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Is Consumer Non-Durables a Good Career Path?

Consumer non-durables is a category that encompasses many of the familiar products we use every day. But is consumer non-durables a good career path? What

is consumer non-durables a good career path?

Consumer non-durables is a category that encompasses many of the familiar products we use every day. But is consumer non-durables a good career path?

What are consumer non-durables?

Consumer non-durables are products that are used for a limited amount of time. This means they are either consumed in one use or used up over a short period of time. Technically, if a good is used up in three years or less, it is considered a nondurable good. This category includes food, cosmetics, beverages, household products, clothing and footwear. “Household products” is a vast category that includes everything from light bulbs to paper towels to dish soap and laundry detergent to personal care items like toothpaste and mouthwash.

Consumer durables, by contrast, are consumer products that last over three years, including cars, real estate, electronics and appliances. 

Because the products need to be replaced often, non-durable products are purchased frequently, and therefore the demand for them is high. For this reason, the consumer non-durables industry is booming. 

What companies are in the consumer non-durables field?

The top ten consumer non-durables companies by market cap are currently:

  • Procter & Gamble Company
  • Nestle AG
  • Coca-Cola Company
  • L’Oreal
  • Nike
  • PepsiCo
  • Philip Morris International
  • Christian Dior
  • Unilever
  • Estee Lauder

Procter & Gamble employs 101,000 people and made $76.12 billion in revenue in 2021. Procter & Gamble is one of the world’s top Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, specializing in a wide range of personal care and hygiene products – with brands including Gillette, Bounty, Crest, Olay and Pantene. Nestle AG, the world’s largest food and non-alcoholic beverages company, has 276,000 employees worldwide and raked in $92.57 billion in revenue in 2021. Nestle has over 2,000 brands and has a presence in 191 countries worldwide. Coca-Cola, the USA-based non-alcoholic beverage purveyor, has 80,300 employees and made $38.65 billion in revenue in 2021. (All figures in this section taken from

L’Oreal is a France-based cosmetics and beauty products company that employs 85,392 people with an annual revenue of $35.58 billion. L’Oreal’s portfolio of brands includes Kiehl’s, Essie, Urban Decay and Maybelline.

Nike is an American footwear and apparel company that employs 79,100 people and brought in $46.71 billion in revenue in 2021. PepsiCo is a food, snack and beverage purveyor that employs 267,000 people and brought in $70.37 billion in revenue in 2020.

If you are considering a career in consumer non-durables, a good place to start is by researching companies in this field. This way you can learn about the company’s culture and values and find one that will be a good fit for you. It will also allow you to find what benefits the companies offer employees. You can use the website Glassdoor to find out what employees have rated the company and what they say it is really like to work there. 

These large companies offer their employees benefits and perks. For example, Coca-Cola provides health and dental insurance and severance pay. Procter & Gamble and other companies of that stature offer pension plans. They also provide perks like well-appointed gyms or free snacks. There can be drawbacks, however, in working for these large companies. The work culture is usually intense, with some employees reporting there is no work-life balance. 

is consumer non-durables a good career path?

How many jobs are available in consumer non-durables

The consumer non-durables sector is vast, and there are many opportunities for jobs in this industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer non-durables industry employs more than 5.6 million people in the United States. There are more than one million people employed by the cosmetics industry alone, and this number is projected to grow along with the overall population.

There is a wide variety of jobs in the consumer non-durables industry. At Procter & Gamble alone, they organize their careers by nine categories. The first, Branding & Marketing, covers the categories Brand Management/Marketing, Communications, Consumer & Market Knowledge and Design. The second, Research & Development, encompasses Design, Engineering and Science. The third, Product Supply, is divided into Engineering, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Quality Assurance and Supply Chain & Logistics. The remaining six categories are Information Technology, Finance & Accounting, Human Resources, Sales, Legal, and “Additional” (including Aviation and Government Relations jobs). So you see, at large multinational corporations that employ tens of thousands or even 100,000 or more employees, there is a wide variety of jobs.

There are many opportunities for sales and marketing for companies like Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola. There are also many technical jobs in the digital departments of companies like Unilever and PepsiCo. You can be a regional sales representative at Estee Lauder or a project manager at Nike. 

However, the competition is tough at these large non-durable goods companies. Procter & Gamble gets more than 900,000 applicants each year for only 5,000 jobs. Interviews at these companies will be multi-step processes. Companies like PepsiCo and P&G conduct multiple background checks on potential employees. 

The payoff could be worth the fierce competition, however: at companies like Procter & Gamble, one of the benefits is their training and professional development programs. According to P&G, 11,400 current C-suite executives started their careers there. 

What do consumer non-durables jobs pay?

At the entry level, a Production Associate makes $38,615 per year. A Quality Assurance Analyst makes $41,761, according to, while Software Quality Assurance Analysts make a bit more, at $97,710 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A Communication Specialist can make $41,496 per year. A Benefits coordinator makes $48,446 per year on average. A Brand Manager makes $65,647 per year. A Sales Representative makes a median salary of $65,954.

For the huge non-durable goods companies we listed, the average salary is pretty high, according to Payscale. The average salary at PepsiCo is $79,000 per year, while at Coca-Cola the average salary is $82,000 per year. The average salary at Procter & Gamble is $87,000 per year. This does not include the annual bonus, which at Coca-Cola is an extra $12,000 per year and at PepsiCo is an average $8,000 per year.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary at L’Oreal ranges from about $62,346 per year for a Beauty Advisor to $231,695 per year for the Vice President of Marketing. The average salary, including bonuses, at cigarette giant Philip Morris is $124,493. Glassdoor also tells us the average Nestle AG hourly pay ranges from $17 per hour for an intern to $61 per hour for a Manager. 

is consumer non-durables a good career path?

What are the best paying jobs in consumer non-durables?

Some of the highest paying jobs in consumer non-durables are in the technology arena. As retail stores increasingly transition to ecommerce, more and more jobs will become available in this field. For example, the average Information Security Analyst nets $113,270 per year. Employment of Information Security Analysts is projected to grow 33 percent from 2020 to 2030 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web Developers make an annual salary of $113,720, with a projected 13 percent growth. The median salary for a Network Engineer is $89,329 per year, while Digital Designers make $70,919 per year.

Other high-paying jobs in consumer non-durables lie in management. The average Human Resources Manager position makes $136,590 per year. Human resources manager positions are expected to grow 9 percent before 2030. Marketing Managers make on average $153,440, with a projected 10 percent growth in the number of positions available before 2030. Industrial Production Managers make $117,780 per year and the job is projected to grow 5 percent this decade (figures from Bureau of Labor Statistics). 

At Philip Morris, the highest paid job is Director of Sales, which makes $230,554 annually. The lowest paid job at Philip Morris is a Marketing Manager making $50,500 annually. At Anheuser-Busch, a Key Manager makes $79,800 per year on average, while a Data Engineer makes $76,296.

Is consumer non-durables a good career path for you?

The consumer non-durables industry offers stable jobs with established companies. Marketing jobs can be good opportunities for the creative- and business-minded. Tech jobs in consumer non-durables are a good option for someone who is a whiz with computers. For an MBA, there are many lucrative opportunities in consumer non-durables as a Human Resources Manager, IT Manager or Marketing Manager. STEM grads can find great opportunities in research and development or product supply.

The consumer non-durables industry offers competitive salaries and good benefits and perks. The industry also promises growth over the next decade, especially in the digital space. With the growing demand for sustainable products, and the increase in technological advancements, there is exciting potential for innovation in the consumer non-durables industry. 

What’s more, in a recession, consumers will usually do without purchases of durable goods but will continue to purchase non-durable goods at the same rate. Non-durable products like groceries and household products are considered necessities, and their purchase remains stable despite fluctuations or downturns in the economy. 

Jobs at established companies usually offer competitive wages, benefits and perks. There are a large number of multinational corporations in this sector, like Estee Lauder and Nestle AG, which could provide you with the opportunity to work abroad. 

Finally, because the consumer non-durables market is less affected by fluctuations in the economy, the industry provides stable jobs that are ideal for the risk-averse. 

Is Consumer Durables a Good Career Path?

What are consumer durables? Consumer durables are end products purchased by consumers. Durable means they are intended to be used and re-used repeatedly over long

is consumer durables a good career path?

What are consumer durables?

Consumer durables are end products purchased by consumers. Durable means they are intended to be used and re-used repeatedly over long periods of time and therefore do not have to be purchased frequently. Examples of consumer durables are cars and other vehicles, electronics, tools, jewelry and appliances. This is in contrast to consumer non-durable goods, such as food and dish soap, and consumer services, such as health care and financial planning. Durable goods are usually more expensive than non-durable goods. Expenditures on durable goods are usually a sign of economic growth. Consumers usually stop purchasing durables right before a recession.

But is consumer durables a good career path? To answer that, we’ll need to consider a variety of data about job growth, wages, and companies…

How many jobs are available in consumer durables?

There is a wide variety of jobs available in consumer durables. The consumer durables industry is a $2 trillion industry that employs around 3 million people. 

At top consumer durables companies, there are opportunities in Product Design, Marketing, Operations, Engineering, Sales and more. 

What companies are in the consumer durables field?

There are two subcategories of durable goods: brown goods and white goods. Brown goods are consumer electronics such as televisions, computers, cameras and speakers. White goods are consumer appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, air conditioners and blenders. The top consumer durables companies for brown and white goods are Apple, General Electric, Samsung, Hewlett Packard, Sony, LG Group, Panasonic, De’Longhi Appliances, Canon, Phillips, Bosch, Hitachi, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba. 

Apple is the largest technology company by revenue, totaling $365.8 billion in 2021. They employ 154,000 people. General Electric manufactures appliances such as washers and dryers. Also a producer of industrial equipment like aircraft engines and consumer services like electricity and health care, GE employs 168,000 people and amassed $74.19 billion in revenue in 2021.

Samsung, a South Korean company, is another electronics manufacturer. Samsung brought in 279.6 trillion South Korean won ($214.46 billion USD) in 2021. They employ 287,439 people. Hewlett Packard, a U.S.-based information technology company, has 60,400 employees and has an annual revenue of $27.78 billion. Sony Corporation is a Japan-based manufacturer of electronics that employs 109,700 people and has an annual revenue of $73.79 billion.

Panasonic is another Japan-based company that manufactures consumer electronics, employing 259,385 people and brings in $54.93 billion in annual revenue. De’Longhi Appliances is an Italian company that manufactures kitchen appliances such as coffee makers, fryers, and air conditioners. They employ 8,607 people and bring in $2.5 billion in revenue each year. 

Bosch is a German multinational electronics manufacturing company. Bosch employs 400,000 people and brings in $91.68 billion in revenue each year.

Canon is a Japanese electronics company that specializes in cameras, camcorders, scanners printers, and other image products. Their annual revenue is $28.8 billion and they employ 25,377 people. 

is consumer durables a good career path?

What do consumer durables jobs pay?

The breadth of jobs in consumer durables means the pay varies. 

At the top companies we listed, salaries are competitive. In 2021, the median pay for Apple employees was $68,254. Among the lowest paid Apple employees are 3D Artists making $32,000 per year. Among the highest paid would be the Director of Operations making $204,527 per year. A Project Manager at Apple makes an average of $80,000, including salary and bonus. Meanwhile, a Principal Engineer at Apple makes $285,000. (Source:

The average base salary for General Electric employees is $97,000 per year, with an average $9,000 bonus. There are a lot of opportunities for people pursuing an engineering career to earn a lot of money at GE. For example, a Senior Mechanical Engineer makes an average of $112,447, while a Senior Software Engineer earns an average of $109,846. The Engineering Department averages $154,614 total compensation. Comparably, the Design department averages $113,308 per year, the Marketing department averages $107,228 per year and the Operations department averages $74,675 per year. (Source:

Samsung pays its employees an average base salary of $98,476 per year. That is not even including the average bonus, which is $13,000. A Senior Software Engineer at Samsung earns an average of $136,686 per year. An Area Sales Manager can earn as little as $36,000 per year or as much as $89,000 per year, with the average being $87,879. (Source:

The average salary for Sony employees ranges from $25,000 per year for a Customer Specialist to $168,000 for a Sales Manager. On the production and manufacturing end, an Assembler makes about $9.10 per hour, an Injection Mold Operator makes $13.50 per hour, while a Production Supervisor makes $71,482 per year and a Production Manager makes $111,681. An assembler job is considered a low-skill job while a Production Manager position usually requires years of experience. (source:

At Panasonic, a Quality Control Supervisor makes around $38,812 per year, while the Associate Director makes $171,833 per year on average. As at Apple, there are many opportunities in Industrial Engineering at Panasonic. An Industrial Engineer earns $86,292 per year, while an Engineering Manager makes $119,912 per year. An Account Executive makes $110,000 per year. (source:

The average salary for Bosch employees is $127,751, while the median salary is high, at $119,306. The lowest-paid job at Bosch is Customer Service Representative, which pays an average of $45,295 per year. The highest-paid job at Bosch is Director of Sales, which nets $231,452 per year. The average salary for the Finance department at Bosch is $88,964, while the average salary for the Business and Development department is $156,228. (Source:

The average Canon U.S.A. annual salary ranges from $25,000 for a Public Relations Assistant to $123,000 for a Senior Manager. A Purchasing Manager at Canon makes $120,000 per year while a Contract Administrator makes only $36,000 per year. (Source:

is consumer durables a good career path?

What are the best paying jobs in consumer durables? 

Product Designers are responsible for, you guessed it, designing the product. They earn an average of $81,456 per year. Product Managers in consumer durables oversee all aspects of creating and launching a new product. The average product manager salary is $110,000 per year. (All figures in this section taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2021 estimates.)

Sales Representatives market and sell a company’s product to retailers or to the consumer and earn on average $72,115 per year. 

Some of the highest paid jobs in consumer durables lie on the business side of things. Marketing Managers earn $142,470 on average per year. Business Analysts earn an average of $82,000 per year. Account Managers earn $83,900 annually. 

There are many opportunities in Project Management and Industrial Engineering at companies like Apple. An IT project manager at Apple makes $124,820 per year, while an Engineering Project Manager makes $161,206 per year. An Engineering Manager, meanwhile, makes $195,470 per year at Apple. 

Is consumer durables a good career path for you?

A career in consumer durables can be quite lucrative for those with the requisite education and experience. It might be good for someone with engineering experience, for example. 

Careers in consumer durables provide unique challenges like keeping up with changing technology and trends. A career in consumer durables would be ideal for the tech-obsessed. 

The top consumer durables companies often provide desirable benefits and perks. Apple employees receive health care, a free gym, and stock-based compensation (Restricted Stock Units). One Production Supervisor at Sony, who left the job due to what he said was low pay, told Indeed, “Huge working pressure to confess daily basis. But canteen is very good.” So at the very least, you will have a good cafeteria. 

One drawback to working at a top consumer durables company could be the pressure and how hard the work is. One former Account Executive at Panasonic told Indeed, “Work [is] hard and pay is great, lots of travel. Competitive and fun team work with strong leadership and lots of communication. [It is] hard work and can be all consuming.” 

“All-consuming” implies the absence of a work-life balance. Furthermore, a lot of travel could be a pro or a con, depending on how the individual feels about it.

Employee satisfaction overall depends on the company. One employee said of Apple, “Pay does not keep rate with inflation.” On the positive side, one former Apple employee said, “Positive, inspiring, and always looking for ways to improve.”

If you are considering a career in consumer durables, you might start by researching different companies on Indeed or Glassdoor to see not only what the salary and benefits are, but what the culture is like and if it aligns with your values. One employee said of Canon, “[The] management style is unique. Japanese culture in an American environment . . . [The] hardest part of the job is growth prospects . . . .”

One former Design Engineer at GE, who made $60,000 per year, told Indeed, “The very good culture of making sure all staff are up to date exist[s] and I have appreciate[d] that more than anything else.”

The risk-averse should be aware that during times of economic downturn, consumers usually forgo purchasing consumer durables. For this reason, the job market may be less stable than that of the consumer non-durables industry.

On the other hand, consumer durables like refrigerators and computers will always be a part of life, so the demand for them will never cease. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Technology occupations will grow 13 percent before 2030. 

Is Energy a Good Career Path?

With the demand for renewable energy increasing, the number of opportunities in the energy field is continuing to grow. So is energy a good career

With the demand for renewable energy increasing, the number of opportunities in the energy field is continuing to grow. So is energy a good career path?

is energy a good career path?

What kinds of jobs are available in energy?

The number of careers in energy is vast and includes everything from civil engineering to power plant operation to electricians.

  • Science & engineering jobs:
    • Architects – As the designers and planners of homes, offices, theaters, factories and other buildings, architects can bring efficient design and renewable technologies to their designs. In 2017 alone, architects reduced their predicted carbon emissions by 17.8 million metric tons per year, the equivalent of planting 21 million acres of forest
    • Civil Engineers – Civil engineers use engineering to plan and design construction projects like roads, bridges, airports, and water systems. In this way they play a fundamental role in sustainable development by integrating renewable energy into existing infrastructures.
    • Nuclear Engineers – Nuclear engineers are responsible for researching nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal. 
  • Installation and repair jobs: 
    • Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installation – HVAC mechanics install and maintain small scale renewable technologies. 
    • Powerhouse, Substation and Relay Electrical and Electronics Repairers – These workers inspect and maintain electrical equipment in power stations and substations. They also may install and maintain solar power systems.
    • Wind Turbine Service Technicians – These workers inspect and repair wind turbines. They may also help to test mechanical and hydraulic systems. From 2014-2024, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts wind turbine technician as the fastest-growing job in America with 108 percent growth expected.
  • Production jobs:
    • Petroleum Pump System and Refinery Operators – A refinery operator controls systems that process petroleum or natural gas into other products. 
    • Power Plant Operators – Power plant operators control, operate and maintain systems that generate electricity. Nuclear power reactor operators operate and control nuclear reactors. 
    • Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers – These workers may be employed in the construction of new oil pipelines, power plants, or in the maintenance of existing ones.
  • Construction jobs:
    • Construction and Building Inspectors – These workers inspect structures to make sure they are up to code. Building inspectors may audit homes or commercial buildings to figure out ways to reduce energy waste.
    • Electricians – Electricians install and repair electrical wiring in homes or commercial buildings and make sure it complies with codes. 
    • Pipelayers – Pipelayers lay pipe for sewers, drains and water mains. Pipelayers are in demand in the oil and gas sector.
  • Corporate jobs: 
    • Software Developer – Solar Software Developers design, program and build software that helps solar construction businesses plan and design layouts for installing solar panels to optimize energy efficiency. 
    • Sustainability Manager – Also known as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) specialist, a sustainability manager is responsible for enacting and enforcing policies that will contribute to sustaining the environment for current and future generations. If you are passionate about both climate science and business, Sustainability Management might be the career for you.  
is energy a good career path

What companies are in the energy field?

The energy sector is traditionally composed of non-renewable energy companies, including fossil fuel companies and nuclear power, and renewable energy companies, such as businesses that offer hydropower, solar power and wind power. 

Non-renewable energy companies include oil and gas companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron. ConocoPhillips is another nonrenewable energy company; it produces most of Alaska’s crude oil and is responsible for .91 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions from 1988-2015 (ExxonMobil was responsible for 1.98 percent). At ConocoPhillips, you could work as a Seaman (average salary 50,145) or as a land negotiator, negotiating transactions to acquire undeveloped land At ExxonMobil, you could work as a Geophysicist for $141,564 per year, a Senior Research Engineer for $140,591, or a CEO making $23.6 million per year. 

Renewable energy companies include solar and wind power companies. NextEra Energy encompasses both solar and wind power. There you could work as a Project Manager, Wind Technician, Financial Analyst, Chemist, Solar Engineer, or even a customer service representative. 

The General Electric Company and Southern Company are electric companies that are dedicated to providing electricity as well as renewable energy. At these companies, you could work as a software developer, scientific researcher, manager, installer, industrial engineer, electrical engineer, or many other opportunities. The energy sector offers a wide variety and great number of jobs.

How many jobs are available in energy?

In 2021, the energy sector comprised over 7.8 million jobs in the U.S. This represented a four percent growth in total energy employment compared to 2020. For comparison, the overall job market grew 2.8 percent. This means that energy jobs in the U.S. are growing faster than employment in the overall economy. 

Jobs in net-zero emissions, in areas including solar, wind and nuclear, composed 40 percent of total energy jobs in 2021. Employment in the solar industry grew 5.4 percent, an increase in over 17,000 jobs. The wind industry employed 3 percent more people than in the previous year. Nuclear power also showed a decrease in jobs, by 4.2 percent. Conventional heating, ventilation and air conditioning grew by 3.3 percent. 

The fuel sector, meanwhile, lost jobs, showing a 3.1 percent decrease overall, though it employed 908,422 people. This loss in jobs happened despite an increase in production. The petroleum industry showed a 6.4 percent decrease in jobs. The coal industry accounted for most of the jobs lost, however, with coal jobs decreasing by 11.8 percent. Over 7,100 jobs in coal fuel were lost.  

Overall, the U.S. energy sector increased by over 300,000 jobs in 2021. The fossil fuel industry accounts for 12.6 million jobs, renewable energy employs 4.6 million people and nuclear power employs 0.8 million.

is energy a good career path?

What do energy jobs pay?

Is energy a good career path? Let’s take a look at the average salaries for some jobs in the sector. The energy field can be very financially rewarding for those with a Bachelor’s or advanced degree. The median salary for a Sustainability Manager is $70,530. The average salary for a Solar Software Developer is $110,140. (All figures taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2021 estimates.)

For those with vocational training, the energy field also offers competitive wages. The average worker in the Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay Electrical and Electronics Repairer category (which includes Relay Technicians, Instrument and Controls and Substation Mechanics) makes $48.50 per hour. Wind Turbine Service Technicians make a median annual wage of $52,260, while electricians make a median salary of $56,900.

What are the best paying jobs in energy?

Green careers, or jobs that contribute to environmental sustainability, can be lucrative. Among the best paying jobs in the energy sector are Solar Engineers, who make an average salary of $103,390. The typical financial analyst for a renewable energy company makes $83,660 per year. A green construction manager, who oversees projects in the alternative energy sector, makes an average of $97,180 per year. A chemical engineer who works to test and develop energy sources makes on average $108,540 per year. A software developer for solar energy systems rakes in $110,140 per year on average. Architects, who play an integral role in designing sustainable buildings, make an average of $89,400.

Nuclear power also provides many high-paying jobs. The average Nuclear Engineer makes $243,807, while the average civil engineer makes $88,570, with the highest-paid quarter making $115,110. The average Nuclear Reactor Operator makes $162,971. 

The fossil fuel industry also provides some of the highest-paying jobs in the energy sector. The national average salary for a geologist for an oil and natural gas company is $70,115. About 8- percent of current fossil fuel jobs are in fossil fuel extraction, which includes oil drillers and coal miners.  

Is Energy a good career path? You should consider a career in energy if…

Energy is one of the largest industries in the world and continues to grow. What’s more, there will always be a need for energy, so having a career in this field means your job will most likely not become obsolete. Unless, that is, you work for the fuel or coal industries, which are losing hobs. 

You should consider a career in energy if you are interested in engineering or physical sciences and want to use your STEM education for good. You should also consider a career in energy if you are looking for a lucrative career that uses your STEM degree. Energy is very technical, so if you enjoy science, math, engineering, or technology, you may like it. 

If you are passionate about the environmental impact of companies, you should consider a career in renewables or in Sustainability Management. There are many jobs in the so-called green sector that allow you to make a positive impact on society and the Earth, and these jobs continue to grow steadily. 

If, on the other hand, you are not concerned with the environmental impact of your field, you could consider a career in the fossil fuel industry. The fossil fuel industry can be very lucrative for the unscrupulous. But be aware that this job sector is the one part of the energy economy that is shrinking: in 2021, employment in the renewable energy sector increased while jobs in fossil fuel industry declined. The solar industry now provides twice as many jobs as the coal industry. 

Research by Johannes Emmerling, an environmental economist, predicts that if countries abide by the Paris Agreement of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, this will lead to a net increase of 8 million jobs worldwide. By 2050, their research predicted, 84 percent of total energy jobs will be in renewables, 11 percent will be in fossil fuels and 5 percent will be in nuclear power. He predicts that in 2050 renewable energy jobs will increase from the current 4.6 million to 22 million, particularly in solar and wind. 

Interested in other career paths? Read:

Is Capital Goods a Good Career Path? A Comprehensive Analysis

What are capital goods? Capital goods, also known as the means of production, are tangible assets that are used in the production or manufacture of

is capital goods a good career path?

What are capital goods?

Capital goods, also known as the means of production, are tangible assets that are used in the production or manufacture of other products and services. This can include machinery, vehicles, buildings, tools, computers and other industrial equipment. Is capital goods a good career path? Let’s investigate…

The capital goods sector is vast. Here is a breakdown of various capital goods by category: 

  • Industrial equipment – hand tools, machine tools, robots, oil rigs, wind turbines, even hair clippers for hair salons and kitchen utensils at a restaurant
  • Construction vehicles – dump trucks, cement trucks, airplanes for commercial airliners
  • Power technology – solar panels, batteries
  • Data infrastructure components – data centers, semiconductor fabrication plants
  • Business & industrial software – productivity software and apps, accounting software
  • Electronics – cameras used by a film crew

Capital goods play a major role in technical innovation. For example, capital goods companies may figure out how to use energy more efficiently in their equipment, with the goal of decreasing production costs. The endgame of increasing labor productivity often drives innovation. New technologies like analytics, robotics and AI have historically revolutionized the manufacturing space. The first industrial robot was installed at General Motors in 1959. Now robots are ubiquitous in the manufacturing industry, performing jobs that are undesirable for humans. This technological innovation continues today: for example, in 2016, General Electric (GE) began 3D printing LEAP-1A engines for the Airbus A320neo passenger jet. 

Capital goods increase labor productivity, which makes companies more efficient, resulting in more products being produced more quickly. This generally increases a company’s profits, leading to economic growth for the entire country and a higher gross domestic product (GDP). 

An example of the relationship between capital goods manufacturers and the overall health of the economy is the semiconductor shortage of 2021-2022. An increased demand for electronics like laptops, tablets and consoles, combined with the pandemic’s impact on semiconductor chip supply chains led to a global semiconductor shortage. In July 2022, the Senate passed the CHIPS Act, which will allot $52 billion in funding for domestic semiconductor manufacturing, with President Biden describing semiconductor chips, a capital good, as “the building blocks of the modern economy.”

Capital Goods vs. Consumer Goods

Consumer goods are the final items purchased by a consumer or business for their direct use, or consumption. Capital goods are items used to manufacture another product. For example, an item of clothing is a consumer good, while the machinery used to produce that piece of clothing is a capital good. Some things can be both consumer goods and capital goods. For example, if a bakery buys sugar to produce pies, the sugar is a capital good. But if you at home purchase sugar, it is a consumer good because you have purchased the product for your personal use. 

is capital goods a good career path?

How many jobs are available in capital goods?

If you are interested in a career that combines economics with industrial processes, you may be wondering how many jobs are available in capital goods. The good news is that because the industry is so varied, there are many job opportunities available. The capital goods industry employs nearly 6 million people, accounting for 13 percent of total employment in the U.S. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that capital goods will expand by 6 percent before 2026. For comparison, total employment is predicted to increase 0.7 percent annually. 

In 2021, companies spent money on capital goods at record levels. This is a reversal of a trend since the last economic recession: the Great Recession saw a downturn in capital goods investments. Expenditure on capital goods has officially recovered from the recession. That is, with the exception of the aerospace sector. This increased spending on technology and expansion has great implications for the labor market. The total number of job openings in the U.S. is 10.5 million, 858,000 of those being in manufacturing.

Companies that invest in capital goods will have an increase in productivity, though overall productivity will be hindered by a labor shortage. This leads to a demand for “new collar” workers, who have skills in analytics and automation and an overall more technical skillset than conventional white-collar or blue-collar employees. In this environment, workers will have to be proficient in analytics and robotics in addition to machinery. The talent shortage created by advancing technologies creates a unique opportunity for up-and-coming job seekers who are willing to develop specialized, technical skillsets in order to pursue a career in capital goods. 

What companies are in the capital goods field?

For example, Union Pacific, which employs over 10,000 people and grosses over $10 billion per year in income. Union Pacific, a railroad company, is involved in the creation of chemicals, automotive products, coal and other goods. Employees of Union Pacific can expect great benefits, including retirement plans, comprehensive health insurance, and tuition reimbursement. 

Another company in the capital goods field is General Electric, which employs over 10,000 people and grosses over $10 billion per year in revenue. GE handles manufacturing in different sectors, including aviation, power, and energy, producing weapons, wind turbines, electric motors and other capital goods. 

Another well-known company in the capital goods sector is Lockheed Martin, which employs over 10,000 people and grosses over $65 billion each year in revenue. Lockheed Martin serves the aerospace, military, and security and technology industries, creating defense weapons. A similar company is Northrop Grumman, an aerospace and defense company that employs over 90,000 people and grosses about $30 billion per year. 

One company you may have heard of in the capital goods sector is Boeing, the largest aerospace company in the world. Boeing manufactures commercial jetliners. 3M is another company in the capital goods sector, which in addition to consumer goods like adhesives and laminates produces capital goods like dental and orthodontic products, electronics components and medical software. 3M employs over 93,000 people in 87 countries and produces over 60,000 different products.  

The employees of all these companies can expect competitive wages and good benefits including retirement plans and health insurance. 

is capital goods a good career path

What do capital goods jobs pay?

There are a wide variety of jobs available in the capital goods field. At the entry level, an assembler makes $26,000 per year (though the average salary for an assembler is $31,000 per year). Another entry-level position in the capital goods industry is quality control inspector, a position which garners $30,000 per year at the entry level and upwards of $50,000 per year with more experience. On the higher end, software developers make more than $100,00 per year, while the top-paid mechanical engineers make more than $120,000.

What are the best paying jobs in capital goods?

With the requisite education and experience, you can earn upwards of $100,000 per year working in capital goods. Among the best-paying jobs in capital goods are Project Manager, Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, Software Developer and Engineering Manager. The top ten percent of Project Managers earn $135,220, with the median salary being $77,420. Project Managers in the capital goods industry oversee and manage projects, with the goal of meeting productivity and quality standards. (All figures taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2021 estimates.)

Software developers earn $110,140 per year on average. What’s more, software development is predicted to grow by 22 percent over the next decade. This is because manufacturing is becoming increasingly automated. Software developer positions typically require a Bachelor’s degree in software development, though some companies allow a Bachelor’s in computer science or computer programming. As a software developer in the capital goods industry, you will design apps and programs that help companies with efficiency. 

The average salary for an Engineering Manager is $149,530. As an Engineering Manager, you will coordinate and plan engineering projects, for example aerospace engineering. This position requires an undergraduate degree in Engineering and years of work experience. 

A Marketing Manager, meanwhile, earns $141,490 on average per year. Companies in the capital goods industry typically market their capital goods using business-to-business (B2B) strategies. B2B strategies require in-depth research and targeting. Therefore this position typically requires a Bachelor’s degree with work experience or even a Master’s degree or PhD. 

Sales Managers earn $132,290 per year on average. As a Sales Manager you will lead a team of salespeople with the goal of selling the company’s product. As in marketing, sales of capital goods are based on B2B strategies. Sales Manager positions typically require a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Business or other related field. 

Is capital goods a good career path? You should consider a career in capital goods if. . . 

You should consider a career in capital goods if you are passionate about manufacturing and construction. The capital goods industry also plays an integral role in technological advancement, so if you are passionate about tech and/or innovation, this might be the industry for you.

Capital goods is a good career path if you are looking for an industry that will show continuous growth. As technology becomes more advanced, the capital goods sector will benefit. For example, with the auto industry trending toward electric, there will be an increased demand for lithium as well as specialized machinery. For another example, as semiconductor chips become increasingly popular in the cellphone and car industries, there will be an increased demand in chipmaking equipment. The capital goods industry offers unique opportunities for job seekers with specialized knowledge and skills, with the reward of job security. This is one industry that will expand, rather than falter, with the rise of automation and the advancement of technology. 

What’s more, top capital goods companies are often unionized and provide competitive wages and good benefits. 

Interested in other career paths? Read:

Is Consumer Services a Good Career Path? A Complete Guide

In the U.S., the service sector accounts for over 70 percent of its GDP, which makes it the largest sector in the economy. The economy’s

Is consumer services a good career path?

What is consumer services?

In the U.S., the service sector accounts for over 70 percent of its GDP, which makes it the largest sector in the economy. The economy’s service sector is divided into three main parts: business services, public services and consumer services. Business services are targeted at businesses, while public services and consumer services are provided to individuals. Consumer services refers to any intangible service being produced and consumed at the same time. Intangible services are things that have no physical form such as an experience.  Examples of consumer services are all around us, including education, health care, insurance services, restaurants, travel and utilities. But is consumer services a good career path? That’s a more complicated question.


Career Sponsorship Programs: An Essential Introduction

What is a Career Sponsor? A career sponsor is a senior colleague who believes in a junior person and helps them climb the corporate ranks.

Career Sponsorship Programs

What is a Career Sponsor?

A career sponsor is a senior colleague who believes in a junior person and helps them climb the corporate ranks. Sponsors use their influence with higher-ups to advocate for their sponsee and make sure they are visible in the eyes of decision-makers. They have the backs of their sponsees so that their sponsees can take necessary risks to advance without fear of getting fired. They advocate for their sponsees to get high-stakes assignments that are necessary to advance to upper management positions. While sponsorship has traditionally been an informal relationship, many companies have begun implementing dedicated career sponsorship programs, often as part of a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiative. Either way, sponsorship is a mutually beneficial relationship: executives who promote junior talent are 53 percent more likely to advance to the next rung of the leadership ladder compared with their peers who fail to sponsor. 

Mentor vs. Sponsor: What’s the Difference?

Both sponsors and mentors can help their sponsees/protégés make connections, advance their careers and expand their networks. Mentors provide insight, feedback and coaching, while sponsors leverage their leadership positions to actively advocate for their sponsees. Sponsors are colleagues at higher levels who can use their influence with other executives to support and promote their sponsee. While a mentor provides potentially career-changing guidance, a sponsor places their sponsee in new roles, suggests their sponsee for assignments that can get them noticed by higher-ups, makes their sponsee more visible at work, and stands up for them in their absence. A mentor could be a peer or other contact that provides advice, while a sponsor is exclusively a higher-up who actively advocates for their sponsee. A sponsor uses their political capital to advance their sponsee – this makes the relationship high-stakes and risky if it is the wrong fit. This has led many companies to set up dedicated career sponsorship programs in order to avoid bad fits and promote success.

Why is career sponsorship important?

Imagine a scenario: two equally qualified candidates vie for a position. One has a senior manager pulling for them. Who gets the promotion? A sponsor essentially lends you the benefits of their network, power and connections. Sponsorship has the ability to transform careers. Sponsored male managers are 23 percent more likely to progress to the next echelon of the corporate hierarchy than their peers who do not have sponsorship, while sponsored women are 19 percent more likely than their non-sponsored peers to advance. According to research by PayScale, sponsored employees earn 11.6 percent more than their colleagues. Women who are sponsored by men make more money and have better career outcomes than women who are sponsored by women – simply because men have more power in their respective organizations.

The vast majority of CEOs are promoted from line positions – positions that have authority over achieving the major goals of an organization. However, according to the 2016 McKinsey Women Matter study, as women move up the corporate hierarchy, they are shifted from line positions to staff jobs – positions that require expertise or exist to assist line positions. The percentage of men in line positions, meanwhile, remains the same. Only about 20 percent of women in upper management positions are in jobs with profit and loss responsibility. 

Garnering visibility is one of the key roles of sponsorship. A 2012 study of alumni of top business schools showed that one-third of men reported getting a lot of C-suite visibility on their projects, compared to one-quarter of women. 2022 Research by the Harvard Business Review shows that 20 percent of white employees have sponsors, compared to just five percent of black employees.

Sponsorship is an integral tool in promoting diverse candidates. Career sponsorship gives diverse candidates a foot in the door. Networking is crucial for career advancement, but diverse candidates are less likely to have existing professional networks at the C-suite/board level. According to a 2013 Corporate Directors Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 91 percent of new board directors came from “the board’s network.” 

Career sponsorship programs are a tool for actively promoting employees from underrepresented groups to higher-level positions. Black managers are 65 percent more likely to advance to the next rung on the leadership ladder if they have a sponsor. Sponsored Black employees are 60 percent less likely to quit within a year than their non-sponsored peers. Sponsorship can guard against the microaggressions that Black professionals face every day. However, with only three percent of corporate executives being black, they face increased scrutiny, and are therefore less likely to sponsor than their white peers. White managers are also unlikely to sponsor black candidates – not least because 91 percent of white managers have no Black, Asian or Latinx people in their immediate social network.

Human nature often leads to a “like me” bias – people tend to gravitate toward people who are like them on dimensions like gender and race. A sponsor is a person who has power and will wield it for you, so the tendency to be attracted to a similar person is even stronger. 

What are some companies with career sponsorship programs?

The American Society for Training and Development found that 71 percent of Fortune 500 Companies offer formal mentorship programs. According to research done by the Harvard Business Review, having a mentor increased the likelihood of receiving a promotion for men, but not for women. This happened largely when a woman’s mentor was not senior enough to have promotional power or the power to advocate for their protégé. This has caused some to say that women are over-mentored and under-sponsored.

Some companies, however, do have formal career sponsorship programs in place in addition to mentorship. These include:

  • American Express
  • AT&T
  • Citi
  • Credit Suisse
  • Crowell & Moring
  • Deloitte
  • Deutsche Bank
  • EY
  • Genentech
  • Intel
  • Morgan Stanley

Some companies have diversity-oriented sponsorship initiatives. Companies that have formal sponsorship initiatives targeting black talent include:

  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Splunk
  • DraftKings
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Fox News
  • Cisco

While some companies have sponsorship programs in place — and many more have mentorship programs — it’s more effective to develop a sponsor relationship organically, according to JPMorgan Chase. Many sponsorship programs have experienced pushback from executives who are being asked to advocate for people they don’t know or don’t think are prepared. However, as pointed out above, sponsorship of Black employees is very unlikely to happen organically. 

To make a career sponsorship program more effective, experts say, sponsees should be paired with sponsors who are more senior than their direct bosses. This is because a sponsor needs to have the power to promote the person they are sponsoring.

How to Get a Sponsor

By sponsoring a diverse candidate, the CEO is communicating that the candidate has the business acumen, strategic thinking and problem-solving skills to sit at the board table. Therefore the sponsor needs to know the candidate very well. However, in the McKinsey study, women reported having fewer meaningful interactions with higher-ups than did their male peers. 

According to Samantha Ross Saperstein, Head of Women on the Move at JPMorgan Chase, sponsor relationships are elusive and hard to come by organically. She suggests becoming indispensable in your position by taking the initiative to help out a senior leader. She gives the example of Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments and a JPMorgan Chase board member. Hobson started in her organization as an intern, and was proactive, doing any necessary job, even sorting the mail for founder John Rodgers. He was impressed by her work ethic and the two developed a strong bond, and eventually he made her his Co-CEO. Another approach is to become “the expert” – be it a thought leader or exemplary salesperson. Saperstein gives the example of Condoleezza Rice, whose expertise in Soviet affairs garnered the attention of Brent Snowcroft, who took her into the White House and advocated for her. 

The third approach Saperstein suggests is to connect over shared interests. These interests can be work related – e.g., diversity initiatives or serving on a committee – or can be non-work-related hobbies or social causes. 

Career Sponsorship at the Women’s Forum of NY

Women face a “broken rung” at the ladder to managerial positions. For every 100 men that are promoted to manager, only 86 women overall are promoted (89 white women and 85 women of color). Consequently, men outweigh women at the managerial level, which means the pool of candidates for higher-up positions contains fewer women. 

The Women’s Forum of New York seeks to correct this imbalance with a tool it created: a database to help CEOs and board chairs sponsor board-ready women candidates. Established in 2012, the database invites all CEOs and board chairs to nominate women they have worked with whom they know are board-qualified and prepared. The sponsorship process is simple: CEOs simply fill out a sponsorship form and send it to [email protected] Information on the sponsored women is then made available free of charge to nominating and governance committees and search firms. Women with the qualifications to be on the board must leverage their own networks to broadcast their interest in becoming a board member to CEOs and their network of contacts, who in turn can sponsor them. 

Ellig Group’s decades of experience promoting diverse candidates’ careers has shown them how powerful sponsorship is. Their goal is to get all boards in the U.S. to gender parity by 2025.

The Undeniable Facts Behind the Gender Diversity Dilemma

A 2022 Harvard Business Review publication entitled “Stop Making the Business Case for Diversity”  argues against the “Business Case” for diversity – i.e. the argument

Gender Diversity

In Defense of The Business Case for Gender Diversity on Boards 

A 2022 Harvard Business Review publication entitled “Stop Making the Business Case for Diversity”  argues against the “Business Case” for diversity – i.e. the argument that frames the need for workplace diversity in terms of its benefits for a company’s bottom line. At the 2017 Women’s Forum of NY Breakfast of Corporate Champions, former CEO/Chair of Merck, Ken Frazier, to some degree, alluded to this argument. When asked whether gender diversity on boards actually impacts financial performance, Ken replied, “We have never measured the impact of homogeneity (men) on boards, I don’t see why we should measure that for women”. Nevertheless, study after study by all the major consulting firms has demonstrated a strong correlation between significantly greater financial performance and the number of women in the boardroom and/or C-suite. While correlation does not necessarily imply causation, the sheer volume of research strongly suggests that executives who dismiss the Business Case do so at their own shareholders’ peril. 

Let’s take a look at a few of these studies in reverse chronological order:

  • Research by Credit Suisse concluded that companies in which women held 20 percent or more of management roles were more profitable than companies with 15 percent or less women in management.
  • According to McKinsey’s research, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile, while companies in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity were 36 percent more profitable than those in the fourth quartile.
  • Catalyst research shows that diversity reduces groupthink, that cognitively diverse teams solve problems faster and that mixed-gender teams can better manage group conflict compared to homogenous teams.
  • A study by the Petersen Institute conducted a global analysis of 21,980 firms from 91 countries. Corporate leadership is positively correlated with firm characteristics, such as size, as well as national characteristics such as girls’ math scores, the absence of discriminatory attitudes toward female executives, and the availability of paternal leave.
  • Research by Deloitte Australia shows that inclusive teams outperform their less-inclusive counterparts by 80 percent in team-based assessments.     

The Obstacles to Diversity:

The Unconscious Bias Syndrome 

Fundamentally, people are more likely to hire others that they naturally identify with, thus creating a homogenous workforce. As in a country club, people recommend people who share similar backgrounds and experiences. Everyone has some sort of bias, and oftentimes it is unconscious. So without a diverse C-suite to correct unconscious bias, it bleeds into the hiring process.

Unconscious bias prevents candidates from landing jobs for which they are well-qualified. Unconscious bias keeps women and underrepresented groups from getting promotions or choice assignments that can lead to positions with greater responsibility. One candidate may be chosen over another based on their prestigious alma mater, or an unconscious bias for one name over another. 

Overcoming unconscious bias leads to better diversity – including diversity in race, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexual orientation, among others – consequently encouraging a plurality of voices and perspectives on the world, which fosters an environment of innovation, inclusion and more effective problem-solving. 

As an example of addressing bias. Ursula Burns, the former CEO of Xerox, was the first Black woman to ever helm a Fortune 500 company. She was sponsored by the previous CEO, Anne Mulcahy. This shows the importance of representation in the C-suite to help underrepresented groups break the glass ceiling.  Underrepresented groups have been historically excluded, so correcting for bias in the recruitment process is part of undoing structural racism, sexism, ableism, and anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination. 

The Self-Perpetuation of Inequality: Upward Mobility and Lack of Sponsorship

Research by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which analyzed each of the Fortune 100 companies, shows that women are underrepresented in positions that directly feed into future CEO and board roles, and have greater representation in positions that are less likely to lead to CEO and board roles, such as Chief Human Resources Officer and General Counsel positions. As a result, women are not only underrepresented in the C-suite but are also underrepresented in the pipeline for future leadership.

The same study also shows that only 16 percent of C-suite positions are held by racially diverse executives. Twenty-six of the Fortune 100 have no ethnic diversity at the C-suite level and only 16 have a non-white CEO. Racially diverse executives are more represented in positions that have less potential for advancement.

The pipeline to executive leadership relies on the sponsor-sponsee relationship. 

The Harvard Business Review’s study, How a Lack of Sponsorship Keeps Black Women Out of the C-Suite, indicates that it is more challenging for Black women to obtain sponsorship. Women in general face exclusion challenges that prevent them from gaining sponsorship, including a lack of opportunity to build camaraderie with white males and concerns regarding the appearance of their relationships to others – e.g., the appearance of favoritism. The study showed that only one-third of Black women’s sponsors were white men; fifty-seven percent were Black, and 29 percent were women. Given the lack of representation of gender and racially diverse executives in the C-suite, sponsorship opportunities are limited, and the lack of inclusion perpetuates itself.

“Regardless of education, motivation, and personal and professional success factors,” wrote Stephanie Bradley Smith in the Harvard Business Review, “Being sponsored by a white man remains the primary accelerant to the career mobility of Black women.” Smith suggests the way forward is increased representation of Black women in the highest level of organizations and successor positions through BIPOC and gender-diverse executive recruiting.

Lack of Upward Mobility and the Pay Gap 

Organizations should take into account that some people experience more than one barrier to equity. As referenced in Women of Color and the Wage Gap, while white women earn 81 cents for every dollar a white man earns, a Black woman earns 63 cents, an American Indian or Alaska Native woman earns 60 cents, and a Hispanic woman of any race earns only 57 cents.

Research shows that black women have fewer opportunities to develop their careers, as compared to white women. This entails less access to training, mentorship, and sponsorship, and fewer opportunities to interact with leadership.

While 21 percent of C-suite leaders in the US are women, only four percent are women of color, and only one percent are Black women.


McKinsey research shows that stress increases when an employee encounters “onlyness,” or being the only person on a team or in a meeting with their given gender identity, sexual orientation or race. LGBTQ+ women are seven times more likely than white men to report being an “only,” while LGBTQ+ women of color are eight times more likely than straight white men to report being an “only.” The same study also shows that LGBTQ+ women aspire to C-suite positions with the hopes of being role models for others like them, thus sparing others the experience of “onlyness” and the accompanying stress. 

2-D Diversity:

A Harvard Business Review study analyzed what it refers to as 2-D Diversity. This includes two different types of diversity: inherent and acquired. Inherent diversity involves traits a person was born with – gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Acquired diversity refers to traits you gain from experience – e.g. working abroad, which can help you appreciate cultural differences, or working with female consumers, which can give you insight into gender differences. The study found that companies with 2-D diversity are 45 percent more likely to report growth in market share over the previous year and 70 percent more likely to report capturing a new market.

Acquired diversity, according to the Harvard Business Review study, is a necessary component of inherent diversity for leaders to foster an environment where all employees speak up and feel free to contribute ideas. The study found that employees in this type of inclusive environment were 3.5 times more likely to contribute their full innovative potential.

Without diverse leadership, women are 20 percent less likely than straight white men to be endorsed for their ideas. People of color are 24 percent less likely, while LGBTQ+ people are 21 percent less likely.

More Reasons for Top-Down Diversity 

  1. Studies show that candidates seeking out diverse work environments where they can see others like them who have made it up the corporate ladder to be the decision-makers. To be a preferred employer, diversity matters
  2. Consumers want to see that the S in ESG is being practiced. They want to see that good corporate governance includes people like them around the boardroom table. 
  3. Institutional Investors: Blackrock, State Street, Vanguard and others have a vote, and they will use it if boards are not representing women and underrepresented groups. 
  4. Exchanges like the NASDAQ have put in rules that require listed companies to meet board diversity benchmarks that will increase over time.  

Corporate leaders have a unique opportunity to fight the injustice that pervades our society. “Time and again, Black and brown communities receive and digest messages communicating that our contributions are worth less, that our lives have less value,” said Lanaya Irvin, CEO of Coqual. BIPOC executive recruiting can help counteract those messages. A team with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, skills and knowledge will produce more innovative and creative ideas. Not only does this lead to a company’s success on a global scale, but it also impacts society: innovation drives economic growth and can combat societal problems such as the climate crisis. Innovating new technologies, products and services meet a critical social need.

How Ellig Group is Leading the Pack in diversity recruiting  

An Impressive Track Record of C-Suite Diversity Recruiting 

A certified (WBENC) Women-owned and -operated company, Ellig group is a leader in identifying, recruiting, and developing diverse executive talent for senior-level C-suite and board positions. Over the past five years, more than 80 percent of our executive appointments and 85 percent of our board director placements have been women, people of color, and leaders from other underrepresented groups. CEO Janice Reals Ellig is committed to the appointment of more women and diverse executives in C-Suites by 2025. “The supply is there; it is a demand issue,” said Ellig. “The large pool of highly qualified women and diverse candidates should not be overlooked.”

Commitment to Enhancing an Executive’s Success and Impact

Diversity goes beyond merely recruiting diverse candidates. Our leadership consulting practice offers programs that aid in the long-term success of our candidates, including executive coaching, leadership development, talent assessment and onboarding initiatives.

Executive Coaching

Our Board-Readiness Coaching Program (BRCP) is a six-month-long program that prepares executives for a successful, rewarding board role. This includes guidance from International Coaching Federation-certified coaches and personal brand specialists, as well as writing and research support and access to our extensive network of executives and directors.

Leadership Development

Because we believe that leadership development is a lifelong journey, we offer curated programs including team and group facilitation and on- and offsite meetings on topics including transformation, team building, resiliency, and communication.

Data-Driven Executive Assessment

As part of our holistic approach to talent development, we have expanded our Executive Assessment methodology to include new online assessment tools and in-depth consultations.

Is It Okay to Joke in an Interview?

There are many lists of job interview tips. But is it okay to joke in an interview? Here’s a joke. A recruiter says to a

There are many lists of job interview tips. But is it okay to joke in an interview?

Is it okay to joke in an interview?

Here’s a joke. A recruiter says to a job applicant, “In this job, we need someone who is responsible.” The candidate replies, “I’m your guy. In my last job, every time something went wrong, they said I was responsible.”

Here’s another. A recruiter says, “How well do you perform under pressure?” The job applicant replies, “Not bad, but I do a great Bohemian Rhapsody!” These are examples of responses you should definitely not say to an interviewer. But if you’re preparing for a job interview, you might be wondering if there’s an appropriate way to incorporate humor into your responses. You may be wondering how to sprinkle in a few interview puns or interview jokes into the mix. In this article we will discuss whether jokes for an interview are a do or don’t.

Is it Okay to Joke in an Interview: Yes or No?

Short answer: no. Long answer: maybe, but probably not. It’s a very high-risk, low-reward proposition.

Definitely stay away from any scripted jokes. You don’t want to sound rehearsed or fake. You should be “real” in a job interview, so that you can find out right away if you and the employer mesh well. If you can whip out an off-the-cuff pun, that could be an inoffensive way to lighten the mood. But if you are not naturally funny, it might be best to stay serious. Don’t try to be funny. There are plenty of other ways to connect with and make an impression on your interviewer.

The Case for Job Interview Jokes

According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, executive performers who were considered outstanding were twice as likely to use humor as their less successful colleagues. In the study, outstanding executives used all types of humor more than average executives, though they favored positive or neutral humor. A sense of humor was the second most important trait (after work ethic) for impactful leadership and suggests a high level of emotional intelligence. This is because a person with high emotional intelligence will be able to read the room and deliver a joke in the right way so that it will land and defuse tension – rather than causing it. Humor, a great defusor of pressure, can show that you would be a good person to work with during a high-stress or anxiety-producing time.

A joke may also help establish a rapport between you and the interviewer, writes Ask A Manager’s Alison Green. A well-placed joke can lighten the mood and help calm your nerves (thus helping you to perform better in general). Humor can show off positive personality traits: sociability, intelligence, and quick thinking. It can also show that you are not too uptight.

An important thing to remember is to read the room. Gauge the waters and try to determine if the hiring manager has a sense of humor or not. Some interviewers are all business and may see the use of humor as unprofessional. Remember that a job interview is a formal setting, not a chat with a friend. Also remember that this is not a performance, and you are not getting up on stage, and it is important to understand who your audience is. If the interviewer has a more conversational style, and does not seem all-business, an appropriate sense of humor will probably be well-received. If it is a final interview, and there are a lot of C-suite level interviewers, you will likely have had a chance to do some research on them. You can find out through YouTube videos or listening to interviews to figure out if they are funny people, or if they will appreciate a more informal approach. Test the waters by tossing out a light comment – if you encounter a chilly reception, it is best to stick to the serious approach.

When you tell your joke, pay attention to body language. Don’t push too far. And practice your humor first. Practice the interview in front of a friend, and if they do not laugh, tweak it a bit. Practice will help you deliver a self-deprecating remark or other funny comment naturally, without sounding awkward or offensive. 

You may even want to hire an interview coach who can guide you on how to weave being funny into your responses. 

“Throughout the interview, balance humor with statements and examples that paint the perception of you as a smart, results-driven team player who can roll with the punches,” Recruiting specialist Yolanda Owens told CBS News. “Then deliver a good punch line when appropriate.”

Well-timed, occasional humor can be a boon in an interview scenario. However, bear in mind that humor is just one tool in your professional toolbox. Do not neglect your other attributes – knowledge, conscientiousness, integrity, respect, intelligence. Coming off as a pure clown will not help you.

The Case Against Job Interview Jokes

The joke has to be delivered in the right way at the right time, writes Green. And you have to be careful about how your joke may be interpreted. It could come across mean or as a dig at the interviewer even if it was meant as a dig at yourself. 

Being funny has the potential to alienate or offend your interviewer. This isn’t just a personal issue: an employee who tells inappropriate jokes is a potential legal liability. Being funny may appear unprofessional or disrespectful. It can even give the impression that you aren’t taking the interview seriously. Even if it goes over well, it likely will not be the thing that gets you the job; however, if it goes over poorly, it could easily be the thing that costs you the job.

Appropriate Kinds of Interview Jokes

There is a way to incorporate humor in your interview while being seen as professional. One appropriate way of using humor in an interview is self-deprecation. Self-deprecating jokes show humility. The target of the joke is you, so you are less likely to offend other people. However, tread lightly: too much self-deprecation can be dark or off-putting. A good example of work-appropriate self-deprecating humor comes from career coach David Couper. If you are asked about your competency with technology, you could reply, “Technology? Yes, I just hooked up my cassette tape player last week.”

Loren Greiff, founder and president of, gave a great example of humor that one of her clients used on a podcast

“He was in Seattle, and apparently, he had to go buy a poncho in order to get to the interview, and he showed up and, you know, he wasn’t exactly dry, and so, he made a joke about how he didn’t realize that a poncho wasn’t really a tent. I mean, it may have been just a note to the fact that he wanted to explain why he was even wet. So this [was] a self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek way of handling the fact that he did not look like the most professional person in the world with his wet suit.” 

The goal is to come across as a personable and engaged potential team member. The key is balance: frame a light moment or joke with an accurate assessment of your skills, qualities and experience to give the recruiter a holistic, well-rounded view of yourself.

Inappropriate Kinds of Interview Jokes

A joke in an interview should be funny enough to show you have a personality, but inoffensive enough not to widen anyone’s eyes. Obviously, steer clear of racist, sexist, homophobic or other bigoted jokes – even if you belong to the group that is targeted by the joke. Or even if your friend who belongs to the targeted group thought it was funny. Seriously, this is a hard no. And don’t tell bigoted jokes elsewhere, either! They have no place in a job interview or in the world. 

Definitely avoid gross out and macabre humor. Unless you are interviewing to be a stunt person, gross out humor will not work out for you. And black comedy specifically plays with subjects that are taboo – and these subjects are taboo for a reason! They have no place in an interview setting.

Lastly, avoid political humor. Even if the interviewer agrees with your politics, they may not consider it appropriate. 

Remember that your goal in employing humor is to be seen as a personable, relatable person, not to generate gut-busting laughs in your interviewer. Humor used subtly and with good timing can put everyone at ease and show the recruiter your personality and what you would be like to work with. 

“Tell Me a Joke”

In rare instances, a recruiter may ask you to tell them a joke. The tell-me-a-joke question is used to weed out candidates who might use the opportunity to say something racist, homophobic, sexist, or otherwise inappropriate. If you say something off-color in an interviewer, this is a clear indicator that your conduct in the workplace will be similar. The joke question can also be used to see what you have in common with the organization. In this case, it is best to have something prepared. Pick something light and innocuous. For example: “Two antennas met on a roof. They fell in love and got married. The wedding wasn’t much but the reception was great.” Or perhaps: “What do you call an illegally parked frog? Toad.”

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