Do I need to go to College?

From an early age, it’s likely that you were told you had to go

to college or university if you wanted to succeed in life. As children,

this is ingrained into our heads not only by our teachers but often

times by our family as well. One of the things I do is Podcasting and I used to ask all my guests if they think they need a College Degree to succeed? Half said College was the best thing they have ever done and the other half said they don't need it and found it to be a waste of money and time and should have used that time to build skills instead.

Just like my buddy Yaw Sam said, College is a huge part of his life. Watch the video below.

The belief here is that college/university = success = money. But are college and university really the only way to reach success nowadays? Or are there other ways to achieve your goals and dreams? Well, let’s take a look at the numbers:

What the statistics say and according to statistics:

• Individuals who only have a high school degree are 2x more likely to be unemployed than those with a Bachelors degree

• Those with a Bachelors degree make an average of $32 000 more annually than those with only a high school degree

• Those with a Bachelors degree make an average of $1 million more than those with only a high school degree over a lifetime

So if we were to look purely at the statistics then yes, it does appear that going to college or university equates to greater success (if you define success as financial earnings). 

But do these statistics really matter anymore?

I would say no. Why? Firstly, let’s remember that these statistics are based on the AVERAGE. That means that there are some people that fall into the statistics, and others who don’t.

To elaborate even further, this means that there are people who earn College and University degrees who don’t go on to be financially successful. It also means that there are people without college and university degrees who DO go on to be successful. 

We also have to look at WHY the statistics are what they are. Do people with Bachelors's degrees earn more money simply because they have Bachelors degrees? Or is it because of something in their make-up? For example, perhaps people with bachelor's degrees (on average) are more career-driven and motivated than those who only have a high school degree. Is THAT why they earn more money?

In other words, if an individual with a high school degree had the same drive and motivation as someone with a Bachelors's degree, would they achieve the same success? - Just something to think about. 

Secondly, the world is changing. While I would agree that higher education was once the only option for reaching career goals, it doesn’t necessarily seem as that is still so.

Why? Because now we have the internet. 

At one point in time, all we had was teachers and books. But now information is available to us with just the push of a button. Anything we want to know can be found on Google. And anything we want to learn how to do can be watched on YouTube. No longer do you need to go to class to learn how to weld - just YouTube an instructional video. No longer do you need to go to school to learn how to solve a math equation - just Google it and there’s your answer!

Thirdly, today’s world isn’t so much about WHAT you know as it is about WHO you know and the connections that you have. And with the help of social media, making new connections is easier than ever!

The truth is, It’s a new world and there are new ways to learn and new ways to succeed. 

So how else can you earn an education?

1. YouTube University

Want to learn how to do hair and makeup? YouTube it. Want to learn how to design wooden sculptures? YouTube it. Want to learn how to create a music video? YouTube it. Want to learn about science? YouTube it. Math? YouTube. History? YouTube.

You get the point. Anything and everything you could possibly want to learn about is on, you guessed it, YouTube! From TedTalks and chats, to full on lessons and tutorials, you can learn how to do anything on YouTube University.  And once you learn how to do it, you can then create your own brand and share your knowledge with others. Once you’ve developed a solid audience base, a business will virtually fall into your hands. 

2. Online College Courses

If you want to achieve a university or college degree but don't want to physically go to campus, you can earn your degree online. Online degrees tend to be more flexible than on-campus degrees and allow you to take courses at your own pace.  Online options for learning are endless and are now offered by most colleges and universities. Whether you want to earn a degree in two years, or take your time and earn it over a period of 6 years, most universities and colleges now allow students to work from home on their own time. 

3. Online lessons

Don’t want to take an entire college session online? That’s okay - you can take individual lessons too! With websites like “Udemy” and “Skill Share”, you can take online lessons and tutorials in almost any topic or subject. Some lessons are free while others you have to pay for, but either way, they allow you to learn from home and at your own pace. Some online lessons even provide you with a certificate of completion to add to your resume. 

And with the cost of college and university consistently rising, these alternative options are looking very attractive to many Millenials. Again, what do the statistics say?

• 1 in 5 millennials are choosing not to go to college

• 89% of millennials have considered alternative

education paths (as opposed to college)

• 49% of millennials say that their degree was “very or somewhat unimportant” to their current job

• More millennials are starting to look at real-world experience over a college degree

Of course, the choice is yours. But if you don’t think college is the right option for you, don’t get down - you don’t need college to succeed. Don’t believe me? Here are some extremely successful people who didn’t go to college:

• Michael Dell (founder of Dell) 

• Alicia Keys (singer and songwriter)

• Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple) 

Will you be next on this list?

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