Sorry nerds -- the popular kids win in the end after all - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Sorry nerds -- the popular kids win in the end after all

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These nerds are the exception, according to a new study. These nerds are the exception, according to a new study.
PHOENIX -

The nerds have the last laugh -- that's what we're told to believe -- but it's not true according to one study.

A group of researchers found the more friends you have in high school could lead to more money down the road.

The nerds make the world go round -- people like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. They're successful and rich.

Sure, they weren't the most popular in high school, but everyone wants to be their friend now.

Turns out, these high profile nerds are exceptions, according to this study.

Researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research found the people who had more friends in high school made more money decades later than their less popular classmates. The study says the popular kids are richer later on in life.

Theresa Maher, vice president of creative services for Jobing.com, says she wasn't popular. Still, she considers herself a successful person. She doesn't buy the study.

"I don't know if there's truth in saying this person in high school will make this much more," she says.

She does explain why social people are being hired.

"More outgoing, they have more connections. They are going to land certain types of jobs."

Taylor Verva thinks the study makes some sense.

"An additional amount of social skills will help you in life, get a little bit further as far as networking. Could be associated with being popular in school," says Verva.

And what do the future members of the work force think, like high school senior Taylor Schmidt?

"I wouldn't consider myself popular… Popular kids I wouldn't consider as cool. All they are worried about is social values, compared to being in school and being smart," says Schmidt.

It's those "social values" and skills that researchers say enables the popular kids to be more successful financially.

It has little to do with a student's background.

Let's put this all in perspective. The study profiled high school students from 1957. If you researched the popular kids now, maybe the results would be different?

Maher points out other positions, like IT jobs, are filled by people with maybe fewer social skills or different personalities and they can make some money too.

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