By Graham Lutz
I didn’t go to college … well, I did for a bit but then I fired all my teachers and got married and started some businesses.
During that time frame, I got more bad looks, condescending talks, and college vs. high school stats than I could ever imagine. Most of them from my friends’ parents who “knew better.” I’m sure they truly believed that they were doing the right thing by encouraging me to go to college, but I think they are a bit misinformed and biased.
It may be because I’m part of this trend, but I feel as though I am seeing it time and time again. Entrepreneurial kid goes off to college at the urging of parents and friends, just to find himself (or herself) bored and uninterested. I am sure that most of them find themselves torn between what they feel is right and what they have been told.
Today I want to address the 4 most undiscussed and misunderstood arguments against college.
1. 4 Lost Years — That is, if you finish college in 4 years. The average today for a bachelor’s degrees is 5.2 years. Thinking like a business owner, imagine how productive you could be in 4 years! Thinking how the “go to school, get a good job (with a soft ‘j’), and save money” crowd does, imagine how much money you could make in 5 working years. If you get a sales job, it could easily be $30k-$50k per year, with the 5-year total between $150k-$250k!
2. Post-College Earnings — It is a well known fact that college grads earn an average of 62% more over the course of their careers than non college grads. What I believe is that people misunderstand the causal relationship of that earning discrepancy to the education itself. Most say the college education is what makes the difference. I submit that those who go to college are generally more intelligent, more motivated, and more ambitious (i.e. more likely to succeed with or without college). As Forbes.com says, “the profitability of higher education is a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
3. Learning is Not Confined to a University Campus! — That’s right. You can learn anywhere. In fact, I believe I have learned more since leaving school than I did in all the years prior. If you are truly motivated to learn, nothing can stop you. With the Internet, you have access to infinite information. No one ever said learning has to stop when you’re done with formal education.
4. Other People Did Great! — All I know is that if one other person did it, so can I and so can you. You just need to look to others who have accomplished great things without college:
- John D. Rockefeller
- Bill Gates
- Michael Dell
- Larry Ellison
This is just to name a few, and not to mention people like Ryan Allis, the 22-year old entrepreneur, founder and CEO of iContact, and author of Zero to One Million: How to Build a Company to $1 Million in Sales. You can view his Blog here.
Let me know what you guys think. I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion on why they went or didn’t go to college!
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If you liked this article, you can check out more from Graham Lutz at OneThousandaMonth.com.