Does Education Matter?


What’s more important to you? A warm personality, good looks or a degree certificate on the wall? It seems that for some, education really does matter when it comes to dating and this is impacting our chances of finding lasting love.

With more women now attending university than men, there is also talk of a great educational gender divide between men and women. This is even cited as a reason so many graduate women can’t find love – with a lack of well-educated men, making a partner in this pool tough to find.

How will this affect our dating lives? We looked at some of the ways education is making an impact on our search for Mr. or Mrs. Right.

A degree could get you a reply to your online message

A recent study by Zoosk and AskMen found that educational level had no impact on how attractive men and women were considered. But (and this could be an important but) it did improve the chances of receiving a reply to a message. Graduates landed 17% more replies than those with a high school degree.

More well-educated women are marrying ‘down’

And by down we just mean men who have less educational achievement. There is much, much, more to a partnership than the number of certificates you hold. A study in 2012 found for the first time in the US that women were more likely to be better educated than their husbands. This seems to be a trend that has grown in recent years and ‘mixed-collar marriages’ where women hold the educational advantage are becoming more common.

Age can also factor into education and dating

A recent Australian study supported the idea that many educated men and women looked for similar levels of education to themselves in a partner. They also found that for older women and younger men, the importance of education in short and long-term dating drops off significantly. These age group simply have different priorities.

Women value education more highly than men

Anecdotal and research evidence often shows that women are more likely to look for a potential partner with similar or higher educational achievement than they have. The reasons for this are complex but have been attributed in some part to traditional notions of gender roles. In other words, women are looking for men who are as ‘strong’ or ‘stronger’ than them when it comes to education.

The ratio of educated men to women is uneven

Jon Birger’s ‘Date-Onomics’ described a ‘man shortage’ amongst graduates and this shortage is being driven by the number of men and women going to university. Put simply, more women are entering higher-education than men and this is making finding a partner with a similar level of education difficult. This is causing a high level of single female graduates and putting more focus than ever on education as a dating metric.

Let’s face it. Lots of us have a tendency to be attracted to people who are like us and the same applies when we look at education.

Maybe it’s time we all focused less on our checklists and more on the people we connect with.

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