job skills. Ten years ago, 40% of people polled thought a college degree wasn’t worth it.

Dany Nguyen, 30 years old, started a job in Austin last year as a software developer for General Motors after a decade of working while going to school.

Mr. Nguyen, who graduated from high school in 2010, said he spent four years stocking shelves at a store, running food orders at a restaurant and working at a banquet hall while taking community-college classes at night. Though exhausting, the arrangement ensured he could pay his bills and tuition. He got skills and connections that led to better paying roles, he said, including an inventory job with a dental-product company that he learned about from a co-worker at a different job.

Mr. Nguyen ultimately transferred from community college to California State University, Long Beach, and finished his bachelor’s degree in management information systems last year. Today, he is making more than ever and sees the benefit to working his way through school.

“Being able to combine both school teamwork and work teamwork, you’re able to do your job efficiently,” he said.

Salaries for college graduates are higher than those without degrees, but data analysed by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows the gap in net worth between college grads and non grads has narrowed significantly. One reason is the high cost of college, with many grads’ higher earnings offset by student debt.

Renee Wooten worked while attending a for-profit university, delivering pizzas and fielding queries at a call centre, then turning a contract position in the video game industry into a full-time job with benefits. Mr. Wooten, 33, makes six figures as a video game producer but says having $40,000 in outstanding student debt is stressful.

“I don’t know if I would do it again,” Mr. Wooten said, adding that an associate degree to start may have been a better choice. “I’ve been dumping my bonuses and my tax returns into my student loans, just for them to be eaten up by interest.”

Industries Matter

Some companies have eliminated bachelor’s-degree requirements for hires, though almost 70% of the new jobs created in the U.S. between 2012 and 2019 were in occupations that typically require a four-year degree or higher for entry, according to Opportunity@Work, a nonprofit.

Georgetown’s analysis showed several other early-career decisions can help put 20-somethings on the path to a better-paying job if they don’t go to college after high school. Steady work between the ages of 20 and 22 and avoiding resume gaps in these years can help, researchers said, because hiring managers are more likely to hire experienced people who are actively working.

Industries count, too. Working at age 22 in a blue-collar job or in tech or finance, rather than fields such as education, food services and the arts, also helped raise the chance of getting a higher paying role. Still, workers who took one of those paths had no more than a 25% chance of landing a good job by 30. Those pathways proved more effective when combined with attending college.

Diego Padilla faced a choice in 2020 while in his late teens: Continue his internship with JP Morgan Chase, assisting clients with transactions such as opening accounts and withdrawals, or accept a full-time job managing a grocery store.

Mr. Padilla, then a fresh high-school graduate enrolled in community college, was drawn to the stability of a full-time job. But he wondered where he could go if he stayed at the bank. Now 22, Mr. Padilla has a full-time role with Chase, finished his associate degree and transferred to Chicago where he works with Chase clients.

Mr. Padilla is taking online classes in pursuit of his bachelor’s degree while working full time. After that he said he wants to get an M.B.A.


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Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions

“Saudi Summer is Next Door” plans to boost tourism in the Kingdom over four months across seven destinations.

Wed, May 22, 2024 4 min

Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plan to attract international tourists this summer. The strategy includes appealing visa options, complimentary airline tickets for families, a lineup of major events, and opportunities for tax-free shopping.

The initiative, organized under the guidance of Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), is named “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”


Extensive Summer 2024 Tourism Activities

The initiative will span four months, ending in September, and will be hosted across seven key destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea, Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

It features over 550 tourism products and more than 150 specially tailored offers and packages for families and various interest groups including adventure enthusiasts, luxury seekers, and cultural and heritage buffs.

The launch event of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 was attended by notable figures such as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in addition to more than 250 key partners from both public and private sectors, prominent media personalities, and influential opinion leaders.

Showcasing Global Events and Cultural Richness

This year’s program will also welcome back the Jeddah Season and introduce the Aseer Season, each filled with various activities and events for families. The Kingdom will host several significant events as part of the summer program, including the first Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an eight-week competition featuring top esports athletes, and various boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

During the event, Al Khateeb highlighted the latest global tourism trends, the Kingdom’s growth in the tourism sector, and the record-high tourist numbers that have propelled Saudi Arabia to the top of the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Baha

Al Khateeb emphasized, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers. “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. “This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, also remarked, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country.”


“Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

“All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday.” “Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Program 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

“The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a very important component of the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is committed to empowering it by fostering demand for products and offers that align with the aspirations of tourists globally.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 marks a period when visiting the Kingdom has become easier, smoother, and safer through measures such as the availability of the eVisa to citizens of 66 countries, a 20 percent reduction in eVisa prices, and a significant increase in the number of weekly flights from

Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations, now totaling 1,100.

Residents of the GCC can also benefit from the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in the Kingdom over a year. Moreover, the number of hotel rooms available to travelers is set to increase, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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