“I have always been fascinated by how differently people consider the value of a return on investment. Using two extremes, the pharmaceutical industry, where I have worked for over 20 years, invests millions of dollars into new product research and development, as you would expect, but in anticipation that only one in a hundred of these products is likely to be successful. The successful product, then returns a profit, as well as covering the cost of the research and development for all of the other products. Of course as individuals and mere mortals, we do not have the resources to make such highly geared investments into our own futures. Yet it still amazes me that many of my colleagues, family and friends, do not expect to have to invest anything in their futures. They are happy to try anything as long as it is free of any cost requirement and free of any time requirement. I firmly believe that you get just what you pay for in life and as such if you are prepared to invest nothing, you will achieve nothing. The smart answer is somewhere in the middle of these two extremes and should be determined by risk analysis. I am risk-averse by nature, but I still accept that risk is necessary. It cost me $45k for my MBA and $55k for my DBA and approximately 7 years of my life. I do not regret this investment of both time and money for a minute and am a much more capable and valuable person as a result of these investments. However, by comparison, I invested $15k and one year into the Appleton Greene CLP program, which I accept is a professional qualification, not an academic qualification, but as a result I have established a viable corporate training practice returning an annual income circa $350kpa. This represents a healthy ROI by any standards. If this does not qualify as a low-risk personal career investment, then I am not sure what would qualify.”

A quotation taken from a Learning Provider reference within the Pharmaceutical industry.