High Tech Entrepreneurs & CEOs©
Jews as High Technology Entrepreneurs and Managers
Jews have traditionally been seen as prominent in such industries as finance, merchandising, apparel, textiles, entertainment, media, and publishing. And in most of them, Jews were true pioneers. They played leading roles as those industries emerged on the scene.
Their disproportionate importance to the contemporary world of 24/7 competitive high technology is less well known, but they have flourished there as well. It plays to their strengths. High technology demands a solid grounding in the underlying science or engineering and that typically calls for college, and sometimes a post graduate education. Demographically, Jews are better educated than their peers. An earlier chapter pointed out the high levels of Jewish enrollment at leading public and private universities.
The National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01 goes further. It points out that:
- "More than half of all Jewish Adults (55%) received a college degree and a quarter (25%) earned a graduate degree." "The Comparable figures for the total U.S. population are 29% and 6%." As a result,
- "More than 60% of all employed Jews are in one of the three highest status job categories: professional or technical (41%), management and executive (13%) and business and finance (7%)." "In contrast, 46% of all Americans work in these three high status areas, 29% in professional or technical jobs, 12% in management and executive positions and 5% in business and finance."
Jews also tend to be disproportionately entrepreneurial, working where they will succeed or fail based on their own efforts. Andrew Grove's decision to stop writing, and instead to pursue science, illustrates the point. Judgments about writers are often subjective while those about science are much less so. Grove wanted to work in a field where he would be judged on his own performance. He chose chemistry and got his Ph.D. After several years working with the best and brightest at Fairchild Semiconductor, he left to become one of the three founders of Intel.
Technology is a high risk meritocracy....