The effects of the utilization of graduate education on promotion and executive officer/command screening the surface community: 1986-1994
Fuchs, Kim L.
Mehay, Stephen L.
Bowman, William R.
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This thesis examines the effect of graduate education on the career progression of Navy surface warfare officers. The probability of promotion to LCDR (O-4), CDR (O-5) and CAPT (O-6) grades as well as the probability of screening for XO and CO are used as career progression milestones. The analysis examines the effect on career outcomes of a graduate education background in general, differences in the effect of holding a Navy-funded graduate degree versus a non-funded degree, and whether the funded degree was in a technical or non-technical curricula. The thesis also investigates the effect of utilization of graduate education on career progression. Finally, the thesis examines the determinants of who decides to pursue (or is chosen to attend) a funded graduate program. The results support the conclusion that officers who select (or are selected for) the graduate education program have stronger undergraduate backgrounds and stronger job performance early in their careers. These traits raise a question of selection bias, since officers who have graduate education may have been more likely to promote even if they did not have graduate education. A test for selection bias was developed and incorporated in the career progression models. The results indicate that a fully funded graduate degree has a positive effect on the selected measures of career progression. The probability of promotion to O-6 was higher for officers who utilized their graduate degrees as an O-5 compared to those who utilized earlier in their careers. Finally, officers with non-technical graduate majors had a higher probability of promoting than those with technical majors.
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