Monday, June 19, 2006

Starting On High Notes

Interesting article in NYT on the lifetime expected earnings of those who graduate during recession. Apparently they never quite catch up with the pay gap they have with those who got their first jobs in a booming economy. I wonder what they say the score is for those who graduated in that extended period of lull before the dot com storm. The economy was possibly middling at the time as was the job market. Maybe that generation of graduates is fated to remain in the 50th percentile for life.

Dr. Oyer's advice to the class of 2006 is not lofty: "Try to get lucky. And also, think carefully about that first job because it can matter for the rest of your career."

I find it hard to buy that based on my own experience and what I have seen within my peer group. I think it has more to do with individual ability to steer the course of their career, being able to anticipate market trends and demands for certain types of skills, knowledge and expertise. Taking calculated risks and making the right investments in oneself can influence the shape of a career graph much more than landing that dream job straight out of school.

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