Do you really need to go to college?

Last Update: April 05, 2018

This question was raised in the article below:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/05/reddits-alexis-ohanian-asks-...

Our 10 year old son was asked by our daughter last year what he wants to do when he grows up. He said "I want to work from home and be an affiliate marketer". Obviously, he's been watching too much You Tube videos. Three months after he said this, he convinced us (his parents) to get into affiliate marketing. So here we are.

But the article above validates the truth about American society. We are plagued by student loans for courses that minimally delivered. And then some people realize they are in the wrong industry and move on to do something else.

And we've seen young ultra-successful individuals like Ohanian, and the most famous of all Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, these people went to college, but made it big doing something else.

So I appreciate the out of the box thinking of my 10 year old son. He got his parents into affiliate marketing because he is too young to do it himsef, he said. Knowing where his interest is in, I'm reassured that it will not take him half his life (like his parents) before he starts something that can potentially make his dream come true.

He's starts today with site-rubix. :-)

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Joshua2765 Premium
Well, I certainly HOPE it's not a requirement for financial success in life. If it IS required, then I'll never succeed at this.

I was enrolled in college and was a mere 5 classes (one semester) away from my 4-year degree in Computer Networking and Telecommunications, with an emphasis in Computer Forensics. I do have an Associate Degree in the same field, but that won't translate into a well-paying career.

Quite suddenly, however, my eyesight failed, and I went blind (20/400) for about 3 months. Obviously, I was forced to "temporarily" drop classes. I found out later that my vision problems were related to hypertension.

In testing me for suspected other issues, I was found to have quite a few health concerns that needed IMMEDIATE attention, and the eye issue took a back seat.

Long/short, I am now on disability and am unable to return to school.

But, thank God for Wealthy Affiliate. We are struggling since I lost my job, but I can now see a light on the other end.

A couple of eye surgeries later combined with monthly injections into my eyeballs...yes...you read correctly...INJECTIONS...and my eyesight is roughly 70 to 75 percent restored. It's still a challenge, but I can read a computer screen and see the keyboard well enough to function.

Well, I didn't plan on writing a mini-novel here, but that's the way it is.

I wish your son well with his Site-Rubix website.

Continued success,

Joshua
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Louie-Gigi Premium
I am glad you're slowly getting better, Joshua. I cannot even imagine how you must have felt through your ordeal.

WA has given all of us renewed motivation to turn a new leaf, explore new ideas and opportunities. And I certainly wish you well, as I wish everyone here well.

I certainly did not intend to give the impression that a college degree is not important nor desirable. In many case, it is. I guess I wanted simply to look at things from a different perspective.

The right education for the right job for each person is the key. Sometimes, that education requires a four year degree. Sometimes, it requires far less. What's important is that young people become aware early on what and where their true interests, and talents are. In this way, a degree, certificate, or whatever, even just skills learned online, will be truly useful.

The issue with debt is another story, altogether. There are so many ways to earn an education without going into debt. But our education system, as early as high school, is steering our kids towards incurring debt in order to get to the "best" schools, when often, cheaper community colleges and state universities, will do.

I wish you well, Joshua! Take care.
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merlynmac Premium
Wow...that's quite an ordeal to have to go through. I'm not sure what your niche is but if it's not about this or related trials, tribulations and how you overcame them and/or the process you have or are going through, you definitely have a new niche (or a few) to explore. Help others in similar situations.

Keep it up!
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Joshua2765 Premium
Merlynmac,

I guess in a way, it is. My website targets disabled veterans to introduce them to ways of saving money in various circumstances as well as ways to earn additional income.

I am still trying to decide exactly what areas to delve into.

Continued success,

Joshua
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IvyT Premium
Yikes. Awful twist in the story!

I hope you’re getting all the support you need for your condition.
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Joshua2765 Premium
Thanks, Ivy.

I am indeed! I am being treated within the Baptist Health System and have about nine or so doctors (literally) that I see on a regular or recurring basis.

The quality of care has been excellent; the professionalism and caring attitudes of doctors, nurses, and support staff has been exemplary; and even the food has been above par (during my four extended stays).

Yes, I still have issues, but they are being dealt with about as well as they ever could be.

Continued success,

Joshua
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IvyT Premium
I’m so very glad to hear it!
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Acoetzee29 Premium
Awwww shame he is a smart young man!!!!
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Louie-Gigi Premium
Thank you! That, he is. I don't know who he takes it from. LOL!
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Acoetzee29 Premium
Maybe you!!!! Cause clearly your here lol ;)
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IvyT Premium
Yeah, my kids have been experimenting with coding and online business for a while. I don’t discourage their interest, it’s the modern equivalent of a lemonade stand for them!

I also expect they will all go to University. Tertiary education is far more accessible in many other parts of the world than it is in the US, where I’ve noticed a strange relationship with education that sometimes borders on class warfare. That’s not right. But then, there are such differences when I compare my study experience in the US, to that of my time in Germany and here in Australia, I find the differing relationships to learning in each place really fascinating.

Look, I’m the eldest daughter of a once-poor cleaning lady. I grew up doing so many difficult jobs to help out, and might have been stranded that way if not for education. It truly opened doors for me that never existed. So of course I hope for the same for my own.

University qualifications came with years of testing and proving, and becoming sharp in ways I didn’t imagine was possible. It made me a better person, and it brought me into the company and network of so many remarkable people I’d have otherwise not known. It widened my world, and brought interesting offers. I am grateful for that.

And that opportunity might occur at any age, too. My eldest is now picking out courses at 18. But the last lot of courses I studied happened while parenting and working full time in my 30s. I was studying alongside uni first-timers who were in their 60s, it was great. I also have a sister who is career-hopping once more with a new uni degree. That seems to have become our ticket for change in this family!

I want that same opportunity for everybody who is up to the challenge; anybody who wants to do the work, and not just those who can afford it. Nobody demands that you seek tertiary education. Of course you don’t have to go. But if you must ask ‘should I go?’ simply because your circumstances make it a difficult decision, then that’s a shame.

We come from a family of business owners, but it’s funny, notwithstanding some of their great successes, every parent expected university of my generation. They saw that as the only true means of social mobility, moreso even than wealth. I think that’s interesting.
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Louie-Gigi Premium
Thank you for your comment, Ivy! I appreciate it and understand where you're coming from.

Our parents wanted for us what yours wanted for you. To finish university. And we did. We grew up in the Philippines and there, as in many third world countries, an education is oftentimes your ticket to get out of poverty. And many do go and finish college. But I also saw that a degree did not always guarantee success.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against a college education. My eldest daughter graduated, got a degree and is now a productive individual. Her sister is one year short of her own degree and I foresee a productive future for her, too. And despite our son's assertions, I still prefer that he gets a college education, as well.

But I also understand the premise of the article above. One, that not everyone probably needs a four year degree. And two, schools often lead kids to apply to the more expensive colleges simply because they are "better," which for many will mean enormous debt that will take much of their adult lives to pay off. Remember, college debt cannot be erased with bankruptcy,

Statistics do say that a college degree almost always guarantees better pay. But a lot of trade jobs that require less school time also earn a lot of money. Not everyone can be doctors, lawyers, accountants, or teachers. We don't need everyone to be mathematicians, English majors, or journalists.

But we also need plumbers, carpenters, surveyors, contractors, electricians, soldiers, cops and firemen. And they are all good earning, stable jobs, too. We will always need caretakers, mailmen, cooks, chefs, realtors, bank tellers, and gardeners. All good and stable career choices.

The point is, there is a job for everyone who has a talent for something. The idea is to get our kids to find their talent early, so they can hone their skills appropriately, to prepare them for the right education, for the jobs that they know they can be good at.

And if college is your thing, then don't discount community colleges and state universities, all thousands of dollars cheaper, where often, you can get the same education as from the more pricey choices.

Nothing is as wasteful as spending thousands of dollars on an education that one will ultimately not use. A four year college degree is essential. But it's not for everyone. And sometimes, that's a good thing.
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IvyT Premium
Hey, hi! Great response.

Either-or. I still think it’s a bit of a false dilemma...

These conditions and attitudes are all very specific to the US system, but sure, I get them. It’s a conversation that the US has to have, but sometimes thinks is universal.

The argument that article makes is based on a premise of scarcity. You realise that, right? When we can’t aftord to provide for all, we make justifications about access and divisions of labour.

Why shouldn’t a carpenter have a degree in pure maths? If they want it? I have just such a friend. He’s a maths genius who loves carpentry. He builds fabulous houses and furniture. He writes math papers. Why shouldn’t that be possible for him, just because a society has some simplistic idea of either/or (you are a worker bee or not).

If a country can afford to provide such education on public funding, as a baseline, why shouldn’t it be able to lift the basic education of any and every person to that level? That clever country will be successful in many ways in the long term, if it manages to pull that off.

The targeting of expensive unis that you mention, is more a part of that system where people get excluded than any other. But if you have people with talent who want to, but cannot attend, only because the fear of lifelong debt and the initial fee is impossible, it’s a crying shame that they get excluded. It’s not right for that to be part of their rationale.

Of expensive unis in the US: I attended one of the so-called little ivys. It was very expensive, and fully paid for on a fund. What I encountered there was like nothing at any Australian uni I’ve attended. So much cheating! Such a sense of entitlement (paying customers attitude), and then the occasional bitter comment from some about my not having paid for anything.

At some point, lunching with study mates at that US place, I was also told about the informal segregation that was occurring - white kids always party over there, all the black kids are always here... and... oh, I then suddenly noticed all my study friends were African American, also on scholarship. It was a surreal experience.

Hey, I have vocational training as well as uni ed. So do my cousins. Although we’re minted in the working class (maybe a new version of it), all the guys who have degrees in med and engineering are also great at pouring concrete, and laying bricks. They can run a kitchen. They can nurse. It’s not a matter of ‘either-or’. It’s a matter of survival, that we round out our skills sets as human beings, realise all our potentials, and be able to work all kinds of jobs, and run businesses.

To that end, I’m really happy to discover the kind of curriculum that WA offers. Just as you are! In the absence of other opportunities, it might just what someone who’s been left out of things needs, to realise their own potential, or to round out what they already have and get to the next level.

:)
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Melissa901 Premium
This is a great story. Love how kids can inspire us just as much as we can inspire them.
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Louie-Gigi Premium
We sure learn a lot from them. Thanks!
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Melissa901 Premium
Yes we do and you are welcome.
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merlynmac Premium
Keep us up to date on his progress!
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Louie-Gigi Premium
Will do. Thanks!
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