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Discussion: Is College Worth It?

Discussion in 'General Business and Entrepreneurship' started by Take Career of Yourself, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Take Career of Yourself

    Take Career of Yourself Entrepreneur

    We have all heard stories about successful entrepreneurs (Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg, Oprah) who dropped out of college to pursue their passion, or just never went in the first place. That’s all fine and dandy, but what about the successful college grads? Could they have been successful without ever going, or did they just bury themselves alive in debt for no reason?

    Colleges are great for networking since the students are mostly all there for the same purpose (keg stands and bong tokes), but are colleges teaching you how to make it in the real world or just conditioning you to be a good worker for someone else?

    I personally prefer to self-study; researching, reading, and taking courses on my own. I find it to be more effective because I can learn at my own pace, focusing on only the subjects I’m interested in.

    What about you? Did you go to college and, if so, was it worth it? If not, why?

    Please join our first discussion thread and post your thoughts (feel free to plug your blog/website URL after your comment): Discussion: Is College Worth It?
    setupdisc likes this.

  2. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Entrepreneur

    Having a college degree is really essential for getting a decent job. However, it is not the only key to success. Of course, you have got to work hard and be patient as well.

    As for me, yes, I went to college and earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Language. I would say, it really did help me find an employment right away after graduation.
  3. Kathryn M.

    Kathryn M. Entrepreneur

    I think college is worth it if you go to learn a profitable skill.

    I went to college and I would not be as far, or advanced, in my business without the skills I learned while attending. There is a lot of inside information that you learn about your chosen field in school that is not necessarily easy to find outside of a college setting. Manufacturing and wholesale networks, research libraries, and databases for students only, were some of the things I had access to. I would not have known about those resources if I were not a student. It gives me an advantage over those in my field who do not have access to the information. Such as someone who did not attend college. So, I feel that school gives you an edge. You have more information about your field than the average person.
  4. pwarbi

    pwarbi Entrepreneur

    While I agree with the point that college is worthwhile, I think it only suits certain types of people.

    Running a business takes a lot more than a formal qualification and just because a person drops out of school or doesn't go in the first place, doesn't necessarily mean they won't do well in the future.
  5. William Clements

    William Clements Moderator Business Owner Entrepreneur

    Although, most decent jobs require one, college is not for everyone. Some people will get a certificate like a friend I have whom has one in x-ray. He makes decent money himself. There are many of highly intelligent people who did not go to college but are filthy rich. I have my A.S. degree and now I decided to go back to college but online for my B.S. in IT. Instead of having to pay someone to take care of my websites, I hope to be able to do it fully myself. I do know how to make a website (that does not involve a script) in HTML and can edit some in PHP. I am almost finished with intro to Java Programming and then will take intermediate to Java programming. It is very hard for me to understand and is very stressful but when it successfully compiles correctly it can be pretty cool.

    All in all, it depends on your goals & dreams.
  6. Kathryn M.

    Kathryn M. Entrepreneur

    This is key. Notice how you and your friend went to college to learn a skill that is actually profitable and a skill you will actually use in everyday life.

    X-ray is not something the average person knows how to do, so it becomes profitable for those who possess the skill. Your friend is able to use that skill on a daily basis to profit. Therefore, making college worth it.

    Your IT education will give your business/career a boost. You will be able to save time and money in the future by doing the work yourself. That alone makes college worth it. But you will also be able to provide IT services to others who do not have the skill, and earn additional income that way as well.

    It's only when you do not learn a lucrative skill that you can put to use on a daily basis that makes college an expensive waste of time.
  7. Jade

    Jade Entrepreneur

    I want to study medicine, so for me, yes.
  8. EF-Roger

    EF-Roger Entrepreneur

    College gets you in the conversation. Opens a door that would have been shut to you.

    That being said, nothing beats on the job experience.
  9. 111kg

    111kg Entrepreneur

    I too want to study medicine, therefore College is a must, not only an option.

    What most of the people fail to realize is the fact that those famous people that dropped college, dropped out because it was too easy. Take Bill Gates, for example. He did exactly this!

    For the rest of us, as long as you don't plan to waste time studying liberal arts or to get any other easy college degree, it's definitely worth it. The key, however, is to learn as much as possible, and if possible to start working in that specific field (even as an intern) as soon as possible, preferably from the first year of college.
  10. MandyMarieB

    MandyMarieB Entrepreneur

    I believe it depends on what you want to do. Some careers obviously require a specific education, like being a doctor. But for many, they are able to be successful without it. My dad didn't go to college, and he has a very successful business that he built from the ground up. I did not go to college, and I work for that company and will be inheriting it one day. It honestly depends on the type of career, and the individual.
  11. harpazo22

    harpazo22 Entrepreneur

    It is if you actually pursue the career you went to school for. Otherwise it's not worth it because you end up with debts for a career you aren't even in. You have to make sure that you'll actually move forward with that education.
  12. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Administrator Entrepreneur

    I think the value of college can only be measured by each of us individually and cannot be accurately measured as a constant as the title of this thread may suggest. I went back to college at Syracuse University when I was forty three to get my credentials for programming and software development. It was a necessity for me to accomplish my next set of goals and business concepts. I have a brother who attended Syracuse School of Music when he was right out of high school and never pursued a career in music.

    It really is worth it if it is part of a long term plan and contributes well to the future you have planned. If you have no plans, then it may not be "all that and a bag of chips".
  13. Goldstandard89

    Goldstandard89 Entrepreneur

    What college did you go to that allowed you to network? Most students are worn out between working full time and going to school full time. Most people network through Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites. I think college is worth it if you are going to be a doctor, engineer, or something that requires specialized knowledge to do. But some careers like business and art might be better taught through workshops that focus on what you want to learn instead of half the classes on subjects that have nothing to do with what you want to know. The problem with the current college system is that it takes to long to complete and is usually outdated by the time you graduate.
  14. jona

    jona Entrepreneur

    While you probably are going to be extremely busy between classes and your side job to network you will get to know people by the simple fact that you will attend classes together and sometimes will have to do project assignments as groups, and these relationships will come in handy after graduating. Not surprisingly, a lot of startups are founded by people that went to the same college or were roommates.
  15. yepitsclaudia

    yepitsclaudia Entrepreneur

    I am a graduating student and I took up Business Administration. And college is definitely worth it. Today, in our country, I know for a fact that diploma is very important in order for one to acquire, not just a paying job but, a career that one will enjoy having. I know some would say that you can put up your own business, and a lot were successful on this field, without the need to study, but to be equipped with the knowledge and the experiences the college life could offer is a BIG DEAL.
    But the answer to this question couldn't be general because it will be depending on a person's perspective. We all have goals within us so if you think you can reach that goal and college will be a waste of time, you go ahead, skip college and reach for that goal of yours. From my perspective, college is the ride I need in order to reach that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  16. setupdisc

    setupdisc Moderator Entrepreneur

    College is the societal replacement for family legacy and internship of ages past. The best of blacksmiths, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and all other professions were never institutionalized or orchestrated by the means they are today unless they had to be. Most of their kinship was done through a form of guild which mirrors the modern-day unions to an extent (not entirely, but closely enough still), which have their own codes, conduct, and benefits thereof.

    Our society; this place...everything you see around you...is a processed reconstitution of the original form and means for which people learned and mastered things. It has been reduced, reformed, and restructured in ways which favor the corporation that would hire you initially, and not you as a pupil to its teachings. I consider that a tragedy, but the world at large considers this normalcy now.

    The profiteering in them doing this has escalated to such an extent that now, even the knowledge and experience itself which were once an integral part of instruction have been watered down or removed. It's been changed into an MLM where only those who spend exorbitant amounts of money, time, and servitude in an unquestionable obidience to the political rhetoric and dogma of their instructors are those who may succeed. It isn't right.

    Although I have seen some of you feel an alignment with the status quo of today to attend a college or university or feel that it is the approved method to find what you want and need for commercial, career, or otherwise material success...I must digress.

    Each of the teachings given and the curriculums followed by students could be offered in consecutive mentorships instead, and provided by those who are living masters of their trade.

    Every skill, every technique, every complete understanding that must be realized with a genuine application of it in the real world...can be given to you directly and best by those who live that success, rather than profess it by knowing of it only. Those who profess it are not in a perpetual state of using that knowledge beyond a classroom environment. They teach what is known OF something, rather than how to BE of something and do so realistically.

    You may have some great professors and teachers in every university possible to sign up for and attend (and I say that sincerely with no doubt that there are many). However, the best of what is learned and done in life is not given by a speech, a classroom, or a confined instructor teaching canned goods to canned pupils. Advancement is not born to those who must remain restricted to only what is approved of to know in exchange for money alone.

    That may be a lesson in and of itself of importance to anyone reading this. I don't divulge who I am or what I do to the extent which I have or am capable of. I don't detail why, or where I've been in entirety, nor my contributions in whole or in part to things which have changed the world (likewise in whole or in part) with or without due recognition for the effort. I might someday, but not just yet. I don't need to yet.

    If I really wanted or needed that confirmation...then I would have definitely gone the route of a university or college to where the ability to DO things is not as important as the recital of information and isolated recognition to be paid for it on paper alone.

    if I was going for a paper-degree or deck of cards by reputation in academia, then I would have sought the traditionally approved methods of latter-day prerequisites governing acknowledgement in education, rather than real knowledge and wisdom beyond it which equivocates to an enlightenment and proficiency unparalleled to any other.

    My experiences and education have been the product of life-long determination and the very best mentorship I could seek out and find in a myriad of ways. It wasn't from colleges. I did not settle for college or university education. Instead, I gave my time, my fellowship, my promises, my honor, and my work in service of those who were able to amass and give more than any college could teach, and would likewise give lessons that can never be given or obtained in any classroom.

    Since that time, I have taught courses in colleges and been asked by others to do so without ever having attended a university. The only time I set foot upon campus was to audit courses in my youth during primary and secondary school. I did not ask for the opportunity to do so, but was requested to after the establishment and those running it saw what I was able to do for their alumni and some of the professors I worked with that I did not realize had secondary employment with where I contracted. I was able to do so by awareness from others, and networking to fill a need they had. I was not interviewed for it, because the ones making the decisions had already seen what I could do and were requesting me to do it for them.

    I do not discount the fact that extreme mentorship and going the distance to honor your passions and aptitude to the best of their ability may be physically out of reach for many, and in such instances, a college education would be the logical and most likely choice for today's paper-qualification based hiring agendas.

    If you just need a job that pays well and do not have a passion or love for what it is you do, and the foundation for it is not important to you...then by all means, attend college, as long as you can make sure that your expenditure for doing so is justified by the placement of the position you receive thereafter so that you maximize the use of your time and resources which are precious regardless of your approach.

    If you care more about the true meaning of things, the value and foundation of an area of expertise, or wish to master something in ways to which others may not be able to making your value in excess of what could ever be given to you otherwise...then find a way to reach for more, and reach for more. It may include college in part or not. Either way, find what you need, and obtain it.

    In life the skills, delivery, and networking with what you do are still more important than bought paper qualifications no matter how much memorization or recital you agree to for having it. Those qualifications will get you hired to a lot of places and the placement you desire, but they will not keep you there.

    What keeps you there is what you are capable of. The only ones who are able to maintain their positions after landing them are those who know how to do it well...and the parasites who become reliant upon each of you with real experiences and knowledge to be able to do things that those whom they have hired out of a college graduation ceremony cannot. They still had to master something to have you doing this for them (usury!), but I'm not sure they would ever admit to it or want it listed as a skill upon their own resume.

    Those extended and indispensable attributes you gain from real life experiences are your treasure, your bargaining chip, and your freedom in life.

    The educational institutions might suggest to you otherwise while maintaining a stranglehold upon corporate entry, but I assure you that their reason for doing so is to ensure ongoing support for their need to market the confined and packaged compartmentalization of knowledge they sell to you so that THEY may be successful entrepreneurs whether that knowledge is of use to you or not in the end.

    Colleges and universities of every variety still get your student loan money, your grant money, and your out-of-pocket payments no matter what. As long as they can keep the train going to convince the passengers that they will all reach the same desination (successful career) and that their fare to go aboard is worth the ride, they will continue to do so and prevent any challenge to it they can.

    As sequentially aforementioned, there are no colleges that provide absolute connectivity or guarantee for networking. That is a life experience too which, try as they may and charge as they will, can only be given to you through mentorship or directly.

    You are here because you are an entrepreneur. You know you have value, you know that you can be more and were meant for more than what others have become complacent to.

    You are more than the collective result of what you know and who you've become after knowing it. Reach for more, even if others around you do not.

    Once you know what you want or need, follow what is right for you, and let no one ever hold you back from what you need to do, and where you need to be.

    You are responsible for your success and your own placement in life. Their approval becomes immaterial as long as you have what you need and you need to know to make it with all that you decide to do.

    Only you can determine if college is something you need, or if you are able to acquire more without it.

    What is valuable and worth it is your choice in finality, and your execution of it in completion.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  17. setupdisc

    setupdisc Moderator Entrepreneur

    P.S: Don't let a bad teacher from institutional education withdraw you from your place in life, either. Whether in elementary school, middle school, high school, college, or post-graduate...don't let anyone with a chip on their shoulder keep you from being where you need to be.

    P.P.S: I once had a literary teacher who told me that they didn't think I wrote enough or in detail to be accepted as a writer. They insisted that my proficiency in verbal communication did not correlate to writing, and they felt I should enter the domain of radio instead of literature instead unless I went to college or a designated school for literary arts. I remember my contempt for them in that instant, and told them they were wrong. I refused to settle for their perception as reality. I explained to them that despite their opinion, I would retain a relentless passion for writing which would not be changed by them, and not become marginalized by their words or misgrading when I outperformed the student they groomed and wanted to win for something relative to this. In a moment of defiance and much to their chagrin, I told them that I rejected their judgement manifest as ego and personal issue with me, and that their intent to extinguish my fire to write things would be the only thing not to succeed. She scoffed and balked at my statement. I then gave her the papers to withdraw from her classroom and forfeit my credit for her course in that instant after a week of hesitation on it. Years later, my name appeared in her favorite publication which I placed on her desk. I turned it to the page and the article I penned and placed it down in front of her. I was greeted only by silence when I asked: "What do you think of your assessment now?". She told me that I improved and was now clearly a professional writer. I told her that, once again, she was mistaken. I hadn't changed how I wrote, only her perception of it was different. I write for enjoyment, not for career. My concentration and focus have always been engineering and science first and foremost, but my passion was this.

    Don't let anyone cease YOUR passion for the sake of their ego, jealousy, or contempt. Go for what you need. Don't hesitate. Live in defiance if you must, but for only the right reasons when you do. Especially when it comes to your own education and advancement for any specific area you want or need to know in your life.

    You know where I stand on this now, but I can't tell you if college is right or wrong for you. What you want and need is specific to you.

    What I can tell you is that you have the right to completion in knowledge and mastery of a skill if you are devoted to the time and consideration required to achieve it in its entirety.

    Discover what is right for you, and only you.

    May no one tell you differently. :)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  18. loverman99

    loverman99 Entrepreneur

    If you can really afford it, it's pretty much yes. College experience is much more interesting than that of a school. At least, just go there for like one year and try all that stuff. Sure, you can learn everything from online sources. In fact, all the home research that's done in college deals with going online. However, in college you can also improve your social skills and find some friends you probably won't be able to make without it.
  19. Nancy

    Nancy Entrepreneur

    I agree with @T J Tutor. I think each individual and situation require different types of education. If you are seeking a specific professional job, a degree is a must in our modern times. If you are in business for yourself it is not as important.

    I am one who dropped out of college and so far, haven't had any desire to return or regrets. I studied music business. I am glad I went and do use the knowledge I gained there. I quit when I realized it was all geared towards working for a corporation and I knew I would never be happy doing that! I decided my time would be better spent pursuing my dreams and it worked out well for me. I guess I am too much of a free spirit. ;)
  20. Valerie

    Valerie Entrepreneur

    Wow, I actually just submitted a magazine article based on this very subject. What I talked about in the article was how, when I was just a tyke covered in grass stains, I was told that college was important, college was the only way to be successful, and that if I didn't go to college then I was an idiot. These comments were from my family. So, I grew up trying to model myself into high-class college material. When it came time to pick a college, however, I ran into a moment of identity crisis. Who am I and what do I want for myself? I used to ask myself that a lot.

    I ended up passing up a lot of great scholarships and admissions into uber-prestigious colleges because I was afraid I'd go there and loathe my major. Enrolling into a community college was the best choice--or so I'd been told, again, by friends, family, and the society in which I lived.

    It's been almost 8 years since I graduated high school. I transferred multiple times to a slew of community colleges and universities. And you know what I ended up with? Debt. Everything I learned I taught myself. Every skill I'm using now as a freelance writer, fitness trainer, and dancer were gained through work experience, practice, and self-studying exercise science intensively.

    Some people--like doctors and lawyers, for example--do need a college education, I'll admit. But, I don't think college should be held with such importance. So many drop outs have found success through following their dreams alone and using what came naturally to them.

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