Cognitive Ability and Career Attainment
AbstractThree explanations for the prediction that early career success will moderate the relationship between cognitive ability and career attainment are presented, along with an empirical examination of this issue. From longitudinal data provided for 156 managerial, professional, and technical employees, significant moderating effects for an age-graded index of early career success were observed. The relationships between two measures of cognitive ability and later career job level were stronger for individuals experiencing lower levels of early career success than for their more successful counterparts. These results agree with the proposition that, for individuals competing without the advantages associated with early career signals of high potential, the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and information is particularly dependent on cognitive ability.