What's professionalism worth? About £152,000

New research reveals the lifetime value of professional qualifications: £152,000 in additional earnings.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Ker-ching! What’s more, the report – launched at a House of Commons breakfast held by the Chartered Management Institute on Tuesday morning – finds that being professionally qualified makes you 9% more likely to be in employment, 37% better paid and likely to contribute an additional £53,000 in tax to the treasury’s coffers, compared to those unfortunates who have not had the foresight to gain professional status.

These are no mean claims, especially in today’s troubled economic climate. Anything which manages to boost your pay and makes you more employable at the same time has to be worth examining in more detail. So here goes. The paper is a weighty tome entitled – in suitably impenetrable academese – An Economic Impact Assessment of the CCPMO (for those who don’t know, the CCPMO is the Consultative Committee for Professional Management Organisations).

Jointly commissioned by eight professional bodies (including the CMI, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) with over 560,000 members between them, it’s a thorough and diligent undertaking, based on data from six consecutive quarters of the government’s own Labour Force Survey and performed by respected consultancy London Economics. Very definitely not the usual ‘we emailed all our mates to ask what they thought about [insert burning issue here]’ PR survey.

The report’s authors find that professionally-qualified people in sectors like accountancy, HR, management and marketing benefit in two distinct ways from their status. First is the holding and keeping of the qualifications themselves – essentially the value of keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in your area. This accounts for around £81,000 of the £152,000 lifetime earnings premium (calculated at current money values), says the report. The second benefit is the rather more hazy network effect of belonging to a professional body, with all the opportunities for meeting like-minded souls and getting together for mutual benefit this provides, which takes care of the remaining £71,000. Employers benefit from the enhanced skills of professional staff, and even the state does well in the form of extra tax, as we've already mentioned. It really is a win-win-win situation.

Speaking at the launch, CMI chief executive Ruth Spellman said: ‘This report gives clear objective evidence that professionalism pays, both for employees and companies. It is now official, there is a return on investment if you develop as a professional.’  She also highlighted the importance of professional leadership in a downturn: when growth is non-existent, improving productivity becomes the key to success, and productivity is clearly the remit of management.

It’s also a pointer to what will likely be a growing trend next year and beyond: senior people with ambition riding out the recession by boosting their qualifications, ready to cash in when the uptick comes. In a world of collapsing asset prices, it could be one of the best investments you can make...


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What's professionalism worth? About £152,000

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