“What Career Seems To Attract An Unlikely Amount Of Idiots, Despite Being Intellectually Demanding?” (26 Answers)

No doubt, ever since you were a kid, you knew the job (or jobs) you aspired to do in life. And you knew very well how much you would have to work to get those jobs. Being smart was part of it.

Well, you can throw that idea out the window. As it turns out, some smart brainy people jobs don’t really need a lot of brain power. Well, in theory, they do, but in practice, that doesn’t stop the less brainy people from getting brainy people jobs.

Folks in this Reddit thread were sharing jobs, careers, and fields that seem like you’d need PhD amounts of smartness to pull off, but have surprisingly high levels of the opposite. Something’s greatly amiss here.

Bored Panda has siphoned the best of the best responses and highlights in the viral thread and has crafted a lovely curated list for you to enjoy. And while you’re enjoying it, would you find some love in your heart to also share jobs that you think fit the above description in the comment section below?

More Info: Reddit

#1 Nurses

sayhummus said:
Nurses. I've had few AMAZING nurses but most of the time, all the biggest bullies went to study nursing and now there's an actual problem of workplace bullying in that field.

bread-durst replied:
When I went into labor the first nurse I had to deal with was awful. She didn’t believe my water broke, as I have a puddle of fluid flowing out of me. Then when she went to check to see how dilated I was she couldn’t locate my cervix and got super mad at me for it. Uhhh…it’s not like I’m playing a prank and hid my cervix from you.

Image credits: sayhummus

#2 School Administrators

ScorpionX-123 said:
School administrators.

bholzap replied:
My significant other is a choir teacher and this year her music department received a lot of funding from a donation. The music department made a list of things they NEED. The school admins completely ignored their list and bought a ton of new music stands and smart boards for the band and choir rooms. Now they still don't have the equipment they need, but they have so many music stands they had to put all of their old stands in storage.

I'm 100% sure this is just incompetence or arrogance. I imagine the admins think they know better than a couple of teachers.

Image credits: ScorpionX-123

#3 Teachers

thegreatgatsB70 said:

andreaak88 replied:
While I've had some great teachers, some were absolute trash.

I had a teacher who once taught a CAPP extension course, which was essentially volunteering for the community. I can't remember fully, but I think in order to be considered for the class, you had to have a certain GPA. Regardless, the class consisted of all students with decent grades.

We all had a giant group term project that we had to initially present to the class. In total, there were 6 groups to present over a class and half.

When it came time to present, our teacher who I'll call Ms. Aaron, said we would be grading our fellow classmates and their presentations. The first group was about to go up when she added in the fun little fact that we can only give one group 10/10, one group 9/10, and so on.

Well, as you can imagine, everyone flipped their [shawowza]. This was a class of high GPA earners, and telling them someone is going to get a 4/10 didn't sit well with anyone.

Ms. Aaron started threatening people with 0's if no one went up, which only caused further havoc. For the rest of the class, we just sat there all screaming at her while she screamed back at us, it was freaking mayhem.

Obviously nothing was resolved as class ended, so we all just packed up are stuff and continued to talk about it for the rest of the day.

The following morning, back we went to class and instead of seeing Ms. Aaron, we saw the teacher who started the class, Ms. Garfunkel.

Ms. Garfunkel started to lay into us about respecting our teachers and Ms. Aaron is simply following the course outline, so if we don't like what is happening, we should see her and we shouldn't attack Ms. Aaron.

After her speech, a classmate ended up telling Ms. Garfunkel that we have no problem with the course, and it seems Ms. Aaron has spun a wildly inaccurate story. He ended up outing everything that occurred the following day.

The look of utter shock on Ms. Garfunkel's face was beyond telling. She clearly was given some bull [shalala] story by Ms. Aaron.

She excused herself, and for about 10 minutes we all just sat there, before she reemerged with Ms. Aaron.

Ms Garfunkel apologized for everything and said that you will be grading your fellow students whatever grade you see fit and if there are any problems, to come see her directly. As she walked out she side-eyed Ms. Aaron hard.

I hated her so much. For this and also that she was upset I had missed a few days because I had two close relatives die a week apart.

Image credits: thegreatgatsB70

#4 Politicians

FineCannGrower said:

maiqthetrue replied:
I wouldn't say politicians are dumb. It's just that most people judge them by the Disney version of what their job actually is. The very short version is that the game is to get as many of your side elected and of course get yourself re-elected. That's the whole job. If you can do it by doing good stuff, you do that. But truth be told, that's not a smart way to do it. Most people don't care enough to notice whether anything good happens, or if they do notice, it doesn't translate to votes. What does, it doing what rich donors want, preventing the other side from doing anything to help people, and being a big personality who can weird a zinger on social media.

allthebacon_and_eggs replied:
After I graduated from college, I worked in politics briefly. I had watched a lot of West Wing and thought politicians were as smart, well-read, and educated as an Aaron Sorkin character. It turns out, most are the types from your high school who were popular class clowns, but now they’re adults. Cheerful, smiling, agreeable, and everything has to be a big party or joke. Not a single time did any of them ever talk about a political issue. I’m pretty sure they hadn’t read a book since college (if then). It’s all about whipping out the charm at fundraisers. Not a bright crowd.

Image credits: FineCannGrower

#5 Lawyers

One hundred percent lawyers. I’ve probably met more dumb lawyers than smart ones. Tons of lawyers have a Rain Man level of savant knowledge about one narrow area and cannot wipe their own a*s with instructions. But more common are lawyers who are just barely competent enough to keep their license, shuffling along doing the bare minimum, totally useless in court, never respond to emails, etc.

We are a book smart but common sense and social skills dumb profession. If I ever manage to get my side gigs more successful I’d happily leave. I stay in this career because I make a healthy salary with employer retirement contributions for basically high level proofreading and improv skills.

Image credits: TallNerdLawyer

#6 Military Personnel

May get heat for this one, but - what can I say? I speak from real-life experiences. Years of it.

Folks in the military.

For the members of the public who have never served, many view soldiers as these great, brave defenders of freedom. In reality, there is an unlikely amount who could not spell "brave," "defenders," "freedom" or even "of."

There's a group referred to "ASVAB waivers." The ASVAB is a test people take before joining the military. The most basic of an IQ test. The max score is 99. A score of 31 (!!!) is all it takes to join the Army. But, there are waivers for people who can't even get 31. And people get those - especially during wartime.

Yet those same people are able to follow war strategies and complete missions. Unreal if you think about it.

Image credits: 2020IsANightmare

#7 Medical Doctors

Hoorayforkate128 said:
Doctors. They are incredibly difficult to deal with in ANY matter outside of medicine.

NerdyRedneck45 replied:
Ha, I work at a university and I think it’s most folks with really long educational careers. “Yes, you’re an astrophysicist. No, I don’t trust you with that ladder.”

Image credits: Hoorayforkate128

#8 Police Officers

abtikamot said:

pspahn replied:
I wish this was just a joke, but last week we went to a local event and the sheriff's department was there letting kids check out their tactical black military looking truck. My son loves trucks and tractors so I bring him over to check it out

One of the officers is there at the back of the truck and I see him holding a "we're hiring" sign. I then watched him for five minutes as he struggled to figure out how to attach the sign to the door of the truck. He kept trying to wedge it in little gaps and I'm just thinking that he has obviously never heard of tape. Then he gave up and just laid it down where nobody could see it.

Ultramontrax replied:
Seriously. I’ve worked in data entry entering traffic infractions into the system. Let me tell you, not only they have no idea how to write (sometimes worse than a doctor), they also have problems adding numbers. Sometimes instead of a 115$ fine, they add up a 1 so it is 1115$ (it is corrected eventually tho).

Image credits: abtikamot

#9 Finance Specialists

give_me_two said:
Finance really runs the gamut from super bright to dumb as a hammer.

Finance is confusing on purpose (lots of acronyms, lots of numbers) and requires salespeople. That's a potent recipe for sneaking dummies into an intellectually demanding profession.

BardbarianBirb replied:
I used to work at a financial firm helping financial advisors manage their clients accounts and OH MY GOD some of them should not be allowed to handle other peoples finances.

There was one advisor who wanted to apply to trade options on some accounts even though he didn't even know the basics of options and no matter how many times it was explained to him he just didn't understand. He wanted to apply for the highest level of options... that could seriously screw up someone's finances if done improperly. We did not approve him.

Another advisor couldn't figure out how to print a form from our website. He called us for help insisting it was a problem on our end. Turns out he didn't have the printer plugged in and then it didn't even have ink... we asked him after exhausting all other options because we gave him the benefit of the doubt that he would have already checked.

Another advisor, while super nice, couldn't figure out how to attach a file to an email and I had to walk him through creating bookmarks to important pages on our site. I'm sure back in the day he may have been great but in this day and age where so much is done online and paper forms and documents are so much more susceptible to fraud you just can't be computer illiterate.

Another advisor kept getting mad at us even though he kept bringing in the client in to his office, filling out the form wrong and having them sign it, and then sending it to us in a state we could not accept it. He was told several times what options on the form needed to be selected to do what they wanted and instead of realizing he was doing something wrong he just went off on us. But like, without the clients signature on a proper form we legally couldn't do what he wanted, lol, basic reading comprehension would have solved his problem.

Image credits: give_me_two

#10 Special Education Support Staff

I've been working in special education for about a decade now and I've found that it unfortunately attracts a lot of complete idiots. Schools are usually so desperate for support staff they'll pretty much hire anyway.

S**t, I think the first district I worked for lucked out with me [as being at the very least average, and based on my track record over the last decade], but the head of special education reached out to me **after finding my job post on craigslist.**

Image credits: egnards

#11 Therapists

olivebuttercup said:
Therapists. Some are great and a whole lot of others are problematic people who really need to work on themselves.

[deleted] replied:
Every psyche major I've met has expressly told me that they went to school to understand their own bullshit. I think the good Therapists are the ones who were able to actually gain something from their education.

[deleted] replied:
Oh yeah, for sure. Honestly if you lack the introspection to figure your own [sheesh] out (at least to a passable level) I have no idea on earth how you think you’re going to help other people.

Psych is one of those areas where the bar should actually be quite a bit higher to enter the profession than where it currently stands. As a former lawyer I’d say the same about law. The common thread in these professions is that there’s no good way for a client to review the service they’re getting or measure quality, so anything short of blatant malpractice goes undetected.

Image credits: olivebuttercup

#12 Business Managers

Paulzor811 said:
Business management.

ShortOneSausage replied:
I took some business classes when I was in engineering school. Figured it would come in handy. Boy was that an eye opener! You’d be working alongside people who couldn’t understand the basic algebraic equations that tell you profit/loss or cost of goods sold and so forth. Math just wasn’t their thing.

And you’d want to take them by the shoulders and shake them awake, like, hey dumba%s, money is a numbers game. If you want to be good with money you’d better get good with numbers.

No clue. Can’t understand a simple equation and they’re gonna hope excel will bail them out when the time comes. But they suck at excel too. Step one, meetings, step three get rich.

Just amazingly dumb people.

Image credits: Paulzor811

#13 Restaurant Owners

fireinstinctNL said:
Restaurant owners... Somehow the most I've met are either or a d**k who does not like to so what they do, or someone who does not know [what the heck] he is doing.

bastele replied:
The problem is that so many people with absolutely zero qualification to open a restaurant somehow want to do exactly that.

SmilingJackTalkBeans replied:
"We quit our jobs and remortgaged our house to follow our dream of owning a restaurant, despite neither of us having any experience in any related industry or any understanding of business or finance. We bought this place in a remote area and remodeled everything at a cost of $1m and have done nothing to promote it and for some reason the customers just aren't coming. Now we haven't paid any bills or taxes for the last eight months and we've maxed out all our credit cards, Chef Ramsay, please save our restaurant and our family!"

Sam-Gunn replied:
---Obligatory overloaded menu scene---

"So what kind of food do you serve?"

"Oh we serve Mexican, Italian, Eskimo, American, Cuban, and bagel bites! Look at our 45 item menu!"

---Obligatory 'we don't label/date anything or store food as per FDA guidelines/common sense'---

"Jesus Christ, what the hell died in here?! WHAT IS THIS?"

"Well that's either last months meatloaf or one of our sponges... Think we can still serve that?"

Image credits: fireinstinctNL

#14 Game Developers

NickofNames said:
Game Development. In a college that offers it and I’ve seen the most intelligent idiots around going for that major. And I’m one of the biggest intelligent idiots around.

The_Great_Blumpkin replied:
My buddy went into programing and they had a get-together for all the computer science departments. He said there were the pretty boring programmers, the nerdy engineers and then the Game Development majors were the biggest bunch of mouth breathers and waste products. They were Naruto running around and he caught one guy eating mayo right out of a bottle.

I texted him about this and he said "oh yea, a few of them were pretty ripe too, in need of a shower badly, and saw themselves as the 'elite' group."

Image credits: NickofNames

#15 Industrial Workers

OpalCerulean said:
Surprisingly, industrial workers; electricians, carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, etc. You need a *high* amount of skill with math, common sense, working with your hands, the list goes on with the requirements you need to just *begin* in these jobs, yet the amount of goddamn idiots I saw in these positions is hysterical. The amount of OSHA violations is amazing, especially the ones most people seem to think are ‘too minor’ to be reported.

jonnythec replied:
Plumber here, you need half a brain to pass trade school. It's not hard but requires a lot of work. Not everyone who works in the trades ends up getting a ticket.

coolcrushkilla replied:
My dad used to be a maintenance guy for a property management company. His co-worker, who we'll call "Jimmy". The boss would ask my dad to a job, while my dad was busy doing another job, he'd ask "Why can't Jimmy do it?". His boss would say "If I wanted 'Jimmy' job, I'd get Jimmy to do it."

Jimmy was once tasked to align the stairway doors on each floor of a 17 story high rise, instead of tightening the screws on the hinges; he used a mini sledge hammer to bash the doors in, so they would close "properly".

Image credits: OpalCerulean

#16 Managers Who Are "Yes-People"

Toygr said:
Any management position occupied by a yes-man.

Kevs442 replied:
Do you see a lot of no-men in management? Saying yes to your boss is a prerequisite for the position.

smc733 replied:
In a healthy organization, yes. I manage a team of software developers. My boss is completely open to being challenged, having discussions and debates. We are far more like colleagues than a traditional structure. I know this is an exception, but still, it does exist.

Image credits: Toygr

#17 IT

Leucippus1 said:
I have to say IT, a lot of us are one half step away from needing to wear a permanent helmet. IT, in most forms, is a very cognitively challenging job.

gaybatman75-6 replied:
I work IT, had a dude in my department at my last job that worked there 20 years and still couldn’t process a new hire which like day 1 training. It’s a field where having a vaguely conscious person can be good enough day to day and they can always go count inventory. There’s also a lot of people who learn a lot about 1 entire program and then can’t manage to do basic Windows tasks. Then you have the people who are burnt out and struggling to care.

Image credits: Leucippus1

#18 Emergency Medical Technicians

concerned_geek said:
EMTs. It’s not all that intellectually demanding but you’d be surprised at the amount of idiots in this field. Not meaning to offend anyone. There are exceptions.

FlightMedic1 replied:
People become EMTs because it’s easy and so it attracts a lot of Rescue Randys who just want to be a hero… there’s nothing heroic about backboards and driving… trust me I did it.

Unfortunately there’s a lot of immature paramedics as well and a high number of wannabe cops/firefighters who end up in EMS…

I’ve spent my entire career in EMS at literally every level and there are a lot of great medics and EMTs but the community as a whole has some serious growing up to do.

Nambot replied:
You forget the other group of people who become EMT's the daredevil crowd, who are more invested in racing through traffic to get to a patient/get a patient to hospital than they are actually interacting with a patient.

Image credits: concerned_geek

#19 Journalists

1Girl1Attic said:
Journalists (I can say this because I am a working journalist lol) lots of biases and personal agendas pushed on people when it was invented to literally be the opposite. Also, FULL of narcissists

Lonelystarlight replied:
Also journalist here. Most journalists are way too cocky, even if they are stupid they believe they know everything. Also a lot of them lack actual empathy on obvious sensitive matters and will do anything for views and clicks. I am trying to leave to be honest because it's just not worth it, even the pay is low unless you are really famous or something.

Image credits: 1Girl1Attic

#20 Content Creators

Original_Sample891 said:
Content creation.

Gentle-Fisting replied:
[The heck] you have to be intelligent for in order to be a content creator, quite literally some of the dumbest people on the planet are content creators. Intelligent ones are in the minority.

Csenky replied:
They don't have to be intelligent. It's just that those are the ones worth following. Creating content requires nothing, but creating good/entertaining/meaningful/unique content? Oh boi. It happened to me multiple times that I had no more interest in a given content theme (be it game/movie related or compilations or comics, whatever art form), but I still tune in on the creator's more personal uploads, because I'm interested in their opinion and thoughts about whatever matter. However technically everyone is a content creator who uploads to TikTok or any other media, and I guess you know where this is going. The majority shouldn't have recorded anything ever.

Image credits: Original_Sample891

#21 Car Salespeople

Snoo_76700 said:
The car business. Most are college/high school drop outs that handle your personal private information, credit, contracts. I worked in the car business for 6 years across 3 states and I’ve never met a more consistently low standard of employee. It’s all about getting as much money as you can out of every single customer by any means necessary.

Mike7676 replied:
I was a soldier for 20 years, worked retail and security after that along with picking up degrees in tech fields, the only job I found I was terrible at was as a car salesperson because I wasn't "pushy enough"!

Image credits: Snoo_76700

#22 Engineering

Anonymous said:
I hate to say it, but engineering.

First as a…customer of the engineering firms, then as an employee, albeit not at the engineering level, and now as an employee/engineering student.

There are just a lot of really stupid engineers.

Shaydu replied:
The reason I would have also answered "engineers" is because most of the ones I've had to deal with think they know how everything works because they understand engineering. It was so aggravating when they took this attitude of, "of course this is how my legal case is going to proceed, because any other possibility wouldn't make sense (to me)."

I have to try to control myself as I try to explain why I, an attorney with 25 years of experience, might just know better than they do about how the courts will treat their lawsuit, especially since I've read hundreds if not thousands of court decisions that have precedential effect (in other words, the lower courts have to follow what they say) which clearly indicate that their engineering-based view of the case isn't how a court will look at it. And they usually just sort of smirk at me in a "I'm completely sure I'm right" sort of way when I patiently try to explain it to them. And then the end result is precisely what I said it would be, and they don't respond by acknowledging I'd been right all along, they just continue to insist the result was wrong.

Another example: an engineering department with a municipality tried retaining us on a lawsuit by sending us a work order. Because why shouldn't that work, it works for everything else they do. Uh... maybe because to comply with the law, we have to enter into a retainer agreement, and provide a detailed explanation of the scope and extent of our representation which they have to sign? It was another circumstance where their response was basically, "That can't be right," because they think their engineering viewpoint gives them special insight into how everything in the world works.

I shudder to think what it's like to be married to an engineer--I can't see it working out unless the spouse is OK with always being wrong, and doing everything the way the engineer thinks it should be done.

Image credits: anon

#23 Information Security

This will likely get buried, but information security. There are so many articles about how we have a shortage of workers in the field that places are churning out people with certificates in cybersecurity who know nothing about how computers, networks, or the internet works. They can operate tools and respond to rote situations though.

Image credits: notthatguytheother1

#24 Any Career, If You're Good At Adapting

Mean_Connection7813 said:
All of them. People are dangerously adaptive and even the dumbest with a will to live will manage somehow.

a1beaner replied:
I think it's because to excel in this world it's not about being excellent it's about doing what your told.

[deleted] replied:
Also just being buddy-buddy with the higher ups. I feel like a bigger reason I hate two-faced charismatic people isn't because they're two-faced; it's because having excellent social skills with no/limited moral compass means the world is their playground. You don't have to be smart or hard-working when you can charm anyone around you.

Image credits: Mean_Connection7813

#25 Software Development

WorshipTheSofa said:
Software development.

HeyFiddleFiddle replied:
Eh, I dunno about idiots. We are, however, lazy [rumps] as a general rule, and that laziness can certainly make us look stupid.

See also: The amount of us who automate tedious things so we can goof off on Reddit for half the day while still getting routine stuff done.

Unless you're referring to the guy on every team who shows up, writes some spaghetti code without any reviews, gets promoted because the uplines just care that it works and not about how maintainable or documented it is, then peaces out to the next job and leaves the rest of the team to stare at the undocumented and horribly written code in bewilderment. As someone who got the [female canine] work of cleaning up and documenting code left behind by that guy in my first job out of college, those guys can go [duck] themselves.

Image credits: WorshipTheSofa

#26 Biomedical Engineering

MrTatas_ said:
Usually any degree that “sounds smart” people are only drawn to it to say they study it. First one that comes to mind is Biomedical engineering. They are mocked by electrical engineers because they can’t design more than basic circuits, and are mocked by mechanical engineers for similar reason with physical devices. And there’s also no job market for them without a higher degree. It is thee stereotypical sound smart but actually an idiot field.

perculaessss replied:
Well, duh. They are different degrees. A biomechanic job it's to connect the organic features with the mechanical ones, not make the latter from scratch. That's like mocking a electrical engineer because he doesn't know how to prepare a bacterial culture. And I didn't study any of those degrees, but related.

BoorishTome replied:
Tbf biomed as a discipline isn’t necessarily better in an area than an already existing major. They won’t design better surgical robots than a MechE, won’t design better wireless glucose monitors than an electrical engineer, won’t create better analytics assays than a chemist, won’t be able to commercialize drug production better than a chemical engineer, won’t create better biocompatible polymers than a materials engineer, etc.

It’s just a function of the poor structure of the degree, IMO it should either be only a graduate degree or it should be clarified to freshmen that it isn’t as practical engineering discipline as the other engineering degrees, and you will need to specialize to be employable.

My experience is that biomedical engineers end up in supportive engineering roles like quality, regulatory, sustaining and are never typically the lead engineers that make the calls during product development.

Image credits: MrTatas_