Publication Date

June 1995


[Excerpt] Most of one's educational career is spent learning generic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic that are in abundant supply. Success in developing these skills does not, however, make one a highly competent worker or ensure a well paid job. Rather these generic skills are tools for learning and developing the scarcer skills and expertise that determine productivity in particular jobs and which are, therefore, well rewarded by the labor market. Consequently, it is unwise to devote one's entire education to learning things that everyone else already knows. One must select a vocation for which there is market demand and for which one has talent and then pursue expertise and excellence within this niche. Expertise and excellence are impossible without specialization


Suggested Citation
Bishop, J. (1995). Expertise and excellence (CAHRS Working Paper #95-13). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.