US Naval Officers: Academic Background & Assessing Job Performance

Research Paper Title

College Quality and Employee Job Performance: Evidence from Naval Officers.


This study analyses the effects of college quality and individual academic background on selected job performance measures for officers working in professional and managerial jobs in the US Navy.


The study analyses performance indicators at selected career points for cohorts in two occupational groups.


Among staff personnel, who perform mostly administrative and support functions, the authors find that graduates of private schools, regardless of college quality, received better performance appraisals than did other officers.

Among line personnel, who perform jobs on ships and submarines and in aviation, graduates of top-rated schools, both public and private, received better appraisals during the early career period.

Within both occupational groups, graduates of top-rated private schools were more likely than other officers to be promoted at the up-or-out point.


The results are consistent with prior studies that find an earnings premium attached to attendance at elite private colleges.


College Quality & Employee Job Performance, Evidence from Naval Officers (Bowman & Mehay, 2002)


Bowman, W.R. & Mehay, S.L. (2002) College Quality and Employee Job Performance: Evidence from Naval Officers. Industrial and Labor Relations Review. 55(4), pp.700-714.


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