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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/250

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244
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

smooth road is reached? Both ambition and pocket are interested in the answer and without doubt many a young man has been influenced in his choice of profession by his conclusion on this matter. The data at my command throw light only indirectly on this question, but more directly on another. How long must I wait for eminence, if it ever comes, and in what profession may I expect it earliest? If there be any fixed relation between a foothold and success, then the former question may be answered by inference. A tabulation of the ages of each of the eight thousand and more individuals of both sexes for the vocations mentioned above (with the exception of a few less frequently chosen) is shown graphically in Figs. 2 and 3. The former is for males and the latter for females, though the gentler sex was a competitor of sufficient strength to warrant consideration in seven only. In each of the figures the vocations are indicated at the bottom. Of the two heavy vertical lines (ordinates) above each vocation, the one at the left indicates by its height the percentage of the whole number

PSM V61 D250 Graph of age related male vocational success.png

Fig. 2.

mentioned who were below forty years of age; in other words, the percentage of young men and women who had achieved eminence in it, if we may assume that a person is young until he is forty. The ordinate at the right of each pair shows in a similar manner by its height the average age in years of all those mentioned for the vocation indicated below. In each case the ordinates are to be read by means of the scales at the left and right of the figure: the youth ordinate in percentages and that for age in years, although the figure is so drawn that the same scales apply to both. These figures show then, as fully as an inductive study based upon a limited number of data will permit, (1) the relative probability of achieving early distinction in the various professions, (2) the average ages of persons of distinction in those professions, (3) a basis of comparison for the two sexes.