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Author Explains Why Valedictorians Rarely Become Millionaires

Author Explains Why Valedictorians Rarely Become Millionaires

“They do well, but they don’t go on to change the world or lead the world.”

The author cites a study and the funny thing is that this makes perfect sense.

From FOX Business:

Why valedictorians rarely become millionaires, author says

It’s high school graduation time and a slew of young, newly minted grads are ready to tackle the workforce or continue their education. And, while many of those graduates have poured their blood, sweat and tears into getting perfect grades (like the valedictorian), one author says that motivation may not turn into success—or lots of cash—in the real world.

“They do well, but they don’t go on to change the world or lead the world. School rewards people who follow the rules, not people who shake things up,” Eric Barker, author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree, tells FOX Business.

Barker spent years interviewing various academic experts to try to figure out the science behind success. Through that process he met Karen Arnold, a researcher at Boston College, who followed 81 high school valedictorians and salutatorians from graduation through their careers and the statistics were surprising, he said.

Of the 95% who went on to graduate college, their average GPA was only 3.6, and only 60% had received a graduate degree. And today, 90% of them are in a professional career but only 40% are in the highest tier jobs.

There are two reasons for this, Barker says.

“First, schools reward students who consistently do what they are told. Academic grades correlate only loosely with intelligence (standardized tests are better at measuring IQ). Grades are, however an excellent predictor of self-discipline, conscientiousness, and the ability to comply with rules.”


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I wonder if they factored in courses taken? Most of the top 10 students in my HS class of 600+ gamed the system by taking courses which were easier though still respectable. Biology vs physics. Spanish vs Russian.

“… but only 40% are in the highest tier jobs.”

“Only”, huh?

Jeeeez, what a bunch of deadbeats.

    BillyHW in reply to tom swift. | June 5, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Yeah, given that the percentage of highest tier jobs is significantly less than 40% of all jobs, I’d say that as a group, they are doing pretty well.

Given the amount of misery and death caused by people who DO go on to change or lead the world, and the environmental and social damage behind the millionaires’ fortunes, this article is hardly an indictment of valedictorians.