What is the “paper ceiling” and how it affects the job opportunities of millions of people in the United States

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  • BBC News World

An image showing a magnifying glass over a resume.

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Imagine this situation: You find a job offer that seems like a great fit for you, which requires just the kind of skills you have. But you can’t apply or, if you do, you’re rejected because the job requires a college degree that you don’t have.

It is said that those who have gone through an experience of this type have crashed into the so-called “paper ceiling”, as in recent times the situation in which those workers who cannot apply for a position have begun to be called. for which they have the skills, but not the university degree required for it.

This is a very widespread limitation in the world of work that affects more than 70 million people in United States, according to NGO estimates Opportunity at Work (Opportunities at work), which together with other institutions launched a campaign this year to raise awareness about this problem.

Those who hit the “paper ceiling” are workers called STARs (acronym in English for “trained through alternative routes”) who acquired their skills and knowledge directly on the job, doing courses or non-university training programs, during the service military or by means other than obtaining a university degree.

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