40 Alternatives to College


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Quick links. I feel like college was a mostly a waste of time and money. However, as long as the hiring is done by HR departments all applications without a college degree are going to end up in the garbage can. I basically did ERE because I wanted to work for myself, but having my back against the wall while doing so was too stressful No regrets myself, but I do always tell people entering college to pick a major in fields with jobs. In high school, a recent graduate visited campus and was bragging to everyone how much he was making at the local foundry without college.

He bragged he was making more than the teachers. I'm sure the foundry work got very old after year two or three. I'd much rather hang out with smart people and co-eds for four years, become an industrial engineer at the foundry, and have an office with a window. A full class load can be scheduled for a four day week. Add in breaks, and full time college is about eight months out of the year. In my mind, it's not the degree that causes the higher salary. It's the latent qualities that people who complete the degree seem to posses in greater quantity than those who don't that causes the higher salary.

We can also point to the observation that highly intelligent and driven people who don't finish college seem to make even higher incomes than those with the highest drive and intelligence who stay in the education system i.

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I'd probably have a higher net worth if I had done a trade from age 18 but I have learned many things at my office job that aren't related to it I doubt I could say the same if I was a tradesman. Historically, college was for the upper classes, and for the few from the lower classes in society who were able to go to college, it was a gateway to a better way of life.

I think it's been that way since the invention of the university to about maybe the 40's, when college was opened up to the returning vets via the GI bill. I think around that time, or slightly after, is when college started to be something "everyone" was supposed to aspire to.

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But I think even more recently it's become something everyone is just supposed to do, whether someone's ready for college or even interested in college. I sort of hate James Altucher, so I'll admit that I'm probably biased about anything he has to say. I think it's really easy for him--from his own perspective of an undergrad degree from Cornell, and graduate work not sure if he finished his PhD or not at Carnegie Mellon--to tell the rest of the world why they shouldn't go to college.

He's a really smart guy, who's also been very lucky, who is also very good at self-promotion.

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In my more cynical moments--which I have a lot of--this recent push from certain sectors that people shouldn't go to college makes me wonder what those sectors have to gain from ensuring the stratification of our society that's already terribly stratified by gender wage gaps, racial wage gaps, a society where so much of the wealth and its power is concentrated at the very top.

College is expensive. And a lot of people "do college stupid," meaning they take out ridiculous amounts of loans, for useless subjects, often at inferior schools.

That's probably doing college stupid. Often the students are ill-prepared both in terms of academics and maturity levels.

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40 Alternatives to College

They often have parents who didn't go to school and who can't help their kids know what to expect. I think Altucher's message is harmful His slide says "You learn little in college that you use in real life. You're so burdened by debt you can't use your knowledge You don't have to incur debt. And even if you study something that's not immediately useful, you do use it.

40 Alternatives to College by James Altucher Information

I have never, ever regretted my liberal arts education, and when I hire people, people with true liberal arts backgrounds in the classical sense tend to do much better than people with business degrees. They have much better writing and presentation skills, and tend to be much better at big-picture critical thinking. I don't disagree with Altucher that people should do things like make art and travel and start a business I just don't agree that the answer is for the vast majority of kids to skip college and do these things instead.

Do them in addition. Take a gap year and do them. But a college education is important. And if college really isn't for you, then that's OK, too. And there's nothing wrong with the trades--be an electrician, or a plumber, or whatever. But people should also be informed that people without college degrees have historically made significantly less over their lifetime.

These anti-college messages all seem to focus on the negative--how expensive it is. And yes, it is. They seldom mention the things that can mitigate those expenses--taking your first 2 years at the local community college. Working for companies that offer tuition reimbursement. Going to an affordable state school.

Alternatives to traditional college

Working in public service afterward for loan forgiveness. Sorry, this is a soapbox thing for me. I'm not for the crazy parents who start their kids in calculus in kindergarten so they can get into Harvard, but I don't like this anti-college message lately, either. I think there is some propagandizing going on. Oh, and did I mention I don't like James Altucher? It makes my point much better than I did. For all the struggles that many young college graduates face, a four-year degree has probably never been more valuable.

The pay gap between college graduates and everyone else reached a record high last year, according to the new data, which is based on an analysis of Labor Department statistics by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in than people without a degree.

It's really easy for guys like Altucher or people who read this board to say "College isn't worth it. I suspect having a college degree has opened up things for most of us that we didn't even realize made the difference. Yet the decades-long march to college-for-everyone-at has actually closed off options for teenagers and somethings, rather than opened up opportunities.

As recently as the s, a teenager had a number of options after graduating from high school: get a good-paying job right away, enlist in the military, find an apprenticeship in a trade or go to college. Today, a teenager really has only two of those options: the military or college.


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Less than 1 percent of Americans serve in the military, so most go to college right after high school. Yet only 52 percent of young people have either a two- or four-year degree or an industry certificate by the time they reach their mids.

40 Alternatives to College
40 Alternatives to College
40 Alternatives to College
40 Alternatives to College
40 Alternatives to College
40 Alternatives to College
40 Alternatives to College
40 Alternatives to College

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