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A Prestige Problem

The results of a Harris Interactive poll measuring the prestige of various professions have been released and the findings aren’t good for the people in my office or, I’m guessing, for the people in yours.

Doctors and firefighters are the most prestigious professions, according to data from more than 1,000 adults interviewed by phone. Also prestigious: nurses, teachers, and military officers.

Not so prestigious: stockbrokers, business executives, and journalists. Real-estate brokers bring up the rear, with only 6% of people surveyed believing that job carries “very great” prestige.

The statistics on business executives haven’t changed much since the study began in 1977, so it’s hard to blame recent scandals for giving the industry a bad image. Why do these professions lack prestige and what can be done to change it?

Check out the full data in the WSJ.

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