Using a sample of 324 young adults in four urban centres who left high school in the mid-1980s as well as interviews with representative parents, former teachers, and employers, the authors identify factors that ease transition from school to. These include level of education, social class, gender, ethnicity, aspirations of parents, help from role models, participation in co-op education, and most important of all, self-motivation. The authors describe a range of youth profiles -- uncommitted, non-careerists, conservatives, and innovators -- that will help youth, parents, and educators identify present development and how to improve performance. Emphasizing the importance of co-operative education, the authors suggest that closer relations between school and work, such as exist in the United Kingdom and Sweden, facilitate transition into the labour market. On Their Own will guide parents, youth, educators, trustees, employers, and ministries of education and training to prepare a new generation of productive, resilient workers and managers for success in the information age.