What do the smartest people end up doing for a living?
The answer may or may not be what you expect.
Here is a table of SAT scores by intended college major.
Adding verbal and math scores, for the most recent year available, gives a rough-and-ready answer to our question.
The highest score overall goes to math majors. Next, close behind, is language and literature—the English majors. Then the physical sciences; then foreign languages.
All of these are theoretical subjects, not directly related to occupation. The moral here is that the very intelligent are less likely to be motivated by money or social status; they are interested in thinking for its own sake. What do they end up doing for a living? God knows. Some perhaps go on to teach at university or college; many probably end up selling insurance. Some may serve you fries at McDonald's.
Only then do we come to the first profession. Guess which one? Not the highest-paid, nor the highest prestige. Engineering. Biological sciences, the likely choice for future doctors, comes next, albeit not far behind. Then philosophy/religion/theology, obvious choice for a future clergyman. Then library science; then social sciences and history—-my guess is that history is pulled down quite a bit, and the social sciences up, by this arbitrary association of the two. But this is presumably where the future lawyers punch in. Business and commerce—the place for budding MBAs and CEOs, not to mention budding millionaires—ranks even lower. For the brightest among us, money is indeed no object.
Now we're scraping the bottom of the intellectual barrel. The last dregs is about what one would expect: “technical and vocational.” Only a little ahead, though, in second-to-last spot, is “public affairs and services”--bound for the civil service. Just one level up, and tightly matched: agricultural majors and el-high teachers.
Yep; sounds about right.
Among the conclusions to be drawn is the clear one that the world is run by mediocrities. The professions in general are at the mid-range of the scale. And the dominant professions socially—lawyers, civil servants, businessmen and educators—are at the bottom of the scale.
Consider that next time you are thinking of giving more power to government, or to the professions.