That The Privately Educated Dominate The Top Jobs


From our Swindon Correspondent:

The BBC tells us that:

A social mobility charity says top professions in the UK are still unduly dominated by people who have gone through private schools and Oxford and Cambridge universities. The Sutton Trust and Social Mobility Commission analysed the educational background of 5,000 people in top jobs. It found these influential people were five times more likely to be privately educated than the average population.

The problem is that what they refer to as “top professions” are rather out of date. 44% of news columnists are privately educated? And what’s that generally like as an earner? There’s plenty of Guardian writers living in a room in a shared house. Cricketers? County cricketers earn between £30K and £80K per year.

Sure, you can find the outliers of people like Joe Root and Polly Toynbee who make a hefty 6 figures, but you can apply that to supermodels, video game creators and people who make YouTube videos.

But it might raise an eyebrow that today’s pop stars are more likely to have gone to private school than university vice-chancellors – 20% compared with 16%.

There’s quite sensible reasons for this. Being a pop star is now wealth-destructive. I suspect it always has been to some extent, but there is now a massive oversupply of recorded songs available. Anyone can download 60+ years of songs about love or heartbreak. What are you, in 2018 going to add that all those people haven’t done before?

If you want to make a living doing your own thing, it’s very hard to break through. It requires continuing to go at it, and the effect on many people is that they get tired of trying and go and get a proper job. The people most likely to be able to ride through until they succeed are the rich kids like Radiohead and Mumford and Sons because they’ve got backup. They’re burning through family money.

What no-one sees with all these jobs is the people who never made it. Most people who go into politics want to become cabinet ministers. But of all of those who apply effort, how many fail? 90% of MPs aren’t cabinet ministers. How many people who stand for parliament never become MPs, or spend years doing it? How many people never get selected to be an MP and only work for the council? How many people never even get selected for council, despite volunteering? People like Tony Blair could spend years just doing politics without much reward because his wife was covering all the bills.

I suspect if you analysed these in comparison to people who leave school and start working in sales, IT or as a CNC apprentice, many of these people would be no better off, on average.

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