Ever since moving to SF, I hear this phrase a lot – “Nerds are the new cool”. Thanks to the newly minted young gazillionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Larry & Sergey, the term “nerd” really has taken on a whole new meaning. And yes, many of my girlfriends go on and on about how they find guys with thick glasses and messy hair so cute & adorable.
But is it true? I mean, sure there’s a certain appeal to the super stars like Mark but does the allure of Nerdom descend down to the rest of us common folk?
Are nerds really the new cool?
Thanks to the diversified professions represented among Coffee Meets Bagel members and our team of brilliant staticians we decided to take a crack at finding this out. Welcome to Dating Myth #2: Are nerds really the new cool? (Dating myth #1 as you know was: Do Jewish Men Really Have A Thing for Asian Women?)
As usual, a quick refresher on how CMB works: Every day at noon, CMB introduces members to one single (AKA a “Bagel”), whom they must LIKE or PASS within 24 hours. These Bagels are friends of friends who also meet the member’s basic match criteria – gender, age, race, religion – along with some other personal data like their job, interests, personality etc. A mutual LIKE leads to a direct connection via a private phone line and the rest is up to them.
Definition of Nerd
We took a very narrow, job-based definition of the term and so, for the purposes of this analysis: nerd = engineers & scientists (I clearly am not a nerd). We then compared how much the engineers & scientists are liked by their Bagels vs. 17 other jobs most represented on Coffee Meets Bagel.
Unfortunately, we currently don’t have enough LGBT members to compile an accurate analysis so, rather than present incomplete data we’ve once again limited this study to straight men & women. I apologize ahead of time to our LGBT members. Help us get more LGBT members by inviting your friends!
Moving on, here is what we found for both straight men & women.
Despite the alleged coolness of the 21st Century Nerd, it doesn’t look like they can compete with the old school trifecta of doctor, banker, and lawyer, which swept the top 3 in terms of most attractive jobs among Coffee Meets Bagel men (I guess we ladies are more traditional than we think!). Both scientists and engineers scored below average.
Did female nerds fare better? Not really, according to the chart below. Surprisingly, the top 3 jobs men found most attractive in women were startup (as defined as founders, entrepreneurs, business owners etc.), fashion, and consulting (I’m a startup girl but I swear I am not making this up!)
As a side note, I noticed that the one common factor among the top 3 most attractive jobs in men – doctors, bankers, and lawyers – is that they all bring in a lot of $$ vs. the top 3 most attractive jobs among women – startup, fashion, consultant – don’t (generally speaking).
I went ahead and researched the median salary of each occupation with the help of glassdoor.com and ranked each of the occupations in terms of attractiveness (% LIKED) & their median salary.
Then I mapped this out on a graph.
Check out the correlation between the median salary of each job & the % that these men were LIKED. What’s more amazing: the 3 exceptions to the rule.
Really??! The only 3 jobs that ranked higher than avg. in terms of median salary but scored below avg. in % LIKED were HR, Engineer, Scientist. Yes, the nerds…and HR (sorry guys). Is this sheer coincidence or what?
Here is what the same info looked like for the ladies. As you can see, there’s a slight correlation but it’s much more diversified.
It’s always amazing to me to see the stereotypes you hear about gender roles and expectations in society come alive in the numbers.
Based on our career-centric definition it looks like nerds are still, well, nerds. Doctors, lawyers and bankers rule the day and traditional gender roles and expectations still persist, in the dating world at least.
I am guessing that when my girlfriends say they find nerdy guys cute & adorable, they were probably thinking of nerds like Matt Farrell in Die Hard or maybe Alexis Ohanian of Reddit. They still want to date a doctor, they just want him to wear nerdy glasses. Sorry Poindexters and Poindextras, it looks like you lose this round.
Progress? Hey, it’s a start.
Dating myth #2: Are nerds really the new cool?
Final verdict: False. Quite the opposite actually.
Stay tuned for our next post! Have any dating myths you want us to bust? Let us know at [email protected]!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email our Chief Data Scientist Abe here
About Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB is a free dating service that helps members make meaningful connections. It’s designed for busy singles who want to find something real with little or no effort.