Is College a Waste of Time and Money?

Is college worth the money? Are there still reasons to go to college?

This has been a fun week here at Studenomics. Yesterday Derek asked about wasting time and money on college.

Today we’re going to look at reasons to go to college and the time/money spent on college…

Is college a waste of time and money?

“College wasn’t originally designed to merely be a continuation of high school (but with more binge drinking). In many places, though, that’s what it has become.” — Seth Godin

Not at all. It’s unfair to tell someone that they’re wasting time or money if they enjoy what they’re doing and they aren’t hurting anyone in the process. You can’t chalk up life experiences as being a waste of time. With that sort of logic, everything is a waste of time. Why go to the gym? Why bother with dating? You can’t quantify everything.

I personally attended college and enjoyed the whole experience. I didn’t see it as a waste of time at all. When you’re 18, you’re clueless. That’s a fact. When I was in high school maybe a handful of my friends actually knew what they were going to do next. I wasn’t one of them. I just went to college because I didn’t know what to do next and my parents wouldn’t let me sit around the house.

I’ve written about when college isn’t worth the money. If you know what you want to do, then why not go through the college process? You have a clear plan and college will give you the life that you desire.

What about making money as one of the reasons to go to college?

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde

Not every 18-year old is ready to jump into the work force. Kudos to anyone that is ready to work full-time at 18. That’s pretty impressive. Most 18-year olds are lost and just want to stay in school. They’re not ready to be full-time employees nor do they want to be. We can’t just force people into the workforce.

There’s one more thing that needs to be mentioned. Some people really want to enjoy their jobs. This is where college comes into play. The sad truth is that more credentials leads to more options and higher pay often. One of my friends earned his graduate degree and he loves his work now. If you want a specific job that requires credentials, you need college to get you there.

A final point on making money is that the beauty of our generation is that we can create our own internships. We don’t have to rely on one source for our income. We can test out a variety of options before we settle down. Unlike our parents, we won’t be forced to jump into the first job that comes our way.

What are alternatives to college?

I’ve covered alternatives to college for as long as I can remember now. I totally agree with Derek’s point on how education isn’t always the best option. Jumping right into work has helped Derek out and now he’s making great money and he’s ahead of the game. The other reality is that many graduates struggle with what to do after college when they can’t find jobs. I just want you to open up your eyes to other options in life, aside from four walls and expensive tuition.

While college isn’t a waste of money or time, it’s not always the best option for you.

What’s my key takeaway message here?

If you’re a young person or know a young person that’s debating college, you need to look at all of your options. College is a great option, but not the only option. My youngest brother has created his own barbershop in the basement and gone as far as to find a co-op placement at a local shop. He loves cutting hair and isn’t sure if he’s ready for college. That’s cool. We can’t be forcing everyone to go to college.

If you’re in your 20s and are disenchanted with life, I suggest that you SERIOUSLY look into every single option before you go back to school. It’s not worth attending college if you’re totally lost in your 20s.

There are reasons to go to college and reasons to avoid it. It’s your job to make the best decision possible.

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