Wednesday, 20 March 2013


How much is knowledge worth?


People often say "you can't value knowledge"

In a strict sense, that is probably true, but there is a proxy for the value of knowledge, and that is how much a knowledge worker earns.

The chart to the right is drawn from here, and shows how average UK salaries increase with years of experience. Each year of experience seems to equate roughly to an added £1000 in salary. This "value of experience" is a proxy for the value of knowledge, because experience is where knowledge comes from.

The chart shows average salaries, covering all types of job; not necessarily knowledge workers. The value per year of experience depends on the job, and on the knowledge.

Here are some other numbers
  • This site suggests that the market value of actuarial knowledge is $7960 per year of experience.
  • This site suggests that the market value of office worker knowledge is $4467 per year of experience.
  • This site suggests that the market value of Information Architecture knowledge is about $6000 per year of experience.

There are other sites out there that can give you other figures, but the phenomenon of the salary curve is all-pervasive - as you gain more knowledge and experience, you are worth more. As Larry Prusak said "When I was at my last job, at the age of 50 they paid me 10 times more than a 30-year old with the same qualifications. What was the residual difference? Knowledge and experience".

You can value that knowledge through the sorts of statistics shown here. A good knowledge worker might gain about $6000 worth of knowledge per year, or $30-worth per working day.

Worth going to work for, wasn't it!

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