In another article the authors were concerned with the effect of family background on educational attainment and the relation between the education attained and the subsequent careers of respondents.1 It was found that existing educational opportunities are unequally distributed in the sense that individuals do not have an equal chance to stay in school during their formative years. This finding points to important aspects of the chances for occupational advancement other than those having to do with education. For the sample as a whole, about 30 per cent never went beyond grammar school and another 22 per cent did not complete their high school education. Educational attainment did not constitute, therefore, a major step in the occupational careers of over one half of the sample. As has been seen earlier, a relative lack of education has an adverse effect on the occupational level at which the individual enters the labor market as well as on his subsequent career. Since so much depends on these initial steps it may be useful to analyze somewhat more closely the factors which facilitate or obstruct the individual's career at this point.
It has been suggested that young people entering the labor market are in effect floundering around in a new world for which they are ill prepared and for which they have made few plans.2 The majority of the respondents are no exception to this generalization, for 55 per cent of the total sample reported that they had no specific job plans while in school.3 As one would expect, the proportion of those without specific job plans declines as they continue their education, both because of growing personal maturity and because of the greater urgency of making a decision. When respondents are classified by level of education, 78
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Publication information: Book title: Man, Work, and Society:A Reader in the Sociology of Occupations. Contributors: Sigmund Nosow - Author, William H. Form - Author. Publisher: Basic Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1962. Page number: 297.