How much experience needed?

Commentary | By Lori Bikson |

Oct. 5, 2011 — It’s a long road to get into many professions, let alone get to the top of those professions. For an attorney, it takes three years of law school after four years of college to become admitted to the bar, and that gets you a position at the bottom of the ladder (neither law firm partners nor high-ranking government attorneys are selected from recent graduates).

For doctors, of course, it is an even lengthier road.  Four years of medical school, plus (at least) three years of residency, all after four years of college. And then, you’ll be working an awfully long time before you are made chief of neurosurgery at a major (or minor) medical center.

A long period of development is needed in other spheres, too. Think about how many years it takes to become a master carpenter or electrician. Or the time and commitment it takes to become a professional musician, let alone, say, the principal cellist at a leading symphony orchestra.

What about president of the United States? Though not running this time around, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seems to know a shortcut. As reported in today’s New York Times, “Jerry Zaro, a friend of Mr. Christie’s, said that a half-term on the job, and one legislative victory after another, ‘It’s taught him — it’s shown him — that he’s got the goods.’”

Oh, my.


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