Originally Posted by Lars
I'm sure you have your facts right BMM, but did these people get their positions right out of CMC or did they have to get their Bachelor's degree first?
I'm sure Neil had a few years of experience to get where he is now.
How many people walk out CMC into high paying jobs? And how many high paying jobs are there at Ski Resorts anyhow? I worked winters at a fairly big resort for ten years and the only high paying jobs I know of are those in the upper office that are employed year round.
Maybe there are some success stories at CMC Steamboat. We weren't. And being from out of State, it cost us alot more than a Colorado kid. Very few people make enough money in Ski Area Operations. You don't need to go to college to be a liftie or flip burgers in the base lodge.
I certainly understand your standpoint, Lars. To answer your question, not very many walk out into high paying jobs. That's life in the ski industry, regardless of your level of education. It's all about motivation, drive, and passion. The only one on that list that did
walk out into a high paying job was John Paul Bradley. He was hired upon graduation as the GM. But he was definitely a unique case. One of the professors said they used to sit around and talk about how they'd all be working for him someday.
The point is, if you put the effort into it, and you are willing to work hard both at school, and in the business, this degree can help speed up the ladder climbing process. The fact is, if you just want to be a groomer or a snowmaker or a patroller for your whole life, then CMC isn't the place for you. It's a great overview to all
of the various aspects of the industry. It creates a ski industry professional who can see the big picture of the business, and that makes him a more valuable employee in his respective department.
As for whether these guys had Bachelor's degrees or not, I don't know. I know that some of the most successful graduates did, and some did not. I'm not at all trying to belittle the importance or the significance of a Bachelor's degree. But I am trying to point out that it is not necessary for success, at least in this industry. The ski biz is more about OtJ performance, and who you know! CMC helps with both of those.
Re: how many high paying jobs are there in the industry... well, that's a highly regionally dependent figure. The NSAA puts out a salary survey every year, but it is extremely expensive if you aren't a contributing resort. But just couple very
general salary range approximations for a variety of positions in Colorado (based on that survey):
Departmental Supervisor: $35,000-65,000
Departmental Manager: $55,000-85,000
Director Mt. Ops: $70,000-$120,000
VP Operations: $150,000-350,000
Supervisory level would be attainable within a short time after graduation, and management a couple years after that. My goal is to be in a Mt. Manager position in 15 years or so. There aren't many jobs in the industry that are high
paying, but there are plenty of positions that pay pretty decent wages.