Don’t Destroy Your Sex Rank By Stupid Educational Choices

One of the more obvious things that make men sexy is having a coherent career. Whatever it is in particular isn’t all that vital, as long as the man can show some kind of general story arc of making more money and generally gaining more power in his work environment.
Money isn’t everything, but below a certain level of income, it sure feels like it’s everything. When all is said and done, more money is generally better than less money. All things being equal the guy with a $100,000 income is going to go home with the pretty girl, and the guy making $25,000 gets to go home with her designated ugly fat friend aka “The DUFF”.
This is an incredibly harsh way of looking at the world, but tell me it ain’t the way it all…
Buy Me!


  1. Miles Anderson says:

    I think the overall comment here is a little too trade oriented. If you want to study a trade like nursing or plumbing please do so. You need to be better at choosing those 'cuz some of them go down in value or disappear with time. Plumbers will probably always keep their jobs. Some trades like mining or logging havn't stood up so well. If you want to go to college it isn't about learning a trade. It is about learning how to think. There is nothing wrong with that liberal arts degree if you understand that you need to understand an application area and that you are going to have to work harder upon entering the job force in exchange for a higher ceiling and broader opportunities. As an example I have a couple of those liberal arts degrees that I leveraged into more then 6 figures by the time I was 30 and a lot more now.

    And cute sweeties at liberal arts institutions abound :)

    OTOH there is a relevant Frank Zappa quote: “If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.”

    Keeping the attitude of constant education in all areas of life will never hurt!

  2. Athol Kay says:

    I think the key phrase in Miles comment is "That I leveraged". Not everyone can actually do that.

  3. Miles Anderson says:

    That is why I said "a little trade oriented". There is a spectrum from extremely academic to very trade oriented along one axis. I think it is very important to pick one that fits your personality. Being academic and not a doer is death. Being a trade guy and too much of a thinker is death. Hmmm, the constant here is be a doer. Then you get to leverage as much as you can learn :)

  4. rosiewiklund says:

    Despite my gender I took a lot from this post. I appreciate the college advice.

  5. Athol Kay says:

    Oh it applies for women as well Rosie. But obviously my target audience is men. I will say that for men though, the downside for not having a career are greater. Women can always get married and bail out into the mommy track provided they meet a guy with a great career.

    Overall though, I generally advise women to educate themselves for something beyond retail slavery. There's not really enough to do at home unless you're homeschooling.

  6. Meg at Demanding Joy says:

    I've always thought that it's one of life's cruelties that you have to pick a major for your life at the wise old age of 20. I'm 36 and I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. However, you're absolutely right – if you major in philosophy, you're probably fucked.

    "And by savvy I mean perky tits." Dude, my eyes are up here. :)

  7. Reinholt says:

    Regarding major selection…

    The key is to have an idea of what you are going to do with it, and how to position yourself. Liberal arts majors can work out fine, but in most cases where they actually do, they worked out fine because the person picked up the major to build a set of skills they later were using.

    I know plenty of philosophy majors who have done very well; most of them became lawyers or corporate managers.

    That, however, is the trick. You should know why you are picking the major you are picking, and should be able to answer the following question:

    "What kind of return am I going to get for having spent 4 years and x dollars on this?"

    If the answer is that you don't know, pick a major that is relatively safe (mathematics, a science, most business-related degrees) in terms of long-term job prospects.

    The killer combo, which is all too common, is "I don't know" with a liberal arts degree. That is the thing to avoid.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Athol Kay and Miles touched on a topic I've not seen addressed: when does a woman's educational debt become a liability for marriage? Will the girls in Miles' liberal arts courses be attractive for marriage with a $100,000 debt? a $200,000 debt? Is a $3000,000 debt tolerable if her degree is an MD?

  9. Demonspawn says:

    "when does a woman's educational debt become a liability for marriage?"

    Whenever she wants to mommy-track before that debt is repaid. If a woman racks up 100-150K+ (depending on earnings after graduation) then she's sold most/all of her fertile years to repaying debt. She has become someone you want to avoid if you want to marry to have children.

  10. I graduated with one of those "I don't know" generic degrees and now work in a lucrative field that didn't exist when I was in college. Further, almost all of my team has degrees in something else.

    If you believe that you're going to learn a career once and never crack a book again, just give it up now. Every profession (even the trades) require lifelong learning to advance. So study what you love now and remain open to opportunities as they present themselves in the future.

  11. Rollo Tomassi says:

    Here some better advice; don't get married or play house at 25 when you should be out in the world earning your leveraging unhindered by commitments. Monogamy should never be a goal, it should be your last resort.

  12. Athol Kay says:

    The women having an education haters are going to hate the next post. :-)

  13. Aldonza: You're a lawyer aren't you? So you probably went to law school, which requires more than a generic degree.

  14. Demonspawn says:

    "If you believe that you're going to learn a career once and never crack a book again, just give it up now."

    This is a fundamental truth. If you're going to have any job, even flipping burgers, you've got to keep abreast of the current technology/rules/regulations/whatever. If you fail to do so, you are setting yourself up for failure.

    The only constant in this experience called life is change.

    "The women having an education haters are going to hate the next post."

    I don't hate women having an education. My wife is working on her PhD. However, she does not want to have children so she will gain financially from the experience.

    The point of an education is to increase earning and worth (the point of your post). If you don't even pay back the student loans then your college experience is leaving you (or your family) worse off than not going at all. Any woman who wants a man to pay for her college experience, by not paying off her student loans before she mommy-tracks out of the workforce, is a leach that should not be considered marriage material.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Dear Demonspawn:

    We're all clear on your views of what makes a woman a leech, but what about women who are paying for their husbands' education? I have known more than one career-minded woman who was stuck supporting her husband while he decided to head back to school for a dime-a-dozen MBA…

  16. @Jared
    Nope. Not a lawyer. I mentioned a career that didn't exist when I was college, and last I checked, I was in college sometime after the middle ages. ;-)

    I have a bachelors degree in a field completely unrelated to what I do now.

  17. @Demonspawn
    I don't think any education is really wasted, so long as we're talking about people actually getting educated, and not just using it as an excuse to party for four years on somebody else's dime.

    Further, having a bachelors degree is sort of an entry-level requirement to most white collar jobs. Very few of them actually care what the degree was in, except in very specialized fields.

  18. Well, I agree with the above about continuing education. I flip burgers and I am constantly re-educating myself. It's just a basic requirement these days. When I feel I am losing my form, I ask myself, 'how would Heidegger start this move?' and it really centers me. Plus, new technology really helps me stay sharp. The new carbon fiber spatulas are awesome and totally worth it. Professional trade conferences are also essential. Posthuma's "Total Beef" seminars were the highlight of last year's conference.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I think "learning to think" in college is highly overrated. I bet a lot of the successful people who don't use there degree at all, could have spent four years serving coffee at Starbucks and still preform just as well in their career. Outside of STEM, college is all about credentials and connections.

  20. brightstormyday says:

    Best advice ever.

    I have tons of friends who are in liberal arts majors and don't know what they want to do.

    They feel lost.

    We make a joke here because the standard fallback for these kids is an applied economics and management major. Business, essentially. I'ts not fantastic, but the school has good connections.

    What they don't tell you is that at least half of the kids in the major are already pretty wealthy with parents who own businesses or are CEO's of fortune 500 companies or whatever. So thy already have a job, they just need to go through four years (or five or six, depending on how much coke they snort) and then go work for mommy or daddy's company.

    The middle class kids are being fooled into thinking they can survive with that degree in this economy.

  21. The Great and Powerful Oz says:

    If you want a Bachelor's Degree, going to a traditional college is a huge waste of time and money. Check out the various external degree programs that are available.

    Even if you want to go through a traditional college, go take all of the CLEP and DSST tests you can manage. Even with an average IQ, a person should be able to start college with at least 60 credit hours on their transcript. Really, it is that easy. CLEP tests are easy. DSST tests are a bit harder, but still fairly easy. There are lots of online study resources available cheaply.

    If you are in the military, you are a total fool if you don't take every DSST test you can. They are free for you. Even if you fail one, you merely have to wait six months to take that particular test again. If you get stationed somewhere that is really boring, spend the time studying. If you get out of a 2 year enlistment with less than 90 hours, you're probably just slacking and goofing off. Then when you get out you have all those GI Bill benefits to spend on a real education, not the piddly little freshman and sophomore level classes.

  22. Comment_Whatever says:

    I got a degree in electrical engineering.

    I have to admit, that was the wrong degree. In fact, going to college at all was a mistake.

    You know what those kids really need to do?

    They need to be born earlier. That takes SMARTS, but they just might be able to pull it off like you did.

  23. I'd like to add to this post, which I believe changes its direction.

    Even eighty years ago, life was much more 'practical.' The luxury of reaching 25 without having worked for years was virtually nil and most of the population viewed the few that did as kind of spacey; lacking in common sense or their ability to get on in the world. They were right.

    In other words, people grew up faster. That is the essential emotional benefit of having a job; responsibility, emotional maturity, self-comportment, etc.

    In such an environment, pretty girls were a premium, but by necessity still had to perform at some basic practical level.

    Going to school for 25 years changed all that. Now the assumption that you are marrying anyone with a modicum of maturity is not a safe bet.

    Marrying a pretty girl now is even more dangerous, because in addition to very little life experience which would have forced her to grow up, her life is filled with skewed positive feedback mechanisms in an effort to get into her pants.

    She is very likely to be ungrounded, can't do housework, and stuck in a perpetual cycle of 'finding herself.' This is a common problem in society nowadays given our luxury. But it is an even more common issue with pretty girls.

    For men, the key to success, more than what major they take (learning is a requirement of life), is to acquire a job as soon as possible in life. The social and emotional benefits outweigh the money in those teenage years. It is true for women as well.

    But if 'beautiful' is the only criterion for men, the danger in today's world is very real. Ask her one question, "When was your first job?" Especially for folks in their twenties, I believe it is the most important question. Especially given how early we develop habits and life patterns, it is arguable that one never catches up.


  1. […] two years ago I warned Don’t Destory Your Sex Rank By Stupid Educational Choices. That message still stands as is. The TL/DR version being, “Don’t get in debt for a […]

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