Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Geography (where you live & work) can decide your career success

This is a topic for detailed analysis - perhaps some other time. But your geography decides your success. There is a new book out, about this. (click on link below)

We can not control where we were already born - but parents can decide where their children are born and grow up. We can decide where we want to study and go to work. It makes sense to move to that location which offers the best chances of success. I was born in India, but moved to the Middle East after graduation to work. From there, I moved to Canada and became a citizen here.

For me, personally, the US is an attractive option right now. I think there are more job opportunities for me in USA than in Canada right now - in the field of healthcare management consulting. As soon as I am done with my MBA, I shall look for multiple options for job in multiple locations (will keep my business going in Toronto through friends).

Please do read this interesting article that discusses the different and varied scenario in USA:

The economic map of America today does not show just one country –  it shows three increasingly different countries. 

(1) At one extreme are America’s existing brain hubs – cities like Seattle, Raleigh-Durham, Austin, Boston, New York and Washington DC – with a thriving innovation-driven economy and a labor force among the most creative and best paid on the planet. The most striking example is San Francisco, where the labor market for tech workers is the strongest it has been in a decade.

(2) At the other extreme are cities with a glorious past once dominated by traditional manufacturing – Detroit, Flint, Cleveland – with shrinking labor force and salaries.

(3) In the middle there is the rest of America, apparently undecided on which direction to take.

Sixty years ago, the best predictor of a community’s economic success was physical capital. Workers in Flint and Detroit were among the most productive – and best paid – in the country because they had access to the most advanced machines. With the shift from traditional manufacturing to innovation and knowledge, this has changed.

Today, the best predictor of a community’s economic success is human capital. A growing body of economic research suggests that a company’s success depends on more than just the quality of its workers – it also depends on the entire ecosystem that surrounds it, especially on the share of workers with a college degree in the community.

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