Why go to college? This article looks at the opposite side of a formal education.
Note from Derek:Thanks to Martin for allowing me to share this idea with you.
Note from Martin: I’ll be responding to this tomorrow.
Are you finishing up high school and can’t decide what to do with your life? If you are like me, then you might have made the next decision based on what you would earn in the future. I wondered if I made the right choice skipping University and becoming a plumber/steamfitter instead. If you chose University, then this is now Me Vs. You!
Bad news, while you were in university for five years getting your Degree spending $86,704.00¹ in tuition and books, I was working as an apprentice. During the five years you were going into debt, I earned $279,362.00². 1 Point for the Good Guy.
More bad news, while I was expecting the numbers to show that the university grad would make moderately more than I did and it would take years and years to catch up. It actually showed that the skilled trades made more! Average Steam-Fitter makes $63,070.00³ per year, and the average Mechanical Engineer makes $60,739.00³. Based on that, you will never catch up. 1 More Point goes to Team Awesome.
But there is good news for the Uni-grad. I checked out the unemployment stats, and it shows you stay employed more. How much more? 15%4 unemployment for me, and 2.4%4 for you. Aww shucks, 1 point “U”. Although it is true that I got laid off occasionally, when I did work it was often overtime. This led to working 8-10 months a year, and making a full year’s wage. I generally worked maintenance at refineries and power plants too. As they were usually at peak capacity during the warmest months and didn’t want to shut down for work, this was when I usually got laid off. Aww Snap. 1 point Me…again.
What does this all really mean?
Well, think of some of your friends for a moment. The ones who went to University are they having kids? Or getting married? It’s been my impression that university grads delay life to start their careers. This means they meet their future spouse later and have children later. This also means they have to work later and longer while their kids still live at home. While you’re changing diapers, I’ll be sending them off to school.
Sorry, I just choked on my saliva while laughing like a mad scientist. Bonus Point for best laugh!
Did you get a degree because you heard that you cannot amount to anything without one? Did you go to university because your parents paid? Do you really love what you are training to become? There are lots of good reasons to go to university, but don’t be fooled that you need to. Let that decision be made by your desire, and not your future income.
Guest Post By: Hi, I’m Derek Knight, and I write about challenging the status quo in life and finance at Free at 33. My readers and I are part of a unique gang of Freedom Kn’ighters. It’s always better, faster, and stronger for us. If this sounds like you’re kind of misfits, then stop by and check us out. Make the best of it by joining the club and receiving our newsletter free of charge, or by subscribing to get the freeat33 posts in your inbox by RSS. I married Mandy who writes at MoneyMasterMom. She’s such a great mom, wife and friend. She levels my life and encourages our family.
Oh and by the way. I didn’t make this stuff up.
¹ – According to http://www.discover.engineering.utoronto.ca/money-matters/fees.htm
² – True story! – Although this is perfectly in line with the stats from Career Builder.com.
4 – Information gathered from Wall Street Journal Unemployment by job – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203471004577145281015856726.html
Why go to college?