“Saying No to College,” an article by Alex Williams in The New York Times on November 30, reports that more and more students are bagging college and starting out on their careers without earning degrees. Some of these escapees are young tech types. Others have been inspired by entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs of Apple and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. “Those billionaires didn’t earn degrees,” these students think, “so why should I?” The article reports that students bail out of college for other reasons too. Some of them avoid college because they are afraid of racking up huge quantities of debt. Others have noticed that their colleges charge them a fortune and then deliver low-quality educational “products” in crowded lecture halls. Yup, there are plenty of reasons to skip college, and the number of those reasons seems to be growing daily. But even as the number of justifications for quitting college grows and grows, we have some pointed advice for you . . .
Don’t say no to college.
If you are going to enjoy a better life in America, you are still going to need a college degree. Here are some of the reasons . . .
- You will earn more money if you have a college degree. Forget Steve Jobs and other geniuses. The fact is, virtually all college graduates earn a lot more money during their working years than other people do.
- You will gain the credentials you need to pursue specific careers. You can’t just walk into a hospital and say, “Hire me because I am interested in nursing.” And you can’t walk into a computer art studio and say, “I think I could be good at being a graphic artist, so hire me.” Call it cruel, call it unfair. But the fact is, you need specific degrees and credentials to pursue certain careers and professions. And you earn those credentials in school.
- You will make a wiser career choice. Sure, some young people graduate from high school knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives. But most of us don’t. We go to college, take a lot of courses that explore different subjects, and then make a more informed decision about what we would like to do with our lives. College can help you find yourself and your ideal career.
- You’ll be better rounded. Most colleges expose students to a range of different subjects – writing, calculus, philosophy, world cultures, foreign languages, and more. The more of that stuff you have “under your belt,” the more capable you will be of making smart decisions in whatever career you choose to pursue. You’ll also be more marketable as you build your career if you possess a broad range of knowledge and can speak a foreign language. It’s a global marketplace out there, right?
- You could gain access to a vibrant alumni network. As a college graduate, you’ll be able to interact with a pool of successful people who went to your college. They can help you get your first job and make career transitions in the years that follow.
Plus, a college education doesn’t have to break the bank . . . Thanks to StraighterLine, you no longer have to drain your personal or family resources to pay for a degree. You no longer have to apply for all kinds of loans and scholarships and pray that you will get the money you need to pay for a costly college education. So even if you’re a rugged individualist who lives life on your own terms and answers to no one, we have some advice for you. Live your life any way you want. But do go to college.