Standing first in the class - Does it count?

Look around you, how many of your colleagues stood first in their classes when they were in school or college?

This is is a relative question. If your profession is research and you are a scientist, then most probably most of your colleagues must have been toppers in their respective classes. 
But coming to other professions, we don't see many toppers around us. I am not trying to say that all or most of the toppers just go for research and the next level of students land in other professions. The point is about intelligence, not materialistic but emotional !! 

Most of your colleagues may be exceptional at work although they might not be toppers during their school or college time. The difference is that they have *adapted*; adapted to the work environment. We assume and take it to be granted that if we do well in academics, we will surely succeed in work. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Some people evolve over the time. Another thought is that how many toppers in your class really landed in a good job. (Although the definition of a good job is highly controversial, I leave it to the readers to come up with a definition as it suits them :p)

Studies and work are necessarily not related in every profession. 90% of the studies focus on materialistic knowledge. Right from Kindergarten to Degree, we are busy accumulation facts and remembering principles just to somehow get a job. The work environment on the other hand demands completely different set of skills. It requires interaction, soft skills, convincing power, confidence etc etc. 

Is our education system the culprit to mould us so? Food for thought... !!