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Re: knowledge +- $$$

Finally! A topic I can, perhaps, contribute to. I'm a physicist who has
worked in industry for almost 32 years. I only started part-time teaching
at the local community college three semesters ago and have usually felt too
"rusty" or just plain too ignorant to contribute to most of what appears

Ludwik Kowalski wrote:
1) "I never worked in industry but would like to know who
makes decisions about how much different people are
worth to a large company."
2) "Do rewards fluctuate from
year to year, according to assignments?"
3) "Is there a tenure equivalence to protect narrowly specialized
experts (those whose expertise gained over many
years would have little value outside the company)?"

1) My experience is very much like that of Larry Woolf. Industry rewards
(both financially and careerwise) those individuals who contribute most to
the financial gain of the organization. Therefore, the most "important"
work in industry generates (or has the potential to generate) the most
profit. Your immediate manager (or his manager) is usually the person
making this determination.

2) Rewards do fluctuate from year to year. Base salaries certainly exist,
but merit raises and one time bonuses depend on annual achievements (with,
again, the biggest raises, etc, going to the most profitable achievements).
At the higher technical and managerial levels, promotions are much more
likely for those who are "directly" responsible for increased profits.

3) I know of no "tenure experience" in industry but experts who have spent
many years gaining specialized knowledge are usually quite safe in their
jobs (and highly paid) since they are so hard to replace. It's very rare to
have such an expert on your staff who would not be of similar (profitable)
value to your closest competitor.

Donald G. Polvani
Northrop Grumman Corporation