Katz and Goldin are highly regarded labor economists but they compared their work with Harvard grads to several other prominent studies and came back with consistent findings. This probably doesn’t do most of us much good at this point in our careers (unless we hold positions of authority and could be inspired to motivate change within our organizations) but it should be eye-opening for our children and for students and careerists-in-training. As David Leonhardt of the New York Times pointed out last week, young people often don’t consider seriously work-family balance before they have families and they tend to minimize the impact and importance of professional demands – until it’s too late.
For years now, high achievers are selecting tony liberal arts colleges, followed by MBA plans or Law School, striving all along to be highly paid, white-collar professionals. If I were 18 again, I think I might focus on math and science and pick a career in engineering or medicine.
The 20th century is over.
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Erik Sorenson is CEO of Vault, the Web’s most comprehensive resource for career management and job search intelligence. Vault provides top talent with the insider information they need to make critical career decisions. An Emmy award-winning media industry veteran, Erik served as president of the MSNBC cable news channel through 2004. His experience spans radio, local and network broadcast television, cable and syndicated TV, and the Web.
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