Huntsman Post

Decisions now influence salary later

By Steve Eaton

Henry J. Eyring speaks at Dean’s Convocation. – Photo by Steve Eaton

Sometimes it seems like those who do the most work, get paid the least.

When Henry J. Eyring visited the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business during Business Week, he didn’t pretend to have all the answers to pay-equity issues; but he did offer the students some insight into factors that can lead to substantial salaries and the circumstances that can lead to career dead ends.

Dr. Eyring, put some thought into such issues when he drafted his book Major Decisions: Taking Charge of Your College Education. Dr. Eyring, who is also advancement vice president at Brigham Young University – Idaho, said the jobs that pay the most tend to be the ones that require the high-stakes judgment calls. The jobs that tend to pay lowest are those that can be standardized, where work decisions have minimal impact on an organization.

Dr. Eyring said students can’t take it for granted that the careers they are shooting for now, will be the same 10 years from now.

“As you look at a career, don’t look at it through the rearview mirror of where it’s been, what people have made in the past,” Dr. Eyring said. “Look at it especially from the standpoint of whether it involves high stakes judgments and mysteries. Be careful if it looks like the kind of thing that a computer could pick up or that could be outsourced efficiently to someone overseas who is about as smart and educated as you are but willing to work for a whole lot less.”

He urged them to put some thought and focus in their decisions while in college, a theme that is emphasized in his book. All the proceeds from Dr. Eyring’s book will go to the “Perpetual Education Fund,” a program run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that offers people educational opportunities in areas where that might not be otherwise possible.

Dean Douglas D. Anderson called Dr. Eyring, who is a close friend, “one of the brightest minds that I know.” He said he is talented and “driven first and foremost by a deep sense of personal purpose and passion in his life.”