Is college a mammoth waste of time?
I am 26 years old, I graduated from the University of Florida in 2009 and I believe college is a mammoth waste of time. Why do people even go to college? Call this a Newsome statistic, as it's a random guess and Newsome is my last name, but I would wager 80% of college students are working toward a degree so they can:
Get a high paying job in their field
Get a high paying job in general
JUST GET A JOB OF ANY KIND
The other 20% go to college because their parents are forcing them, although they still want a job. For the very few out there, the student knows exactly what they want to do and they need a specific degree to do it. Now, many people would list these professions as those for which you'd need a degree: Doctors (or really anyone in the medical field), Engineers, Teachers/Professors, Chemists (whatever they do), Lawyers, and I'm sure there are a few more but you get the point.
Fun Fact: Abraham Lincoln didn't go to law school. He independently studied the law, registered with the Sangamon County Court in Illinois and passed an oral examination by a panel of attorneys. He was then given his license to practice law. In five states, you can still take this non-law school route to becoming a lawyer. Vermont, Washington, California, Virginia and Wyoming all allow people to become lawyers by 'reading the law', which simply put, means studying and apprenticing in the office of a practicing attorney or judge. WHHATT? Yep. Wild, huh? So, take Lawyer off the list above.
Riddle me this, Reader. Did you go even go to college? If you said yes, did you get a high paying job in your field? Well, if you said yes again, welcome to the overwhelming minority.
Now, please take to heart that I am not bashing education. Education and college folks are two totally different things. Like Sprite and the Minnesota Vikings - just outrageously incomparable. John Dewey said ?Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.? I mean, really ponder that. What in the 'H-E-double hockey sticks' did college prepare you for in life? I went to college and began taking business and finance courses because I wanted to learn how to:
#1 Trade the stock market
#2 Open my own business
Did I learn any of that in college? No! I gained no real life understanding, principles, applications, or anything actually relevant. When most students who graduate college know very little about mortgages, credit card debt, investing, the stock market, day trading, car insurance, life insurance, loans, building credit, how to start a business, and the list goes on.
I remember being at an awesome college graduation party my mom threw me. Many family members came up to me and said, So, business degree from college; what kind of business are you going to open up? My face resembled a painting on a canvas of the Russian wilderness: blank and full of despair. I could tell them about mortgage amortizations and bond yields and how to depreciate inventory, but I walked away knowing very little about anything real.
I could take a wild turn here and for the next 2,500 words go into education reform, the issues and problems both teachers and students face. Instead I'm going to do my best to offer some really quick alternatives to the issue.
#1 Go to a technical college
I do believe that spending two years getting some kind of technical degree will equate directly to a higher employment rate with good pay. Mike Rowe backs me up on a lot of this here http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/10/23/mike-rowe-of-dirty-jobs-speaks-about-hard-work-how-many-are-following-the-worst-advice-in-the-history-of-the-world/
I have friends who've gone into a nursing program or dental hygiene, computer programming, graphic design, radiography, HVAC, diesel mechanics and welding. Most technical colleges do a lot of things right. They offer OJT (on the job training), the schools partner with business and companies and the instructors are often very experienced in their fields. In two years you're done, you have your degree and often times you already have connections to talk with, which brings me to number two.
#2 It's all who you know
I'll say this until I die. It's not what you know, but who you know. Every job I have ever been hired for came from my connections. My advice is learn how to network, shake hands, meet people and make friends with anyone and everyone. How do you meet so many people? Glad you asked.
#3 Get a JOB!
Readers, from around the world. I do not think America has an unemployment problem. I think it has an employee problem. People are sissies these days with huge egos, self-entitlement complexes and a work ethic that reminds me of people trying to use a spoon to cut grass. So what if you're in college! Get a job, even if it's part time. For the parents reading this, if your child is in college and they don't have a job, something is massively wrong. College is not hard, folks. Honestly, I drank more alcohol than Hemingway in my first three years. I had a full-time job and I went to college full time, 15 credits per semester, at the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida. That's a top 10 business school! Your kid isn't studying all day. They are most likely watching Criminal Minds on Netflix and playing beer pong. I'm just being honest. Working allows students to meet people! They get to interact with their bosses and their boss's boss and shake hands with owners, Vice Presidents and CEOs.
On the job training is the most valuable education for our work force. You don't know what you don't know! College isn't going to teach you how to write a memo the exact way your future boss wants you to. College isn't going to teach you how to invest in the stock market. College isn't going to teach you how to pay your bills! That's what mentors and parents are for. You can literally Google anything and find an answer. The Internet is practically college!
Parents - Why do you want your kids to go to college? So they can get a degree and get a job, right? What if instead, they got a job working 45 hours a week right out of high school? They work one year, meet owners, CEOs, VP?'s, and Directors, shake hands, network, smile, come to work early, leave late and just plain 'ol 1950's work hard! Then after that first year, a customer they interacted with often offers them a job making $13.60 an hour. They take the job. They learn about something random, but crucial to everyday life, like insurance. They repeat the process, work a few years, work hard, ask questions, network, and now they make $18.30 with a 401k, a cubicle and now they work for a company who will pay for them to go to college. Now they can go to college if they want, have someone else pay for it (0 student debt), get a degree and maybe get a raise to a better job. This instead of having a degree, which you paid $56,000 minimum for, no job, no experience and now they are living back with you. And now you go to your job where you make $24.14 an hour, plus benefits, two weeks time off a year, a 401k and you're just as frustrated and annoyed as your kids are.
Then you go searching for answers to how to make more money so you can quit your job that you probably got a degree for, or maybe your aren't even using the degree. While searching, you find the Internet gurus doing what they always do, selling you the dream, showing you all they money they make and their fancy cars and clothes.
Well friends, the honest truth is you need money in this life. But what Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zukerburg have realized is college doesn't make you who you are. Your values, morals and beliefs make you who you are. In the words of King Leonidas from the movie 300, "Never retreat"! Never surrender! There will always be people and companies out there selling you the dream! I'm sure, however, if you dig enough and look closely, maybe you'll find some good-hearted people out there who rather than selling you the dream, will simply give you the bridge to cross over towards your dream.
Jerremy Alexander Newsome. CEO and Co-founder of RealLifeTrading.com