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College Degrees Aren't Always Necessary



February 20, 2013 – Comments (4)

New York Times: The college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the new minimum requirement, albeit an expensive one, for getting even the lowest-level job.

While this article hits on an important point, a college degree by no means is a guarantee to a job. In terms of cost/benefit, I think college is incredibly overvalued when students will take on thousands of dollars worth of debt, only to spend the next 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years working to pay off that lump of debt.

Thankfully I was accepted to Berea College, which offers students a full four-year scholarship upon admission; I will be able to graduate without a lick of debt related to college. All I know is that I probably would not choose to be in college if I knew it meant going into debt. Unfortunately, many individuals see college as the only option (it isn't), and trap themselves in mounds of debt for an education that may or may not amplify their creative abilities and economic opportunities out of school.

This video from Peter Schiff demonstrates why anyone should seriously consider whether the value of a college education is at all worth thousands of dollars of debt:

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 20, 2013 at 7:35 PM, Borbality (34.47) wrote:

yeah yeah i'm sick of reading all these people with degrees saying college isn't necessary and all these people with mortgages saying buying a house isn't necessary. 


For most Americans, with few skills and connections coming out of high school, college makes the most sense. And there are many ways to avoid going into major debt and still get an undergraduate degree from a public university. 


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#2) On February 21, 2013 at 12:10 AM, Zack907 (< 20) wrote:

This video would have looked a lot different if he had been asking people at an engineering firm, or a software development company, or an accounting office, or any of the many excellent places to work that going to college allows access.

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#3) On February 21, 2013 at 10:24 AM, Mary953 (83.42) wrote:

I have young friends who have missed out on jobs because a certain number of college credits were required - not a degree, just some classes.  Several family members and friends have returned to school because the jobs they hold simply do not pay enough to live the kind of life they want (having children and still having more money than month, not an unreasonable goal)  And yes, Zach, one of them is preparing to be in an engineering or software firm and doing quite well.  He has an internship that pays more than his regular job.  The hours though between two jobs and school are killer!

FWIW, I also believe that going deeply into debt to fund college is an insane way to start your adult life.  It leaves far too many young adults in a hole to steep to climb out of.  M 

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#4) On February 25, 2013 at 12:25 AM, XMFRosetint (44.00) wrote:

Education in America is a fraud. You can build up your own skills earlier and much cheaper than you can with college, but you have to be passionate about what you want to learn.

 If you're not passionate about what you're doing in life in general, you should probably stop doing that and find something you are passionate about.

The best way to do that is to structure your life so that you have the fewest obligations as possible. I don't have a mortgage, car payment, student loans, a husband, wife or kids. Why is that? I don't want any anchors.

 I am in such a position that I can quit my job and hitchhike across the country if I'd like, and more people should be in such a position. I think, to a large extent, people miss out on that because society has a "traditional" way of doing things that people are exposed to from a very young age.

 You can do very well for yourself by following that road. But if you're not willing to take some chances in life, it's hard to become truly free.

 Great thoughts, David. It's great to see you back.

 Best wishes,

 Scott Hall (TMFRosetint) 

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