Companies look at and value three background parts of an employee. These three parts are your work ethic,intelligence, and education. Work ethic includes being dedicated to the company, whether that means working overtime, or working harder than everyone on the shift. Intelligence can get someone far enough but, not to the realms of success. It is one thing to be lazy and intelligent, thinking respect comes your way automatically or being intelligent, and working harder than your co-workers. The best choice of course is the second one. Don't walk around the office; acting like an egotistic prick with no degree but, has an I.Q. of 130. Only corporate profits numbers impress in financial terms so leave that intelligent quotient score out of it. That above normal I.Q. should give you the push to become, better than everyone else. This is an advantage that you need to polish and perfect. The employee with average or norm 100 I.Q. has the potential to surpass you with harder work ethic. You don't have to be a super genius to be successful. You have to be just smart enough; and have enough drive to succeed. Those Mensa members have a biological superiority, that can be knocked off the pedestal with hard work ethic. I've seen it with my own eyes people without, a college degree making six figures. How is that possible? You say that the backbone of getting a college degree is to get a salary hike. Twenty years ago that was the truth; these days work ethic goes far. This work ethic and no degree rule will quickly fade out, because of the recession. Those high earning baby boomer employees will be eventually replaced by younger,smarter, more educated employees that will work harder for less pay. Education is still the backbone to success, and landing a job these days. The recession is making even Yale graduates, like Michael Gates Gill, to force themselves to get cashier jobs at retail companies like Starbucks. People always ask me is a college education, worth it in the long run? To simply put is yes it is. That education will give you an edge, and don't stop pursuing higher education when you get your associate's degree. It will all work out in the end, when employers and companies become more confident in this recession. These three words don't always equal success and fortune but, it is a trend that didn't change in the past 200 years. This is a trend that will continue to change and grow to adopt to society and the current economic status.