Opportunities for Teenagers at McDonalds

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Updated: May 03, 2022
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Amitai Etzioni’s essay does not have enough supporting evidence to prove that teenagers should not be working fast. A lot of his references date back to the 1980s and are not the most up-to-date information to rely upon. Currently, McDonald’s provides jobs for many young adults that need to make a living because they come from low-income families. McDonald’s is a great first job for teenagers, because it gives them structure, and education, and provides a stepping stone to job progression.

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Despite Etzioni’s claims, fast food chains provide essential opportunities for teenagers to complete their high school graduation, job growth, and educational opportunities.

Etzioni loses credibility in his essay because he uses outdated reference sources to prove fast food restaurants’ effects on a teenager’s enrollment in high school. Etzioni states, “A 1980 study by A.V. Harrell and P.W. Wirtz found that, among those students who worked at least 25 hours per week while in school, their unemployment rate was half of that of seniors who did not work” (Etzioni, 240). However, most students I have gone to school within the years the 1990s throughout the 2000s never worked more than 25 hours a week. Currently, Mcdonald’s allows many of their workers to work part-time, less than 15 hours a week because of their school obligations. Etzioni goes on to further explain how most teenagers drop out of school after being employed by a fast-food restaurant. He states, “It must be seen, though, together with the finding that many who begin as part-time employees in fast-food chains drop out of high school and are gobbled up in the world of low-skill jobs (Etzioni, 240). Etzioni does not provide additional statistics from credible sources to prove his points. I do not know of anyone that quit high school because of their fast-food job. It has been my experience working at Mcdonald’s that has enabled teenagers to learn time management skills by balancing work with the school. The fast-food chain is a stepping stone to gaining work-related experience leading to job growth opportunities.

The amount of job growth opportunities within Mcdonald’s is available to everyone. Mcdonald’s offers incentives to promote from within to become restaurant managers. The training is free and is offered to hard-working individuals that are eager to work and take on more responsibilities. Workers are allowed to attend Hamburger University which provides the training and skills necessary for a person to become a qualified manager at Mcdonald’s. There are even opportunities to work in the following departments at Mcdonald’s: accounting/finance/, marketing, financial operations, human resources, construction, or even a franchise owner. For example, “The McDonald’s Leadership Program is for you if you’re interested in working collaboratively with multi-million dollar business owners to offer guidance to help them run high-functioning restaurants” (Corporate.mcdonalds.com). Their leadership program is a great example of how employees can gravitate their careers to the next level. “Career Development is grounded in talent management and encompasses: career planning, Individual Development plans, career maps, succession planning, learning activities, etc” (Corporate.mcdonalds.com) Therefore, I disagree with Etzioni’s statement, “they provide no career ladders, few marketable skills, and undermine school advancement” (Etzioni, 241). Not only does Mcdonald’s promotes various types of leadership job roles, but also scholastic achievement.

Mcdonald’s has a wonderful tuition assistance program that allows students to work and earn money upfront for their college degrees. This is a great incentive for workers to embark upon. Mcdonald’s isn’t just a fast-food chain that is using workers as so-called “robots” as author Etzioni states within his essay. Employees are deemed valuable and not viewed as robots with the intent to improve upon their education. Workers only need to work a “minimum of 15 hours a week, worked at least 90 days at a McDonald’s establishment, receiving up to $2,500 in tuition funding for a four-year or community college” (Hoyt, Elizabeth). This education fund can be used over a lifetime until the employee earns their degree. Mcdonald’s even helps support high school students who have dropped out of high school. The program is called Archways to Opportunity, which funds ESL classes, educational counseling, and high school credits for an employee to earn their GED. “Archways to Opportunity can help employees on the path to success: improve English skills, earn a high school diploma, work towards a college degree, and get help making an education and career plan with advisors” (Archwaystoopportunity.com). Mcdonald’s has made considerable changes over the years to its educational programs and they are continuing to support its employees to become educated.

In conclusion, Mcdonald’s promotes upscale jobs and free training within their establishment. Once these skills are learned an employee has the opportunity to move up within the company. There are even education incentives for the employees to take advantage of after 90 days of employment. Mcdonald’s encourages their employees to better themselves and their livelihood. A teenager can benefit from the number of responsibilities and communication skills presented to them at a younger age. Author and scholar Armitai Etzioni should take a closer look and re-examine what Mcdonald’s is offering its employees in present-day 2018. Fast-food chain restaurants are essential opportunities for teenagers to complete high school graduation, job growth, and educational opportunities.


  1. Etzioni, Amitai. “Fast Food Factories: McJobs are bad for kids.” From Reading Critically Writing Well, by Axelrod, R., Cooper, C., Warriner, A., 11th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2017, pp. 240-241.
  2. “Leadership Development.” Mcdonald’s Cooperate, 2018, https://corporate.mcdonalds.com/mcd/corporate_careers2/training_and_development/leadership_development_career_pathing.html. 18 Oct 2018.
  3. Hoyt, Elizabeth. “4 Fast Food Jobs That’ll Help Pay Your College.” Fastweb, 2018. https://www.fastweb.com/student-life/articles/four-fast-food-jobs-thatll-pay-your-college-tuition.
  4. “Archways To Opportunity” McDonalds.com. 2018. http://www.archwaystoopportunity.com/.
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Opportunities for Teenagers at McDonalds. (2022, May 03). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/opportunities-for-teenagers-at-mcdonalds/