The Value Gap: A Profession's Value Does Not Reflect Its Prestige

With Unemployment As The Top Issue Facing Our Country Entering The New Year, Most Americans Feel That Professions That Improve People's Quality of Life Make a Profession Most Valuable to Society

Dec 31, 2010, 12:02 ET from StrategyOne

NEW YORK, Dec. 31, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Reflecting relentless unemployment figures and online stories of long and unsuccessful job searches in professions that have long been viewed as secure, Americans see unemployment (83%) as the most important issue facing our country today.

Choosing a profession in this economic environment becomes a complex decision, which can lead to introspection as to what value a person's work contributes to society.  Americans identify the top three qualities that can make a profession valuable to society as jobs that improve people's quality of life (72%), solve world issues (48%), and give back to the community (38%).

Positions perceived as making valuable contributions to society, however, are not necessarily viewed as prestigious. Relative to other professions, teachers are rated highest based on the value they contribute to society with three-quarters of Americans saying they are extremely valuable (76%). That said, Americans rate teachers as one of the lowest in terms of prestige (15% extremely prestigious).

These are just some of the findings from StrategyOne's The Value of Professions Survey, a public opinion poll of 2,014 Americans, conducted between September 18 and 20, 2010.  StrategyOne, a strategic polling firm, is a Daniel J. Edelman company.

"Choosing a meaningful profession is a challenge today for Americans at any age," said Catherine Reynolds, senior vice president of StrategyOne.  "It becomes the difference between what feels good versus what looks good to others professionally."

Survey Methodology:

StrategyOne conducted 2,014 online interviews among a representative sampling of Americans between the ages of 21 and 65 a between September 18 and 20, 2010. The margin of sampling error at the 95% level of confidence is = +/- 2.2% overall and larger for subgroups.

About StrategyOne:

StrategyOne, a Daniel J. Edelman company, employs custom public opinion research and secondary research methodologies to deliver strategic counsel to corporate, organizational and governmental clients globally.  With offices in Atlanta, Chicago, London, New York, Paris, San Mateo, Washington, D.C., and Abu Dhabi, StrategyOne provides global clients with evidence based stakeholder insights, analysis and measurement. Visit for more information.

SOURCE StrategyOne