so, how do you feel about college?

Yesterday I saw this video on a friend’s Facebook wall and re-posted it on my own (Thanks, Melissa! Not sure she wants linked to in this soapbox of a blog post, but I’ll risk it).

I prefaced the video with these words. “College is over-rated.”

And some people had some thoughts.

I have some too. And I shared a few. But not all, because I’m working on an e-book about unschooling (I know. What am I thinking?), and the whole, “Is college necessary?” question will most certainly be addressed. And I should probably save some of the juicy stuff for the book, eh?

I will say this. I don’t think college is for everyone. Some people, of course (no one’s going to let you be a doctor or a teacher or a lawyer or an engineer without a degree). But I think we’ve been led to believe by our culture that anybody who wants to be somebody has to go. That if you want to make something of yourself, be successful, live up to your potential, you need a college degree. No ifs, ands, or buts.

I disagree. I think we’ve been duped.

One friend said in response to my assertion that college is over-rated, “Everyone I know who is actually making enough to pay their bills and put away a little for retirement works at a job requiring a four-year degree. Most have at least a Master’s.”

I, on the other hand, know a boatload of people who are busy being AWESOME without a college degree.

And I would love to hear from some of you.

But first, some fun, somewhat cheeky, quotes from a book I just read (Better than College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree by Blake Boles). (All of these are affiliate links by the way.)

“Where you go to college, or even if you go at all, only makes a difference if you believe the spell that has been put on you. Is it money you want? In an hour from where I live I could take you to a common hot dog vendor who makes more of that than the mayor of New York and the President of the United States combined. ; is it becoming of real use to society?–become a pet sitter so that people can take vacations without abusing their critters… That’s not to say that education doesn’t matter. It does. You need finely tuned critical judgment to defend yourself in the dangerous house of mirrors America has become. It’s just that college won’t give you an education. Only you can do that.”

(John Taylor Gotto, Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling, 160-161.)

“Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus…”

(Peter Thiel, in an interview on techcrunch.com)

“So, how do you sidestep all that competition, the miles upon miles of jobseekers standing in employment breadlines in the same suit with the same college diploma, begging for the same job, holding in their outstretched arms–with an expectant, hopeful, yet also panicked look–their identical-seeming resumes with identical standardized credentials?

It’s very simple. Instead of jumping through the same hoops everyone else is suiting up from a young age to jump through… you need to develop a strong–violently strong–distaste for jumping through hoops.”

(Michael Ellsberg, “Life Lessons from a Fire-Breathing, Still-Walking Billionaire,” Forbes.com)

An alternative to college: “Here’s a basic assignment. Take $10,000 and get yourself to India. Check out a world completely different from our own. Do it for a year. You will meet other foreigners traveling. You will learn what poverty is. You will learn the value of how to stretch a dollar. You will often be in situations where you need to learn how to survive despite the odds being against you. If you’re going to throw up you might as well do it from dysentery than from drinking too much at a frat party. You will learn a little bit more about eastern religions compared with the western religions you grew up with. You will learn you aren’t the center of the universe. Knock yourself out.”

(James Altucher, “8 Alternatives to College,” jamesaltucher.com)

My Big Feelings in a Small Nutshell:

1. The world is changing. The job market isn’t what it used to be.

2. College is expensive. And getting crazy more so every year. Not sure it’s worth the $.

3. With a little creativity and self-awareness, you just might be able to make a living doing something you love without a college degree.

4. If you (or your kiddo) go to college, awesome. I’m not bashing it. I’m questioning our unabashed obsession with it without exploring alternatives.

5. I’m excited to hear your stories.

If you’re making a life without a college degree, I’d love for you to bravely leave a comment telling us briefly what you do and why.

If you have a college degree, but you’re doing something entirely different with your life, I’d love to hear about it.

And, to be fair, if you went to college, are using your degree, and you believe it was worth every penny, I’d love to hear from you too.

I’ll start.

20 thoughts on “so, how do you feel about college?

  1. Pingback: Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers » College Thoughts

  2. Brooke

    my husband has a 4 year business degree and sells real estate
    his father has a college education and is in the same professor.
    from a $$$ his father is more successful.

    i’ve got a 4 year degree that i’m currently not using. mindless government work. but the health insurance is good!

  3. Sharon

    I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science (Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and the list goes on). My focus was in Psychology. I minored in Nutrition. I really would have loved to have majored in Nutrition, but I was not cut out for the Science requirements! Oh, well, and the school I went to just made Nutrition an official minor a semester or so before I graduated. So I would have had to transfer to a much more expensive school to major in Nutrition.

    Anyways, I went to a local State college that was very affordable (at least compared to any other college where you could get a 4 year degree). I lived at home and worked and paid my way through college. I had no debt at any point in time. In fact, there was a time that I thought I wasn’t going to have enough money to continue on in college without getting a loan. I decided if it came to that, I’d take a semester off and go back once I had the money to do so. Fortunately for me, everything worked out and I was able to pay my way straight through. Though it took me 5 years since I didn’t always take a full load of classes each semester since I was working at the same time.

    Right after college, I went on a year-long missions trip. I actually only intended to go for the summer, but knew there was an opportunity to stay for a full year. Having never been on a missions trip, I thought the summer would be enough for me. But, I was wrong. I ended up staying on for the entire year. I truly think that year was one of the most important years of my life as far as experiences and growth. It was my first time away from home, and living with others my own age (that I wasn’t related to). I wouldn’t have had the freedom to do that if I’d had school loans tying me down.

    I have held several full-time jobs in various positions/fields, but am not sure my degree directly related to any of those jobs. It does seem to me that a lot of jobs do require a college degree, and many times, it doesn’t really matter what the degree is in. Which, truthfully, is why I even went to college. I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do, but was initially interested in teaching elementary school. Thankfully, they required that you do hours and hours and hours of shadowing in schools as part of the requirements for the certificate. That experience made me realize that while I enjoyed being in school and did enjoy teaching others, the behavioral problems in the school seemed to snuff out any time to actually teach.

    I have gotten many jobs through a local temp agency. I like to learn new things and am very teachable and willing to be trained how to do a job. I like the idea of going in through a temp agency and getting a good feel for the company/co-workers/work. I don’t think I ever actually signed up for “temp to hire.” It just always worked out that companies would ask me to stay on permanently.

    I have been a stay-at-home Mom for the past 5 years. Unfortunately, there’s no degree that prepares you for that! 😉 I don’t know if I’ll return to a paid job once my kids start school, but if not, I’d love to do volunteer work.

    My husband is an Engineer and thinks education is vital. He is from an Asian country where education is of utmost importance. I do think it is very important, but think he places too much importance on it. He insists that our kids are going to college, but I think that is a decision they can make when the time comes. Plus, who knows what the world will be like when they are college age. Anyways, my husband has a Master’s degree and I think he makes good money. Of course, he could not be in his current job if it were not for his degrees.

  4. Cheryl Pickett

    I have a four year degree. Neither of my parents went to college, neither did my grandparents, My parents sacrificed to send both me and my sister to college. My major-English/minor Biology (I know weird combo) with no real desire to be a teacher (plus there was a glut of them at the time). I was told employers of all kinds needed people who could communicate well.
    Not really.
    In fields like accounting, engineering and other tech things, I can see the need to be educated in certain specifics, whether that be through college or mentorships or apprenticeships like the trades do. As for the Arts, and other generalist studies unfortunately, I see little reason to get a degree in them without a very very specific outcome in mind. If there is a job you want and that’s the only way to get there, okay. If not, I don’t know if I would recommend it or do it again myself if I had the chance to start over.
    I think you need to learn from people who have been there and done that so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in whatever occupation you choose. Does it need to be a formal college education? No, I don’t think so anymore. What your girls are doing right now is a great example. They’re learning more about being an entrepreneur than a lot of people who go through four years of business school and come out with almost zero real life experience.

  5. Melissa

    Hi Marla,
    First let me say, no of course I do not mind you linking to little old me!!! All right, here are my thoughts on this, the whole reason I posted this video in the first place. I have a Bachelors in writing and political science. Yes, two majors. And I did it in 3 and a half years, which let me say was no easy feat. I’m proud of having accomplished that, but I am not at all sure that it was the right thing to accomplish. I don’t necessarily feel that I was lied to about college, but I feel as though the expectations I was given about college were not in line with what college actually is. 1 – I was led to believe that college would be a higher academic learning environment filled only with people who wanted to be there and wanted to learn. Reality: Hahahahahahahaha. Some things definitely were challenging on an academic level, I won’t deny that, but many things were at the same or lower level than the academic challenges that I experienced in high school. I actually had to “repeat” many things that I learned in high school because of the required gen eds. And yes, I am sure somebody will say it, that I could have taken the AP tests or CLEPed out of them and I probably could have for some of them, but they weren’t really an option at my high school for the most part. The AP test that I did have the opportunity to take which was the English test, I declined, not because I wasn’t capable of it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I would have passed it, but I have major problems with writing portions on standardized tests because I think the way they are graded is formulaic and not actually based on good quality but how well you can follow their little formula. In fact, our teacher actually told us to write bigger if we had to because if we didn’t get it over a certain length we automatically would get a lower score. That’s not how I roll – if I can prove my point succinctly, why shouldn’t it? Why do I need extra fluff and filler because they have a million tests to grade so they have to be done quickly? I know, there is some merit to learning how to work the system – I can – I sat the writing portion of the ACT, but I decided I would rather take the class again instead of opting to take the AP test and write like that. I hated every minute of the ACT writing portion because I knew I could write better than that but I was trying to follow their dumb formula so I got a good score. Also, my peers were not those people who wanted to be there. Because so many people are pushed through college because “it’s the way to go” a lot of people don’t want to be there – college is not a good fit for them. And I encountered the same frustration with my peers not taking learning seriously that I had had in high school. I want to have intelligent discussions on the materials we read – but it’s hard when so few people have actually read them or don’t show up or sleep through class. 2 – in college you can study what you want. Reality: hahahahahahahahahahahaha. There are so many pointless classes you have to take to be “well-rounded.” You can not just study what you want. You have to take classes that have nothing to do with your major. And that don’t even always really have to do with your life. I took this one physical science class where the majority of the time was spent talking about rocks and rock types and identifying them and etc and okay, I get it, make me a well-rounded person, but seriously, if there ever comes a time where I just NEED to know what material this rock is (oh man, that’s funny again too, hahahahaha) I can look it up. Because I know how to learn things, I don’t have to sit in a classroom trying to memorize facts – I can look something up if it’s something I need to know. Because here’s the thing – I don’t hate school and I don’t hate learning. In fact, I LOVE to learn. I love it so much that I read books like “Drinking Water: A History” for fun. But the thing is, I have already been equipped with the tools on how to learn stuff. There is very little out there that I feel I would truly need a teacher to help me learn (except maybe some super upper level maths stuff, that I might have a hard time understanding in a book, but so far, I have no need for that kind of math – though the other day I did just teach myself a new way to do some old problems, so maybe I could even handle the math) because I have been so well equipped with the tools of HOW to learn. Learning how to learn is so much more important than what you learn, because once you know how to learn, your possibilities are unlimited – you can learn anything!! Anyways, to bring it back about to college, I have a hard time knowing whether or not college was the right choice for me. Somedays I think yes, because there were certainly things I loved about it – studying in South Korea, check! But many days I think no, because so much of it was pointless and we have so much debt now (despite the fact that people will say scholarships! You know what? I applied for every single scholarship I was eligible. I received several scholarships, but it wasn’t enough. I worked as an RA which gave me credit towards my room and board so I didn’t have to pay that – it wasn’t enough. I got out in 3 and a half years in part so I would have less debt – it wasn’t enough. None of it was enough to keep me from still having thousands of dollars in debt, which effects us every day). I choose to be a stay at home mom, because it’s important to my family, but sometimes I feel pressure to work just to pay off that debt quicker, but in the end with the cost of daycare, I don’t think we would actually end up paying it off any quicker, and I don’t want to pick more money over me at home anyways. Getting distracted again. Did I have some wonderful experiences in college? Certainly. Was college overall a wonderful experience? Certainly not. On top of the academic stuff I mentioned, I just didn’t really fit in. This kind of goes along with what I was saying about the myth of everyone being a serious academic in college, but a lot of people on my campus were very into partying and drinking and that’s just so not me. Not to mention I wasn’t 21 until my last semester anyways and drinking illegally was not worth it to me. You could say those experiences in college made me who I am and that some of them were certainly wonderful, but I don’t have a way back machine. I don’t know what possibly wonderful experiences I missed out on by choosing the path of college. Would I have gone on a mission trip or volunteered somewhere or met someone in a way that changed my life? I don’t know because I don’t know how things would have turned out differently, but I certainly would have had wonderful experiences in other paths I chose. But, I never really feel like I was presented with choices. I was a smart kid. And smart kids are expected to go to college. I was very expected to go to college. And I was a good girl who always tried to do what was expected of me (used to anyways, not so much anymore because I realized what a chain other people’s expectations of me are) so I went to college without a second thought. At the very least, I wish other real, viable options had been presented to me. Maybe I still would have chosen college, but at least then I would have felt like it was the choice I made, instead of afterwards, feeling like it was the only choice and not sure if it was the right one. And sorry! I know this isn’t brief.

  6. Krysten

    I have a college degree in Early Childhood Education. I loved college and learned a lot. I am 27 years old and stay at home with my son and love every minute. I knew from high school that I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I went to college because everyone expected me to and I was ready to get out of the house. I graduated $40,000 in debt and was unable to get a job because funding had been cut for early education about the time I graduated. I was also married when I graduated and did not have mobility in my job search.
    I held a few jobs before staying home and my two favorite did not require degrees and still allowed me to work with children, my passion.
    All this to say, for me college was not worth it.

  7. Jenny

    Marla, I love that you have the courage to address this topic! I think it is important for parents today to realize that there are viable alternatives to a college education. I, like many other suburban 20-something-year-olds, was pushed into college by well-meaning parents and teachers. I wasn’t 100% certain that I wanted to go to college, but since I made academic varsity in high school and graduated in the top 10 of my class, I was basically told that I would be wasting my intellect if I chose not to go to college. So… I chose to live at home and work my way through school so that I could go to college debt-free. Praise God I graduated with no school loans, but I also graduated very lonely and depressed and without a job in my field. I have a BS in Human Ecology and am Registered and Licensed as a Dietitian, so I have registration and license fees to pay each year, but I have yet to find a career to justify my education. I often wonder what my life would look like if I had chose not to go to school. I am sure that life would have been full of challenges, but I also believe that God would have provided and used me in some spectacular way. That being said, I am working on my master’s degree now and believe that I am right where God wants me to be. I was blessed with a graduate research associateship , so once again I am working my way though school and will be able to graduate debt-free. I am also acquiring skills that I will be able to use to serve the church and the community post-graduation. So basically, my point in the post is that God will be glorified whether or not the next generation of young people decide to go to school. I just think that parents need to realize that college today is not like it was 20 or 30 years ago. Yes, there may be value in the experience of college, but it is often a very expensive experience, and having a degree does NOT guarantee a job. Before kids are pushed into college, it is important to consider the potential life-long consequences of this decision (aka trouble finding work, paying school loans forever, and dealing with stress/anxiety/depression as a result of all that).

  8. Jeremy Reger

    Hi Marla!

    I will try to make this as quick and informal as possible, haha. I started college out of high school, didn’t stay long. I then spent 12 really hard years working for a living, pay check to pay check, learning God’s will for my life.

    By the time I was 30, I was married for 10 years had 2 kids, working 2-3 jobs most of my adult life, just finished my bachelors degree in IT. Then and only then did I land my dream job. I went to an online school WGU.edu and kept my costs down intentionally. I know for a fact that I was finally able to professionally get into my field once I finished my degree, which I had tried for years to qualify even with the same amount of experience, qualifications, and skills I had before my degree.

    I will comment generally and say, I do support the idea that College is unnecessary for some career fields, but it is very essential for other fields. You will not be considered or qualified for anything in an engineering field, accounting, education field, science field, without a good education. There are many fields that are service, logistics, or health related that are very good paying jobs which you wouldn’t need a degree in.

    I think there is an epidemic of people going to college that don’t need to go to college flooding the market place, as well as schools over-inflating the cost of the education, which makes it a lose/lose for the student, who has to get a degree to compete with their peers and in turn they will never pay off their degrees.

  9. Tara

    Hi my name is Tara and I have a 4-year degree from a private college that I’m currently not using and still paying for. I did meet my husband at school, though. And we often joke that I’m the smart one. His degree got him a good job and helped launch his career. Mine got me him – someone to work and pay off my loans while I stay home with the kids in my pjs. 🙂

  10. Sheree Griffin

    Oh, Marla, my Marla, why do you bring this up when God is already doing a number on me?? I’m reeeeal close to 50 y.o., and I graduated college when I was 45. Why? I believe I wanted a sense of accomplishment, to finish what I started, to be able to say (an prove) that I ‘am’ somebody. But really, that’s all the hype that lures us to college in the first place. I’m a single momma and I suppose because we struggled so much, 1) because my heart was at home with my kiddos so I didn’t want to ‘go’ to work, and 2) their father chooses not to help support them. But anyway, although neither of my children are terribly close to graduation, end of their 12-year journey, what have you, in 5 years my daughter and I will decide what she will ‘do’ after graduation. She loves dance and has already chosen a dance team at a junior college she wants to pursue, I’m totally supporting her on this, because she says she wants to dance on Broadway and own her own dance studio one day. I’m not sure college will help her in either of those endeavors, and frankly, in the back of my mind I think my angle on this is that she will meet her future husband in college and he won’t be a dead-beat like her father and ultimately she won’t end up a single momma like me. Fear, ugly, ugly word straight from the pit of hell. But at least there is freedom here to be totally honest, thank you MT! My son on the other hand is soooo NOT college material. He is very, very bright and very, very athletic and diabolically opposed to school, of any kind. So this momma is praying that his gifts are revealed to him and praying a pathway for him to live life using those gifts and supporting his family. By the way, did I mention my degree is also in Elementary Education, I have been in the classroom for not quite a full year, and although I am super passionate about my students, I am distraught at how the public education system fails them every.single.day! The system does more to beat them down than to educate them in any way, and that is from the inside of the fish bowl, people. I’m thankful to be able to provide for my children and myself, but am seeking where and what God wants me to do with my gifts that may or may not have a stinkin’ thing to do with my very expensive college education that I pursued for 25 years. Soapbox indeed, my friend!

  11. Amy

    Hi Marla! I went to college and loved it. I had the quintessential college experience. My degree was in Human Resources and Family Sciences – what you do with that degree, I have no idea. So, after 4 years of college, I went back for a year and a half and got my teaching degree. I taught first grade for 12 years. After 5 years of teaching, I got my master’s degree in something (I can’t even remember) so that I could make more money. I loved my job, but quit after my son was born. Currently, I am a stay at home mommy and I have no plans to go back into the classroom. I come from a ‘well educated’ family. All 4 of my grandparents (who were born in the early 1900’s – 1903, 1904, etc) and both of my parents went to college. Both of my parents have a master’s degree and so does my brother. Growing up, I just thought everyone went to college and I thought everyone’s grandparents and parents went to college. The conversation was never ‘if’ you go to college, it was ‘when’ you go to college. I didn’t graduate with college debt – my parents were able to pay for my college education. However, I had to paid for my extra year and half, had a loan, paid it off and then my husband and I paid for my master’s degree. So, I would say college was worth it for me. There was a time in my life that I would have said, everyone should go to college, but I have since changed my opinion – not everyone needs to go and not everyone should go. Going to college is a conversation we will have with our children, but I certainly won’t force them to go to college. And, if they do, the reality is that they probably will not have the same quintessential experience I did – which, I am not gonna lie, bums me out – but with the cost of college only going up, going to college will look completely different for them than it did for me. Side note – my hubby went to college and didn’t pay a dime. His dad was the dean of admissions and because he worked for the university, his family could go to college for free. All four of his children and wife got a free college education. Nice gig, don’t you think?

  12. Bethany

    My name is Bethany and I graduated with a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Grace College. I am a stay-at-home homeschooling mother of three (almost four) and I know that my education and experience at college has helped shape who I am, but I am not presently using my degree to earn money. (I earn some extra money on the side sewing–a skill I learned from my Home Ec. teacher during my senior year in high school.)

    Eight months after graduation, I was hired on part-time as the Assistant Youth Director at a church (at the same time my husband was hired on as the Youth Pastor) because of my degree. After about 5 years I quit because we had our first child and I wanted to devote all my time and attention to her. I still helped out my husband (he was still the Youth Pastor at the time), but it was no longer a paid position.

    I met my husband at college and had some great experiences. And I majored in the Bible because I knew the information I learned in my classes would be useful no matter what I chose to do later in life.

    I think for women who hope to marry and raise children and stay home with them–college isn’t necessary. How much money should you invest in a “back-up plan”? (in case God doesn’t have marriage and kids in your future–if that is your desire) I would imagine there are many women who would like to stay home with their children, but are still paying off college loans or they can’t bring themselves to quit a job they spent so much time and money preparing for.

    If you’re mainly looking for a great life-changing experience that takes you away from mom and dad and opens your eyes to the world and gives you a new perspective–I recommend going on an extended missions trip of some kind.

  13. Denise

    My college experience and reasons for going may be different than most. I felt “called” to go to school. I believe God wanted me on campus for a reason – to build relationships with my classmates – and I also love to learn. So it was a win-win for me. 🙂

    I received my Bachelor’s in Philosophy and my Master’s in Religion. Do I use my degrees professionally? Nope. I’m a customer service rep for a local insurance agency. 🙂

    Would I change the decision to go to school if I had the chance? Not at all. I loved every moment of it. Do I like the fact I owe a bazillion dollars and will never, ever be able to repay it? No. But, for me, college was one of the best experiences ever because I got to meet such amazing people. I was challenged in so many areas of my life, and I learned so much about myself and the world around me. College challenged my faith, and because of it, my faith is stronger.

    Do I think college is for everyone? No. Many friends of mine as well as family members have not gone to college and have made a life for themselves. Others have pursued passions that don’t require a college education.

    I have a lot more thoughts on the subject, but that’s all for now. 🙂

  14. Matt

    I have some of the same feelings but yet I am also thankful for my education at the same time. The thing that bothers me the most is Christian higher education, especially when going for a Bible degree. You basically have to choose between a lesser of two evils, either go into 100,000 dollars worth of debt at a private Christian university, or figure out how to come up with the 10,000 upfront at the college that is trying to keep Bible majors out of debt. For a person who comes from poverty level, paying for college is a challenge no matter what. I feel essentially we are paying for a piece of paper of for accreditation. Now of course every college experience is different and you certainly get what you put in, and while I love taking my online classes through Liberty, I’m only paying for someone to tell me what books to read and what assignments to do. This I feel, especially for ministry, would be much better through an apprentice style program.

    On the other hand, I am very thankful for my education. For the education I want I am being exposed to different thoughts I would not encounter through the apprentice teaching I mentioned earlier. I also believe high schools did not teach enough about paying for college and the real world. Because of this, there are numerous people in my generation getting degrees in philosophy, fine arts, or some bizarre pretentious sounding major that it’s foolish to think there is a job waiting for you once you graduate. There are just so many areas of the college topic that can be discussed. My best advice for a graduating high school senior would be to stay with the parents for a year, work, and take gen ed classes at a local community college or state school to really set in their minds what their gifts are, what they like, and what they dream of doing in the future. Right now I’m working with Developmental Disabilities in management. I never thought I would like that kind of work. But I’m still working on my bachelor’s degree and youth ministry is still heavily on my heart.

  15. Ali

    Bachelors in English. Masters in Counselor Education. The most money I have ever made in my career of choice was less than $20K when I subbed as a school counselor for one year. I then had three children in less than four years. I never went back to work because I could not justify childcare with my potential income. Instead I stay home with my kids while still paying on my college loans. So basically I make no money as a stay-at-home mom but I do have debt from following the higher education path I was told to follow. I don’t regret it. I really don’t. But it is not and will not be something I push on my children. No way. No how.

    What I will push on my children? Jesus. Love. Mercy. Compassion. Service. Humility. Last I checked, those all come free with an infinite return.

  16. Gaylene

    I want to comment, however I admit of being of two minds on this issue. I have just recently earned my doctorate. I took 15 years to complete my BA, waited 15 more years before starting my MA in a completely different field than my BA; waited a year after completing that before I started my doctorate. I love learning; I love the challenge of intellectual growth. While I may not have always been in college taking classes, I have learned in other ways. School for me is enjoyment.

    Have my degrees helped me obtain a higher, paying job? NO!! Am I using my degree in my work? Yes. Is it worth the $$$ – yes and no. Do I believe college is for everyone? NO! Is it right for some? YES! Has it been right for me? Yes. My husband has not attended college, yet he is one of the most intelligent businessmen I know and yet, I am the one with business degree. My son who has only attend college for a year, has a way better paying job than me and he is excellent at what he does. My daughter who to this day “hates” school is homeschooling her children and all testing beyond their grade level ( one who is supposedly in 4th grade, has tested at college level for every area, but one) and she loves it.

    I do think the cost of college is way out of proportion to today’s wages and is becoming so fewer and fewer are going to be able to afford it.

    Anyhow…. can’t wait to read the e-book.

  17. Amy

    Hi. I’m Amy. I have a bachelor of science with a major in business administration (with concentrations in marketing and international business) and a minor in Japanese. I am blessed that my parents were able to foot the bill for my very expensive college degree without any loans. I landed a job right out of college that I would not have been able to get without a degree. HOWEVER, I’m not sure that ANYTHING that I learned in college was helpful in my job as a technology consultant for Price Waterhouse. (We were given technical training at the beginning of our job.) I only worked at that job for 3 years (and part-time during some of those 3 years) until I decided to stay home after my first baby was born.

    In the time since I quit that job, I have held a few part-time jobs here and there (up to 3 at a time), but nothing that would require a college degree, and nothing that pays nearly enough for my education level. However, I think it’s a good trade-off because I have extremely flexible jobs that enable me to set my own schedule around the needs of my household. Unfortunately, there is a financial cost for that.

    Sometimes I wonder if the point of going to college is not to learn things that you will actually be able to use after college, but rather to prove that you have the discipline and intellect to stick with the pursuit of a degree.

    Regardless … I am on board with your thought that college is not right for everybody. I have seen people graduate with degrees that have not been able to get them a job. Because I don’t want to get into a disagreement with other people, I won’t list the actual degrees they got … but I will say that they would not make the list of “most useful” bachelor degrees to have. So, we will probably not be willing to contribute financially toward a degree that we do not think is a sound investment. I know that a lot of people think that you should not place limits on your kids, but we consider using our money in that way to be a “high risk” investment.

    On the other hand, our oldest is about to head off to college in the fall because she wants to be a nurse. We are relieved to know that the nursing school that she will attend has a 100% job placement rate. In her case, I suspect that her college degree will be very useful … mandatory in order to get the job that she wants. Of course, we are also relieved that the field that she wants to pursue has a good outlook for future job prospects.

  18. nikki

    HI Marla…let me start off by saying after I graduated from high school I stayed home attended the local college..then went 3 hrs away to Anderson University..both places not sure what I wanted to do. So I stopped..moved to columbus and started as a customer service rep. I was at the telecommunications company for 5 yrs and worked my way up into management. Today Im on my second career job at a prescription company where I am a Sr. Supervisor and have been there for 13 yrs…I love what I do and here all the time from management they would take someonewho works hard..knows their stuff over a degree. I have never had a desire to finish school…so you are right its not for everyone:)

  19. Marla Taviano Post author

    Hi, I’m Marla. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. I finished my degree in 3 years instead of 4 to save money (and often skipped/slept through classes, because boring). I taught school for 3 years, then stayed home to 1.) raise the little people I birthed and 2.) to pursue my REAL passion: writing. When my oldest was a babe, I got a writing job that paid more in 4 months than I made in a year of teaching. I used part of the $ to pay off my school loan (my dad continued to pay his part for many years). I went on to write 4 traditionally-published books and 4 e-books. I’ve been speaking professionally for 10+ years. People pay me to help them write/edit their books. Publishers pay me to write copy for their catalogs. I write blog posts for free. You could argue that my college degree helped me in my writing career, but you’d be wrong. 😉

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