Purpose Expectations strongly influence future employment outcomes and social networks seem to mediate employment success of young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The aim of this study is to examine the expectations of young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities from special needs education, their parents and their school teachers regarding future work and the extent to which these expectations predict work outcome. Methods Data on 341 young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, coming from special needs education, aged 17–20 years, and with an ability to work according to the Social Security Institute were examined. Results The school teacher’s expectation was the only perspective that significantly predicted entering competitive employment, with a complementary effect of the expectation of parents and a small additional effect of the expectation of the young adult. Conclusions Expectations of school teachers and parents are valuable in predicting work outcome. Therefore, it is important for professionals working with the young adult in the transition from school to work to incorporate the knowledge of school teachers and parents regarding the abilities of the young adult to enter competitive employment as a valuable source of information.