Academic success = Career/Life success?

<p>What do you think? Do you believe that nerds and academic overachievers are always more likely to succeed in life than those who do not exert an effort in academics?</p>

<p>No - I think personality has a lot to do with it. You can be one smart business major, but if you don't have the personality to lead a group of people, you probably won't get anywhere in the business world. You can be one dumb but amazing artist and do very well. (And I am NOT implying that artists aren't intelligent - I am an artist at heart and a pretty intelligent person, but it's a good example of when skills can get you farther than top grades).</p>

<p>In my case, I was a strong undergraduate student who's financial situation changed after college and I was unable to pursue graduate school. So I am now stuck with a general LA degree (psych) which didn't land me the greatest job, even though I had a lot of research experience, publications, good grades, honors, etc.</p>

<p>Interesting opinion. But you must concede that people who exert an effort in school are more likely to exert an effort in other fields of their lives as well -- such as their work, their families, their companies etc. Bill Gates would serve as a prime example of a nerd in high school who shunned out all social interaction, and only focused on computer science and just working hard at school in order to succeed. Not to downplay the importance of social skills and good fortune, but I'm sure there is some correlation between academic success and life success?</p>

<p>Then you look at someone like Steve Jobs - there are exceptions to every rule. What it comes down to is whether your academic field is a good fit for your skills and interests. If it isn't a good fit, then it probably won't work out no matter how hard you try.</p>

<p>I think it depends on what your idea of success is. Do you mean financial success? Or do you mean general life happiness? The idea of success has such a wide berth and it is really different for everyone.</p>

<p>It is true that the habits that you have in school are likely going to be the habits that you keep throughout life. If you studied really hard during HS then you will likely do the same thing in college. Pushing yourself and perseverance are very good skills to have no matter where you go in life.</p>

<p>If you are planning on a job that involves research and will mean using those exact skills that got you the good grades then it will mean a greater chance at success. Some jobs and careers don't work that way though.</p>

<p>Quite often moving up the ladder at work will have a lot more to do with how you deal with people at work. Hard work is always a good basis for anything in life, but it is important to keep an eye on everything that is going on around you if you are looking to move up the ladder at work.</p>

<p>A lot of intelligent people end up on the wrong path in life and either end up being unsuccessful, or using their intelligent to criminal ends rather than contributing to society. Conversely, a lot of really stupid people end up in high places.</p>

<p>Charisma plays a role in it, it's essential to be able to connect with people no matter you're intelligence. Personality has to do with it as well, whether or not you're motivated enough to put your academic prowess to use, and to what ends. Then there are the factors of pure chance and luck.</p>