Millions upon millions of dreams will be crushed by the propaganda being spewed by high school counselors, university marketing departments, and the federal government.
Forty years ago, we had a great education system. Learning was affordable and employers offered higher paying jobs to those with degrees. Not anymore. And here's why.
Going to college was a stepping stone for bigger and better things several decades ago, but the notion that having a degree is the only road to success is one of the largest scams in U.S. history. In 2005, the cost of annual tuition was $17,233. Today, the average annual college tuition is $44,740 per year. And now, the Federal government has backed over $1 trillion (that's a thousand billions) in student loans to young adults who are unemployed, underemployed, and will likely never have the funds to pay it back.
Stat: Student loan debt is now equal to mortgage debt and credit card debt combined.
Furthermore, next generation employers are measuring candidates less on what degree they earned and more on portfolio or experience. "Walking into an established company wide-eyed and green with a Bachelor's degree in business at 22 is not special, useful, or smart.", says one Silicon Valley executive. "We need young, experienced people who have walked the walk, taken some hits, and know how to make something from nothing", he adds.
But even more scary is what's coming down the pipeline. According to Billionaire Mark Cuban, our future will include a bursting of the student debt bubble, a significant drop in college tuitions, and an outright collapse of America’s institution of higher learning.
What Does This Mean?
Young adults need to start thinking for themselves instead of enrolling because “my parents want me to have a degree”. Furthermore, it’s debilitating our youth by starting their lives with an unrealistic burden causing stress, anxiety, depression, and even divorce. Here’s an indication of how burdensome student loans have become:
About one-third of millennials say they would have been better off working, instead of going to college and paying tuition.
Ultimately, those who lack practical skills for today’s economy (even with a degree), will be left indebted, impoverished and living in mom’s basement for the majority of their working lives. That’s hard to believe for many future students of higher education but the fact is...
Stat: Nearly 85% of college graduates will return home jobless.
So in natural entrepreneurial fashion, I have provided you with my list of: 4 Brilliant Reasons To NOT Go To College.
1. Self Application Will Always Beat Education
One of the biggest lies we love to believe is education equals success. It almost hurts as I watch underprepared students dive into denial around graduation time, and instead of taking a course on personal leadership, they say "I think I'm going to get my master's degree" only to graduate 3 years later with an extra $80,000 in debt and the same inability to make it in the workforce.
Sadly, college won't teach you to be successful.
The university system has sold us an illusion of self-application. Students have been told the magic ticket to a good life is "go to college and you'll get a good job". No need for leadership. No need for maturity. No need for people skills. No need for honing passion and drive. No need to learn negotiation. No need for personal application. Just follow the yellow brick road and you'll get there. Wrong.
Success has almost nothing to do with education.
Success is about personal development, self-control, integrity, communication skills, relationships, a learner's heart, and boat loads of uncontainable passion. And most importantly, successful people know we learn by doing, not just learning to do.
Remember: Passion beats talent any day.
2. Starting With Debt Leaves Your Dreams Dead Until You're 40
Debt has a way of weighing people down. In Proverbs it says, "Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender." The early years of adulthood were intended for people to build, not dig themselves out of a hole.
In recent studies, young adults are not buying homes in their 20's and 30's anymore. Instead, they're waiting until their debt-to-income ratio is healthier. And by their early 40's, they're finally beginning the meaningful portions of life. Furthermore, having a heavy debt burden in your 20's has shown to push off children and marriage, increase stress and anxiety, and cause a built-up resentment toward life that continues to put people into chronic depression.
Fact: Student loan debt is the only debt that can't be removed if you go bankrupt.
But it doesn't have to be this way. For example, I'm 31 years old and I didn't go to college. I hustled my way as a struggling entrepreneur in my early 20's and over time, finally made it click. I now own a 7-acre farm, our family has zero debt (except a tiny amount on our mortgage), I'm going on my 7th year of marriage and I have two wonderful children. To me, life feels how it should be.
But no matter how you spin it, debt has negative consequences. Think carefully before committing yourself to tens of thousands of dollars in student loans just so you can "get a degree" or hang out and party, because partying is the last thing you’ll be doing for the 20 years that follow your graduation ceremony.
3. Many of Today's CEO's and Managers Hire Off Of 3 Variables
Picture this. Two identical candidates walk into your office for a job interview. The only difference between the two candidates is that one has a resume with four years of experience, the other has four years of college.
Which person do you hire? If you're under the age of 40, your answer is likely the first.
Young managers know this generation's learning curve is so steep that it's nearly impossible for a university to understand the trends, create a curriculum around it, and teach it all before it changes again.
So to keep up with the speed of change, they've begun hiring off three variables:
1. Experience - How long have they been in the business? Who do they know? What companies have they worked for? And most importantly, how much success have they had? Which leads us into number #2.
2. Portfolio - What proof of results can they show? Do they have solid endorsements or references from the past? What are their previous projects or successes and why? Who have they worked with and how did that turn out?
3. Personal - Do they fit the culture of the company? Are they approachable, responsible, punctual, and have integrity? Can they communicate well? Is their appearance and personal brand mesh with the company's environment?
While a part-time job or internship might help with the above criteria, a degree will not. It's your decision: will you jump in the deep end, gain some experience, build a portfolio, and create real-world personal development? Or will you pay for information and learning that you can likely obtain on the internet, for free? Your call.
4. Entrepreneurship Is Becoming A Real Solution:
I've seen too many people hate their life because they hate their job. But as we all know, the current education system built us to be employees, not entrepreneurs. Consequently, people fear going out on their own. Shockingly, many of us will take a $100,000 in debt in hopes for a career where we could be fired any day, over taking a loan for $10,000 to try to launch their own business. Sounds crazy right?
My friend once said to me, "I'd rather work 80 hours per week on something I love, than 40 hours per week on something I hate." I would continue with, "I would rather make less money and have no debt, than maybe more money and owe creditors $60,000."
The big dilemma. People don't know how to start a business.
This is why I launched StartupCamp.com (this site you're on). It's my mission to help people chase the dreams and ideas that drive them. I spent over 1,000 hours developing a complete curriculum around how this happens. Take a look.
While this may seem like a sales pitch, it's not. It's a healthier solution to an obviously broken education system. So, if you have a dream but just don't know where to begin, consider a more affordable path to creating the career you want. It just might be the start of a new life for you.
Do you have school debt? How much? Would you do it again or do you regret your decision? Let me know in the comments below.