Excelerate: Growing in the New Economy


350 pages
ISBN 0-00-255425-9
DDC 330.971'0647





Reviewed by David Robinson

David Robinson is an economics professor and dean of the Faculty of
Social Sciences at Laurentian University.


Nuala Beck tells her clients that 60 percent of Canadian jobs are now in
the “new economy.”

The decline of the more familiar old economy may get far more
attention, but Canada has already shifted gears. Beck claims that her
firm’s hard research has pinpointed “with a stunning and surprising
degree of accuracy ... where people can go today to find a good job with
a future.” Her book, a cross between a career-planning session and a
business-planning seminar, provides simplistic formulae that are
accurate and have practical applications.

Excelerate includes four “mini-workbooks” for corporate readers.
These exercises—a practical version of the self-assessment quizzes
found in magazines—are what firms pay consultants for. Readers are
asked to work out whether their company is part of the new economy by
(i) screening the firm’s customer lists to find out whether it has
“good” new-economy customers or “bad ” old-economy customers,”
(ii) reviewing its marketing plan to see whether it is moving into the
new economy, and (iii) developing a list of new-economy targets. This
assessment makes adapting to change seem easier, because it provides a
system for thinking about what has to be done. In an appendix, Beck
presents her own measures of industry—“knowledge
intensity”—which investors and managers may find particularly

Career counselors should buy this book and lend it to their clients. In
addition to important advice on the skills people need, almost half the
book consists of detailed descriptions of job prospects in 160
industries. The information comes from Statistics Canada, but Beck pulls
it together in a way that even high-school students will find helpful.
She calculates overall ratings and picks the “five-star” industries.
Even in the “new economy,” there are “one-star” industries that
job seekers should avoid.


Beck, Nuala., “Excelerate: Growing in the New Economy,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/5557.