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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Graduate and they will Come

I have a few degrees--Hell I have a few advanced degrees.Let me explain. In my field, I was and am, somewhat knowledgeable and involved. I then decided to grab an advanced degree in the subject and (pre/as)sumed that the automatic progression of things would be an increase in position or at least responsibility.

Ahh I see the questions and knowing smile on your face and in your eyes. Sir/Miss/Mrs. you are thinking what are these degrees, which you felt would propel you to the top of your heap or at least, move you in that direction? In what field do you work? Lastly and most importantly what in THE world made "you" think "the world" ACTUALLY worked in that manner?

Well in future blogs my degrees and lot in life will have some significance to the story and I will reveal them.(Yes a blatant tease to picque the interest ,hopefully) but beleive it or not these issues are not germaine to this post.) That last bit concerning " what in The world made "you" think "the world" ACTUALLY worked in that manner." does.

First some stats.
Eighty percent of the US population twenty-five years or older has a highschool diploma..
Twenty-four point four percent of US citizens twenty-five years old has an undergrad diploma of some sort.
Note: 2009 facts

One in twenty people had completed a masters degree or six pecent of the population's_degree
Note: 2000 Census
Feb 13 2010

 A college master's degree is worth $1.3 million more in lifetime earnings than a high school diploma....
The report "The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings" (.pdf) reveals that over an adult's working life, high school graduates can expect, on average, to earn $1.2 million; those with a bachelor's degree, $2.1 million; and people with a master's degree, $2.5 million.
Persons with doctoral degrees earn an average of $3.4 million during their working life, while those with professional degrees do best at $4.4 million.
... more education equates with higher earnings, and the payoff is most notable at the highest educational levels....The figures are based on 1999 earnings projected over a typical work life, defined as the period from ages 25 through 64.
Additional highlights from the report show:
In 1999, average annual earnings ranged from $18,900 for high school dropouts to $25,900 for high school graduates, $45,400 for college graduates and $99,300 for the holders of professional degrees (medical doctors, dentists, veterinarians and lawyers).
Over a work life, earnings for a worker with a bachelor's degree compared with one who had just a high school diploma increase by about $1 million for non-Hispanic Whites and about $700,000 for African Americans; Asians and Pacific Islanders; and Hispanics.'s_degree
Note: Good facts here. Worth reading in its entirety.

All right let's not argue or pursue the numbers to eternity. The point is more people have gotten the idea that more education leads to more money and or responsibility and the facts seem to bear this premise out, as true. Minorities and women with higher degrees, (yes I left it out of the above report), make less than white males with the same education, but do make more than people who have not acheived their more advanced educational standard.

Now with that information in hand, (yes I investigated this situation before I jumped into the fray), I chose to pursue and did obtain higher levels of education to accompany my very viable undergrad .
After completing the requirements, I made the people of power aware of this "pursuit's" completion. I was greeted with "good job" and "We hope it has given you a sense of purpose.".

Now though this blog seems to be fixated with the lack of movement with my career, it actually is directed at the corporate environment. I work in the technical field, (ahh yes yess a hint at last), and degrees of any type are not REALLY recognized per se. Mostly certifications and standards, which of course I also have, but, STILL,  not the point of the story, are the onus.

Here at last is the point. There is no actual means or standards except in medicine or a law firm where there is a true blue print for ascension. Do this and you become a specialist or do this and you move from a paralegal to a lawyer and then a partner. This is often left in other corporate climes, to the capricious winds of fate, luck or an observent mentor to move along a bright, dedicated individual.
NOTE: Yes I excluded teaching because there is no definitive means of movement here either in my opinion.

The brain drain in the US is here because talent is often left to simply "Die on the Vine" while others in position to recognize this talent can be "empty suits",  MIA, asleep at the wheel or unwilling or unable to pull the trigger to increase the level of talent in a company. I mean through promotion, training for promotion or quality and unpretentious feedback of place in company now or into the future. Needs of the business should not be the directive in theses discussions, simply "that" individual's acessed future at the time of discussion.

Think I'm wrong?

 From... Richard Florida, the author of the bestselling books The Rise of the Creative Class and The Flight of the Creative Class,...
...I did the commencement address this year. I was blown away. In enormous numbers, the students were going to China, to India, to the Middle East. To a person, they said they found much more opportunity and possibility for career advancement over there. My jaw dropped. I literally could not believe how many kids....

Using Tech industry as example .

Management experts say multiple executive departures areoften a sign a company is in trouble. When too many talentedleaders leave at once, it can indicate dissension or a loss of faith,they say. "It could be the rats leaving the sinking ship," saysDaniel Lyons, president of leadership development firm TeamConcepts
Note:2003 threee but concepts are sound..decent read.

Without a definitive means or understanding how "one" moves up in a company. the company acheives slowing evolution, revolution and eventual stagnation. The culture must lead "one" to understand what concepts or progressions lead to , "the next step" or demise, in a company. If a degree is the way then so be it. If simply putting one's proverbial"nose to the grind stone" and working through the company trainings, fine as well. But there absolutely has to be a transparent and replicatable means of promotion or subsequent demotion and excise.

Without this very soon profit will not only be difficult it will be impossible.It will be walking out the door with your "talent".

What do you think?

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