Faculty Publications


The changing role of education on managerial career attainment.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Sharon L. Segrest

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued


Date Available



Purpose- This study aims to explore the role of formal education in managerial career attainment and how this role has changed over time. Design/methodology/approach-The personnel records of two cohorts of managers who entered the firm at different times in a large internal labor market company were examined. The study encompassed years of education, subject of degree, timing of degree conferral, and quality of educational institution. Career attainment was regressed on the control variables and the hypothesized predictor variables using hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Findings-The research suggests that the importance of having an undergraduate degree seems to be increasing, while the importance of the selectivity of the university seems to be decreasing with respect to career attainment. Also, majoring in business continues to be an important factor related to career attainment. Research limitations/implications- Future research focusing specifically on the differences in managerial career attainment of individuals who stay with their initial firm versus those who change employers would be beneficial. It would also be interesting to focus on the different reasons why people go back to school to obtain a degree. Practical implications - Obtaining a degree after entering the firm was not related to career attainment. Universities have advocated the benefits of obtaining a degree to students who are already in the workforce. These results must be investigated further. Originality/value-The data for this study were obtained from occupational records and allowed a more detailed analysis of an actual internal labor market organization and a longitudinal look at the changing role of education in relationship to career attainment.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Personnel Review, 34(5), 517-533. doi: 10.1108/00483480510612495 Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided. This article received a Highly Commended Award for Research Excellence 2006


MCB University Press