Technical vs. Managerial Careers: What Experienced Professionals Say Academic Article uri icon


  • Forum Experienced professionals evaluate technical vs. managerial careers. The Way Ahead has conducted three surveys among young professionals (YPs) to understand preferences between the technical and managerial career ladder. Approximately two-thirds of respondents sought to pursue a management career. It is estimated that one-third ultimately follow the managerial career path. Why do YPs see management as an attractive career? TWA is trying something new in this Forum section and asked select technical and managerial industry leaders for comments on key questions this survey raised. Let's hear what experienced technical and managerial professionals have to say on this critical subject. A total of 2,799 experienced professionals over 35 years of age responded to the survey60% are on technical career paths and 40% in management positions. The results are representative at the 95% confidence level with a 1.79 margin of error. This survey aims to address questions regarding the technical vs. managerial ladder not previously investigated. All data collected, analyzed, and presented in previous articles, workshops, and papers were missing the perspective of professionals over the age of 35. Oil and gas industry veterans now share their experiences regarding the evolution of their career path and job selections. Responses provide suggestions on how organizations can motivate and retain young professionals (YPs) by effectively communicating the company's view on their potential. This survey is not designed to dissuade YPs from pursuing the management career option, but aims to explore the differences between technical and managerial career paths and share corporate expectations about what is required to succeed in both.

published proceedings

  • The Way Ahead

author list (cited authors)

  • Okoroafor, R., Chalbaud, C., Andreev, A., Gupta, S., Toralde, J. S., & Etkind, J.

complete list of authors

  • Okoroafor, Rita||Chalbaud, Carlos||Andreev, Anton||Gupta, Siddartha||Toralde, J Shaun||Etkind, Josh

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM