Tel Aviv: Intelligence fast tracks career prospects rather than one’s status or background, a study reveals.
Having the right connection only gets your foot in the door. But your intelligence alone will decide your future prospects, said Yoav Ganzach, professor of management at the Tel Aviv University (TAU), who led the study.
When intelligence and socio-economic background (SEB) are pitted directly against one another, intelligence is a more accurate predictor of future career success, he asserted, the journal Intelligence reported.
Although those from a wealthy family tended to start higher on the office totem pole with better entry-level wages, Ganzach’s research demonstrates that intelligence is directly tied with upward mobility and salary hikes, said a university statement.
Ganzach said that these findings have a positive message for those who can’t rely on nepotism for their first job placements. “Your family can help you launch your career and you do get an advantage, but it doesn’t help you progress. And once you start working, you can go wherever your abilities take you,” he said.
Ganzach analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a survey of 12,868 Americans from 1979 through 2004. Participants underwent annual or bi-annual interviews in relation to promotions and earnings.
Intelligence was calculated using the results of each participant’s Armed Forces Qualifying Test, and SEB was calculated based upon parental education, family income, and the occupational status of the parents.
By tracking the participants over 25 years, from the beginning to the middle stages of their careers, it was possible to obtain an accurate picture of the influence of each factor on their economic success, said Ganzach.
The data confirmed that while both intelligence and SEB impacted entry-level wages, only intelligence had an influence on the pace of pay increases throughout the years.