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Book smart vs Street smart


I'm serious
In todays day and age, which is more important – Book smart or Street smart? College education, in my opinion, is extremely valuable. But then you often hear of smart people in the work place that didn’t get a college degree and taught themselves or just built up experience in the workplace.

I often see young people fresh out of college that are so picky about the jobs they will accept. Sometimes this could lead towards months or even years of unemployment. They don’t realize that a college degree doesn’t mean you don’t also start at the bottom, same as the guy with no degree.

I think the biggest advantage of book smarts is later in your career. For a starting point and the first few years of your career, it’s an even playing ground, imo.



Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
I think you need to have a balance of both to be truly successful. The book smarts provide the knowledge while the street smarts allow you to use that knowledge. Both are equally necessary in this world but you can get by just fine with one or the other.


Registered Member
I used to be primarily book smart, then extremely street smart, now I'm this nice combination of both. It really is a beneficial state to get to. Being at either extreme was terrible for me, seriously.


needs practice
Education is more important. Do you mean street smarts as in knowing not to walk down a dim lit alley way at dusk or do you mean common sense, such as knowing that there is no big difference between Whole Foods and Trader Joes?

All of us are posting on GF, which means we live in the first world where we aren't thinking daily about finding new food, resources or shelter. It just depends on what this street smarts definition is. Sure, I would do just fine, could live as an assistant manager at a retail boutique or be head waiter at a three star hotel restaurant if I didn't have a master's degree because I know how the real world works, what to expect and not expect in a variety of territory but it's my collegiate education that will really make a difference as my career grows. Call me a mainstream cubicle monkey, but the corporate business world is fueled by those who have sought a higher education.

But I think what is more important than all of this is experience. Education gives you a damn good head start at the chance of getting a position that enables you to gain the invaluable experience needed in the world of work. The networking you do, business practices, dealing with clients, managing employees, studying patterns and trends in whatever your profession is - that is the greatest 'smarts' of all. Experience, personal growth, and motivation are provisions that breed success in whatever you do.


4 legs good 2 legs bad
I agree, success depends on a balance of both. Although I'm not sure I even agree with the stereotypes of "book smart" and "street smart." I consider myself to be extremely book smart, yet I do not have the highest level of education. I am a lot smarter than some of my friends who have college degrees, and I don't necessarily equate that to be street smart.


Sally Twit
I think both are important, but education is more important. I didn't do very well in school if I am honest and there are certain challenges I come across in every day life because of that.
I am terrible at the simplest of sums and I often get confused about the meaning of certain words. I am embarrassed by that, but it is my own fault for not concentrating enough.


It's not me, it's you.
In this day and age, book smarts are more in demand. If you're up against a person for a job, and they have a college degree and you do not, the college degree person is going to get the job. Unless you wear a low cut top or something.

I never did go to college, but I have been extremely lucky. I got into a major corporation by answering customer complaint phone calls at the corporate office, then working my way up. Unfortunately they decided to sell off the bit of company that I worked in, and that was the end of that.

I may eventually go to college (I am currently 33) as I hear it's never too late to continue education. However, I see absolutely no point in it at this time. If I went to college right now, I would have to take a pay cut of about $6 an hour for an entry level position in most fields. I have a crap ton of experience and learn fairly quickly... and I've worked extremely hard at every job I've ever had. However, I feel like I am a minority in this category, but maybe not.


Oh, poppycock.
I think its important to have a healthy mix of both no matter what field you're going into especially teaching like I am. Unfortunately, I'm definitely more book smart. I have logic and such, but it derives mostly from things that I've read and learned in life.
The best way to get book smart, in my opinion, is to read and pay attention in classes. To get street smart, you just have to live life and learn from your experiences and others' experiences.


Registered Member
Book smart is actually more important before becoming street smart. By being book smart, you get to study history and social studies and learn about the world's past which resulted in the present position it's in. That way, you'll know which places to go that are safe, and most importantly, how to get there safe.