Thursday, January 29, 2009

Degrees of Separation

[Something's got Heidi all riled up! Read on to find out what - and who - got her peeved.]

This morning I was reading Single-ish on while I sat at my desk and had breakfast. Now I’m a pretty big follower, checking in and reading almost daily (and for those of you who are not familiar with the blog, it’s a guy and a girl – both single – who write about dating and their search for love). So today I came across this post. Erin had gone on a date with a nice enough guy who was not a good match for her. One of her reasons? He had no degrees.

After I read the post I was upset. So I IM’ed Dorkys with this question: Would you date a man who doesn’t have a college degree? Her answer: Depends. He might not have one, but he needs to be intelligent.

My sentiments exactly. It’s important for someone to be smart meaning they have common sense and are out there doing something with their life. A college degree doesn’t make someone smart or intelligent. It doesn’t even guarantee you a job (especially in this economic climate). Would I like my future children to go and graduate from college? Yes, because it might make their lives a little easier and provide better opportunities. But do I think that going to college will make them better people? No, not at all.

A college degree as a key to certain doors: it helps you open them, but whether you last after you walk through depends on you as a person, on luck, on whether you have ambition and drive to make it in the world. If all you have is the degree then you won’t get anywhere.

I can’t imagine thinking that I am better than anyone just because I went to college. Does going to college make me a better person than someone who didn’t? No. Does it make me smarter than someone who only has a GED? No. All it does is open some doors for me and the rest is up to my work ethic.

The fact that a degree is so important to her (“unless you’re Bill Gates or Britney Spears”) made me think. I understand the Bill Gates part – he’s an extremely intelligent man who didn’t have to finish school because he had a lot more going on in that head of his. But Britney?? I love Britney, but I think we can all agree that the only thing she and Bill have in common is money. Which makes me think that not having a college degree is only acceptable to her if you have money.

I’m all for having standards (hey, I’ve been accused of being too picky more than once), but I’d like to think that I am too picky because I am looking for a man I can respect as a human being. A man that is a hard worker whether he finished school or not, someone who makes things happen for himself, who doesn’t think any job too demeaning.

Who knows? Maybe I’m being judgmental because I’m judging someone else’s standards, but I don’t think I am. It just makes me sad to think that society has become so caught up with what people do for a living, what school they went to, or how they look that we have lost track of what’s really important – someone’s character.

[So, do you guys agree? Is a lack of a college degree a deal breaker for you?]



  1. Like I said earlier, a degree is not everything. I have several degrees and know that there is sooo much out there I've yet to learn. I might know some things that others don't, but the next person will probably know something I don't regardless of whether they have a degree or not.

    To me, curiosity and a hunger to keep learning (on your own or not) is very important. College is not for everyone. Sitting in a classroom day in and day out will drive some people mad. Lord knows how some of us survived.

    I mean it'd be great if the guy has a degree, but I wouldn't look down on someone if they didn't, or couldn't, get theirs. To each their own.

    All I ask is that he be able to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from memory and without backtracking. That's not so much to ask, is it?

  2. If a man has talent, connections, and works well with people, that's enough to succeed. I can understand being worried that a degree-less man won't be able to get a good job and provide, but I know a lot of guys who have degrees but lack determination and initiative. The latter is much worse in a mate, I've determined.

  3. I certainly wouldn't discriminate against someone because they don't have a college degree. It's funny actually, because some of the people I admire most, as well as, some of the most successful people I know, don't have a college degree. And haven't a college degree doesn't mean someone is intelligent, so I certainly wouldn't be against going out with someone, or being friends with someone, simply because they don't have a college degree!


  4. Durn it. I can't even pronounce supercalifragilisticexpialidocious let alone spell it.


    I don't think having or not having a degree would matter all that much to me - if she had anything going on upstairs, a pulse and was free of toetag - I wouldn't mind seeing it "things went anywhere".

  5. screw college, mine needs to be a prince =] or i guess at least be part of a royal family.

  6. *Checks for activity upstairs, a pulse and no toe-tag*

    Oh good, I still qualify.

    I don't have a college degree, I had to get a job to support myself right out of high school. Someone I looked up to immensely didn't have a college degree. That person? My father. I think he did pretty good supporting his family while my mom stayed home.

    So do you need one? No. Can it help to advance your career? Usually. I personally wouldn't hold it against someone for not having one, if they are supporting themselves and have some ambition to not just "squeak by".

  7. A lack of degree isn't a deal breaker for me, but the guy can't be a bum. He may not have a degree, but as long as he's smart and still has that thirst for knowledge, than I'm fine with it. If he's sitting at home all day watching TV and drinking beer, than yeah, that's a definite deal breaker. That said, it seems that almost anyone can get a college degree so it doesn't necessarily make anyone smarter or such - college isn't for everyone.

  8. SAY WORD! Good post! I'm all about intelligent men- period. I don't care if you were born a genius or you went to school to earn a degree. Please just don't be a scrub and please be able to have an intelligent conversation with me. Be able to hold your own in a debate even - oooh how sexy!

    And I love the word drats! How silly!

  9. i'm really attracted to guys that i can have an intelligent conversation with. its very important to me that he challenges me and i'll respect him, even if his opinions differ from my own. it doesn't really matter if he has a degree or not.

  10. Oh! I love this!

    Nope...not a deal breaker at all. Educated & intellegent come in all shapes, sizes and forms. Doesn't always have to come from a framed piece of paper on the wall.

  11. Well, I am just glad to hear that I am not the only one who feels that a degree is not a reflection of intelligence.

  12. I'm late on this post, but felt compelled to answer. Imagine that, right? My husband did not have a degree when we met. He wasn't even very interested in college even though he'd attempted it a couple of times. It was his character and his conversation and his attention to detail toward me that made a relationship. Neither of my parents attended college and I consider them more successful in life than a lot of others who HAVE. I don't base success on monetary factors, however, and I know many do. With that said, although neither of my parents attended college, they had five children, 4 of whom received bachelors degrees, 1 who graduated from a technical/airplane/helicoptor program after being discharged from the Navy, and one of the 4 in law school currently. Degrees are becoming bogus forms of "passage" in my personal opinion, and the emphasis people put on them when dating someone just leaves good men/women like my husband open for ME to take. :)

  13. Tooj, I loved that last line. LOL!

  14. Me too!! Please leave some for the rest of us though ;)

  15. Heidi - glad to be of service. :)

    DR - I'll keep my ONE guy, and leave all those up in NYC for you. LOL


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