Some things in life are painfully overrated.
Take camping, for instance. Or iPhones.
I’ve never understood the allure of luxury cars or the Baby Boomer generation’s collective fascination with Bob Dylan either.
And although it pains me to say this — because it will probably ruin any chance I’ll ever have of scoring a date with her — let’s not forget singer Katy Perry too.
Here’s one more thing that’s overrated: college.
I know. They told you that if you want to be successful, you’ve got to earn a sheepskin from one of those hallowed venerable institutions of higher learning.
Guess what? They lied.
Don’t believe me? Well, here’s a few reasons why you should:
For most people, college is a really bad investment. Over the past 30 years, the cost of college has risen more than 1100%, far outpacing inflation in general. If the price of other products rose as quickly as college costs have, today we’d be paying $13 per gallon for gasoline — and $22 for a gallon of milk. As the price of college continues to go through the roof it becomes more and more difficult — if not impossible — for folks to realize a decent return on their investment unless they pursue a technical degree, or study to become a doctor or lawyer. That why there’s an army of shell-shocked graduates out there right now with a worthless college degree and nothing to show for it other than a relatively low-paying job and a boatload of student debt. Besides:
Not everybody is college material. If they were, 54% of all Americans who enroll into college wouldn’t eventually become dropouts. Look, college is hard enough for those who are motivated; for people attending who don’t really want to be there, it’s almost impossible. So it makes little sense for anybody to attend a university unless they’re fully committed to getting a college education, especially when you consider the average cost of tuition, room and board for a 4-year college is approximately $24,000 annually.
The time spent in college earning a degree can often be put to better use gaining experience. True, certain professions like doctors and licensed professional engineers require college degrees. But there are plenty of jobs out there where it makes more sense to skip college and immediately embark on a career because on-the-job experience is more valuable than a post-high school education. And while those who decide to skip college won’t have a college degree after four years, they will have accrued four years of valuable experience under their belt. Even better, they’ll be $180,000 ahead in the ledger book, assuming they earned a modest average salary of $25,000 annually over that same period.
There are plenty of relatively good paying jobs available that don’t require a college degree. According to US Labor Department projections, 63% of all new jobs that will be created between now and 2020 won’t require a college degree. In fact, Forbes identified 20 surprisingly well-paying jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree; many of those listed require just a high school diploma or equivalent including:
- administrative service managers ($79,540)
- construction supervisors ($59,150)
- wholesale and manufacturing sales reps ($53,540)
- electricians ($49,320)
- plumbers ($47,750)
- insurance sales agents ($47,450)
- brickmasons ($46,800)
Of course, I’m not advocating everybody skip college. I’m just saying it’s not for everyone.
Statistics show that people with a bachelor’s degree will earn, on average, $830,000 more over their lifetime than someone with only a high school education.
Then again, there are plenty of millionaires out there — and at least 14 billionaires — without college degrees.
Ultimately, what’s most important is that you find a career or vocation that you really enjoy because, when you’re passionate about what you do, the money becomes almost irrelevant.
Photo Credit: Anyjazz65