Is College Worth It Anymore?

Mitchell Kay
Photo by Roel Dierckens on Unsplash

For decades, parents and educators have pushed for students to attend college and get a degree. Despite the ever-increasing cost of education and saturated job market, attending a university has been labeled as a one-way ticket to success. But, is that really the case?

Going to a prestigious university does not always guarantee you a job. There are people with incredibly technical and advanced degrees that are either unemployed or underpaid. More than half of college students take on debt at an average of around $37,000. That money only earns interest as they spend years studying various disciplines with the hope that their future job will allow them to pay that money back.

Not only is money an issue, but freedom has become a desired trait for all working people. Many jobs that require a degree also require much of your free time. Not only do these jobs that a student might be able to land take up time, but so does college itself. Is that precious time worth it?

These are three main reasons why I believe college isn’t worth it.

1. The Internet

The rise of the internet has created a plethora of new ways to make a living. There are thousands of people making more money online than most mid-level managers in the corporate world. There are eighteen-year-olds making multiple six-figures a year doing things like dropshipping, digital marketing, affiliate marketing, and social media.

If someone were to take those four years building a business on the internet no matter what that may be, I have a strong feeling that the business would generate more income than their first job offer would have been out of college.

2. Your skillset matters more than where you got that piece of paper from

The reality of the job market is that your skills and experiences almost always outweigh the level of prestige of the institution you attended. You can learn almost anything on places like YouTube and SkillShare for a fraction of the price of formal education.

An example that I often hear is in regards to coding-related careers. Many people can learn JavaScript and other programming languages through online courses and immediately start working. These people can often outperform at the same job as a college graduate with a degree in computer science at the same age because of their experience.

3. Freedom

It seems like almost everyone is unhappy with their work-life balance once they enter the workforce. Many employees often desire more vacation and the ability to travel, but they have to wait until retirement. If I can build a business without going to college, why let college take that freedom away during the years that are supposedly the best years of a person’s life?

While remote work has made it easier for employees to travel on their own time, this is not always the case. So why wait? Take some of that money you were going to use for education and take a gap year! A gap year could be what many young people need to figure out what they really want to do with their lives.

So, nobody should go to college?

Obviously, doctors, lawyers, and other professions of that nature must attend higher education. I am not saying nobody should attend college. Attending college is a unique privilege that I am so lucky to have. But for people who may not have an idea of what they want to do, I believe college isn’t worth it until you truly believe the trade-off will benefit you and your goals. Making teens decide their whole entire future at such a young age is outdated and the idea that they must have everything figured out needs to be reconstructed.

Our society as a whole needs to steer not only students but everyone in the workforce to take risks and attempt to build their own businesses and life that they desire instead of following the corporate and educational ladder that has been in place for decades.

As a university student myself, I have often pondered what I could have done in the years I have been attending university. There are so many opportunities I could have taken advantage of, but I was blinded by the expectations of the people around me. Is it really worth the four years?

Do you believe your college education was worth it?

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