Following on yesterday’s topic, “Your college degree is worthless“, I’m tacking in a different direction today. What I learned in college is serving me very well today. However, when I was in college (get ready), we didn’t have smart phones, email, laptops, or social media. The world has changed – completely – and the mindset around a college education has to change along with it.
Even before my time, if you had a college degree, you really set yourself above the fray. If you got an MBA (which I did), then you were head and shoulders above everyone else. There are still a set of very specific areas in which a college degree (not “the equivalent”) is required, including (but certainly not limited to):
If you are going to pursue a career in these or similar fields, you must get a college degree, and then some. No getting around it, and all of those are very respectable and much in demand careers that pay well, enabling you to pay back all the loans you’ll probably need to get through all that schooling.
However, if your bent is toward technology, either software development or networking technologies or any sort of digital skills, you do not need to go to college. I’ll say that again: to work in the fastest growing sector of jobs in today’s economy, you do not need to go to college. You do not need to spend 52 months pursuing a college degree just to say you got a college degree. You do not need to spent a ridiculous amount of money over those 4+ years when you could be working and earning money.
Instead, you can engage in shorter, more specific, more valuable, and more employable education, like any one of the following:
learn to write software in 3 months for less than $15k. Software developers are experiencing negative unemployment today, especially in Atlanta. There are many choices:
attend a series of computer networking (Cisco, Microsoft, RedHat, etc.) bootcamps and earn the highest level networking certifications in less than one year.
attend a series of part time digital classes in UX design, Analytics, Business Fundamentals & Tactics, Data Science, Digital Marketing, Product Management, User Experience Design, Visual Design (just to name a few) while you’re working and earning money and learning to be the most valuable digital master in your company.
Not one of the careers that result from these skills requires a college degree. None.
Or you can spend $100k to live with little or no responsibility for 4-5 years, learn how to drink beer, and then try to get a job in the digital age. Seriously, though, if you’re not going to pursue a career that absolutely requires a college degree, spending 52 months and well over $100k just to say you have a degree is not a wise investment of anyone’s time or money.
If you’re inclined towards working in technology, you don’t need to go to college.