Colleges have been important institutions for hundreds of years, since the first universities built by the ancient Greeks. They are centers for higher learning where you expand on your knowledge from high school and learn new information that can land you a good job. They have been valuable for hundreds of years… until now.
I know I’m going to get a lot of cheers and boos for writing this, so let me explain. I previously asked the question if college is worth it and determined that for most people it isn’t. College is necessary if you want to be a doctor or lawyer. It is also good if you want to learn a trade such as welding, roofing, or plumbing because you learn hands-on applicable skills that pay well and will always have demand. But for most people, like myself, college wasted precious time and money, and was ultimately a scam.
Information is easily obtainable thanks to the internet. In past decades you had to go to college because you had to rely on their information. Colleges were the authority on a lot of subjects because they had some of the smartest people and they taught their classes using books from other experts. But now, you can find information on most subjects for free. You can search Google or Youtube on how to do almost anything. You can read articles from experts and people working in the field. Thanks to online marketplaces you can buy courses that will teach you hands-on, practical skills. For my field, Business Administration and Marketing, I have learned 10x more practical skills from free content and $300 of books and courses than I did in my four years of college. I’m not even exaggerating. The amount of information at your fingertips is HUGE. Colleges are no longer the best source of knowledge.
Now let’s move onto the time and money aspect. This is the big one that angers me the most. Four years at an average college costs around $80,000. That is $20,000 a year. Usually this bill is given to an 18 or 19-year-old kid who was taught all their life that college is necessary to be successful and make money, which is complete garbage. A lot of colleges also require you to live in their over-priced dorms or buy their ridiculously priced textbooks. Financial aid and scholarships only cover so much, so these young adults must take out expensive student loans to pay for their education. You spend the first two years of a 4-year bachelor’s degree taking ‘general education’ courses. These are basically re-hashed, slightly more advanced high school courses that everyone is required to take. This means you are spending $40,000 to learn information that will not help you at all with your future career because it has zero relevance. The next two years you take what I call ‘support classes’ that are related to your field, then finally get into the main classes that are directly related to your subject.
This is a situation that millions of college kids find themselves in. After four years of college they come out into the world as a 22 or 23-year-old with massive debt and little hands-on experience. Another thing to think about is during those four years of time they could’ve done independent study using one of the free or low-cost methods I mentioned in paragraph three. And they would’ve had time for a full-time job while they were learning. To summarize: They would have more applicable experience, no debt, and more money in their bank account than the college kid of the same age who has no experience, no money, and is in massive debt. Alex Becker has a hilarious, angry rant on why college is a scam that agrees with a lot of my points below.
Employers value experience over education 90% of the time. They want someone who has learned the skills, applied those skills, and gotten results. Employers ultimately want someone who can make them money, and unfortunately a lot of colleges just teach you facts and theory. I work with a lot of people who never went to college and make the same amount of money as me. I know a girl who was making $60,000 per year as a sales representative because she really dug in and learned everything about how to make a sales pitch and persuade people into buying a service. A lot of entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Mark Zucherberg dropped out of college and became millionaires or billionaires. Is this a common thing? Of course not. But you don’t need college to learn a high-income skill or start a business.
Now let’s get to the final point, the biggest eye-opener that many people don’t think about: College has done very little to innovate over the past decades. Technology has improved greatly, information is free-flowing and cheap, but college has stayed the same. The cost of college has gone up a lot while the content has stayed the same. Students are still learning from textbooks, usually over 5 years old and irrelevant, in an age where technology and industries are constantly evolving. The bang for your buck has plummeted like crazy. Colleges are tone-deaf to this and blame everyone but themselves. Like Alex Becker says in his video, they are so ingrained into society that people don’t question colleges and are slow to criticize them. People have accepted that you go to college then must work hard just to get an entry level job, it makes no sense. College kids are lobbying to get their student loans forgiven and demand free education when they should be questioning the colleges themselves.
I was one of the 22-year-olds who left college with no skills and money. All I had was a piece of paper showing that I knew things about business. It makes me mad the more I think about it. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I woke up to the college scam. It makes me mad thinking about my friends and family who spent all that time and money to not get any return on it. You need to educate yourself, search for the information, and find opportunities to learn from people you want to be like.
The world is evolving and people are wising up. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are slowly killing cable. Why? They are beating them across the board. They offer a superior product that is more convenient and at a lower price. Just like how the car replaced the horse a hundred years ago. This is how I feel about colleges. Colleges are using their influence to scam people into joining, taking huge amounts of money, and then not delivering on their word. That’s the bottom line. If any other institution did that, they’d be all over the news and their leaders would probably be arrested. If they want to survive, they need to lower their price and offer more value. They will need to become top-notch and valuable like they were in the 1960’s and 1970’s. If not, they deserve to fail.