The correct answer is A.
This is a “Reasoning Beyond the Text” question which will prompt you to extrapolate concepts from the passage. Based on the passage, find the answer that best suits a situation that resembles the term “muddy road” mentioned by the author.
A. In the text, the author uses “muddy road” to describes workers who receive “some advanced education or job-related training but [are] likely to enter the dynamic high-road labor market…” The author warned of this type of training once again by writing: “Although for a particular job, employer-based training or vocational preparation can substitute for general schooling, specific training degrades rapidly, and narrow skills seldom transfer to new job requirements.” These sentences show fully that being trained in a skill that qualifies one for only a particular job has negative connotations and thusly can be considered a “muddy road”. This is the most suitable response.
B. Switching to unfamiliar procedures due to technological changes can be somewhat advantageous because an individual acquires a new skillset. This would not be considered a “muddy road”. This is not the correct answer.
C. This is a tempting answer as the author states “workers find that their general education, occupational preparation, and access to training on the job are complementary in their effect on earnings.” However, although it is a good approach, this is still considered less effective than formal on-the-job training. This is not the correct answer.
D. Chronic unemployment under any circumstances is unfortunate and undesirable, however, based on the passage, this was not an inference made by the author. So, even though it may be true, it does not apply to the passage. This is not the correct answer.