Peter Schiff. Very true.
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I thought it was an interesting video with a very powerful message. In the wake of all of the student debt, standardized testing, skyrocketing "ADHD" prescriptions, higher standards, etc, we need to start challenging the existing beliefs of education. Since I started my college career, I never felt as I was gaining much of anything--more or less, I have felt like the "zombie" portrayed in the video. I have learned much more from mentors, this forum, MJ's book, and other books that are directly related to what I WANT to learn.
In my opinion, this community and its forum members already have a leg up on the future generations. The people that set off to learn on their own and hold an entrepreneur mindset are not afraid to live true to themselves. They are always looking to improve existing paradigms. While college is necessary for some, I believe if you are miserable and would rather follow your dreams, you should go with your gut. You only live once.
Entrepreneurs aren't afraid to get $%&* done, no matter what their circumstances or education... this is an interesting (yet frustrating) time to be living in. Here is to our future as entrepreneurs!
well! I think that going to college is not waste of time because one cannot learn without the help of teachers, what you get from an institue can't be accessed personally or individually through internet.
Just because you learn something through the internet or a book you read on your own doesn't make that learning less valid. Many people have learned to play an instrument on their own by watching Youtube videos. And many people have started a business without "formal education" or a business degree. It's not like college students are doing projects and other hands-on work most of the time. Nor are they learning valuable things that are in MJ's book. In reality, 95%+ of my college classes have been test based, and that doesn't always reflect actual learning.
My two cents.
I think I want to write a detailed book about why you should not go to college. Make it an easy read.
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"Is going to college a waste of time?"
No. Especially not if you are majoring in something technical, like finance.
The most talented Fastlaners can create and maintain a venture while they are in school. College is a breeze and a gateway to meeting your future lawyer, accountant, CFO, CIO, dentist etc etc.
Is it necessary to be in the Fastlane?...absolutely not.
If what you did yesterday seems big, you have done nothing today.
I am brand new to the forum. I have had the fastlane mindset for a while now. I almost didn't go college. With Excellent grades in high school, and essentially a full ride, my parents weren't having it. I am so glad I did. I have a library complete with online databases with anything I could ever think of. I spend my days in class, while my nights and weekends are spent at the library, working toward my plan. In my 3 years, having not taken one computer science course, am confident in my programming skills ect., while my finance degree has given me a backbone for my business and personal income. In my eyes, it is what you make it.
I think that the question of "Is college a waste of time" is very personal, and is different for each person. It depends on what you want for yourself, the value you find in the proposition, and how you want to experience life. High school should be finished categorically, but after that it really does come from personal preference. (Also, for the sake of this opinion, let us assume any college degree discussed is useful, STEM related, accounting, International Business, Finance, Computer Science, etc.)
Some people say "To hell with college, I just want to get started on my own business", and that is a reasonable motive if one possesses the motivation, resources, and perseverance to succeed. There are certainly plenty of stories of individuals who have skipped college, passed GO, and collected $2,000,000. Richard Branson, Sean Parker, and Ben Affleck all pursued this route with great effect (Richard Branson was even awarded a knighthood for his success.) However, there is still empirical evidence that lends itself tho the fact that this method is far more difficult statistically; to wit: 80% of new businesses fail within the first 4 years, 75% of those fail due to under-capitalization. I am not saying it is impossible, or that everyone need to attend college, I am just saying that statistically those without degrees have a harder time gaining traction and succeeding over the long-term. Without a degree, you most certainly can succeed with the appropriate amount of hard work and discipline, but if you have to supplement your start-up income or regroup financially after a failed venture your options are less. So there is a cost in not going, just as there is a cost in going.
Next there are individuals who start college, start their business in parallel, have their business endeavor gain traction and decide to focus on that full time. This is really no different than the RDPD "start a business while you work" methodology, with dual obligations functioning concurrently until one is clearly dominant and requires enough time and is generating enough cash-flow that the other pursuit disengaged. This thread is already rife with examples of these individuals: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg, Ted Turner, & Bill Gates. These people were functioning in a long-term and short-term capacity, preparing for a long career as a slow-laner but found their muse of inspiration and were successful enough at their venture that their education devalued geometrically, so they moved on with their experiences. Technically in these cases college, in its purest sense, functioned exactly as it should, enabling people to develop insights and gain experiences sufficient to allow them to be self sufficient. I can hardly think it rational to say to any of the aforementioned individuals that they are "slow-lane," that they "just don't get it," or that they "wasted their time/money going to college;" all of them would most likely disagree, as they found something that added to their success later while in college: Mark Z met his financier and co-founder, Steve Jobs got the inspiration for the clean interface and beautiful styling that became the heart of the Apple brand. So there are people who did go to college, but did not finish, as their other opportunities pursued reached critical mass; yet the experience of college lent itself to the very success they were creating, and could quite possibly have destroyed that success if that experience were not a component.
Finally there are those who did attend and complete an institutional accreditation process, thereby earning a degree. There are a plethora of such individuals: Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, & Jack Welch to name a few. Warren Buffet even studied under the gentleman who would become his mentor and future business partner, Benjamin Graham. There is good reason for this collegiate attendance (especially if it is subsidized with grants and/or scholarships), as there is a statistically higher salary that comes with such an accomplishment, and it does increase the likelyhood of finding a decent career. I know, I know, I churched it up and should have just used the filthy word I meant and said "Job", but the fact of the matter is even MJ himself has said both in the book and on this forum that "there is nothing wrong with the slow lane provided it is designed as a role in your plan to gain capital and experience that ultimately allows you to shift into the fast lane" (paraphrasing). People in college, if they are applying themselves, expand their horizons, learn to think in new and different paradigms, stretch their boundaries, extrapolate ideas into realms where they may not have previously existed (the definition of innovation), and ultimately learn a skillset to sufficiently grant them the confidence to be able to handle the rigors of empire building (which is not for the timid.) All of these are noble and worthwhile motives, and just the fact that they know they have a safety net may raise the risk tolerance of these individuals to "step off the ledge" and plunge into entrepreneurship. In argument, Socrates often pushed his students to "Know the domain of their own ignorance," meaning that even if they did not know an answer it was acceptable so long as they realize they do not know, so they can proceed to learn what they do not know. There is more to attaining a degree than simply the cost analysis/time analysis/cost of time value/opportunity cost value; there are more indirect attributes to such a pursuit that can act as an asset in a qualitative way, but not necessarily quantitative ways. These qualitative assets exist only at the personal level, and as such there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
To surmise, whether or not to attend is a VERY personal choice, and one that should be based upon the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. No one can tell you which way to go, that you must decide for yourself (the prime characteristic of an entrepreneur). Also, I have read this entire thread, and the thing I found most disturbing is the "war camping" of attend vs. not attend. It has been statistically proven that honors students would be successful even if they did not go to college, the reason being is that they are hard wired for success, striving, ambition, and a higher set of personal standards. The same could be said of this forum, the people here are of an ilk and caliber that lends itself to entrepreneurial endeavor and success; this is how you found this place to begin with. The people here found this place pursuing a set of individulas with similar values and drive. However, if you look to the left at my reg date, you will see I have been around this forum for a long time, and the most disconcerting thing to me is the lack of respect for diversity being shown to fellow entrepreneurs. If someone chooses to educate themselves, that is their prerogative, and I think I have clearly shown that such a course should not be viewed as unfathomable. If it is your opinion that such a course of action is folly, one needn't say "You simpleton slow-laner, enjoy scrubbing floors for minimum wage" but can certainly say "Well I don't agree with a college degree for X and Y reason, so I personally wouldn't pursue it, but YMMV." Really, the difference is EQ, it has been shown that emotional intelligence is 7x more important to executives and business leaders than technical training, degree pedigree, or lineage. On this forum, much as in the real world, there is a diverse collection of like-minded individuals engaged in similar pursuits and as such is a wealth of varying opinion from which we all can learn when shared appropriately. Would you talk to your potential clients/customers/business partners/consultants in such a tone? I only ask because I know a great many people on this site collaborate on various projects and seek out specialists in skills from this forum to bolster areas of weakness in their own pursuits, so you very well may be.
My apologies if I hijacked your thread Mike39, and I offer you the sincerest best regards in your future endeavors, regardless of the path you choose.
"Brick walls are there to show you how bad you want something." --Randy Pausch
People who have never gone to college are not qualified to answer this question.
It made me realize that when you graduate from a #1 school means that you had #1 ranked profs teaching the class, but you didn't necessarily learn from the best teachers in the field. BTW, grad school was a breeze to me. I didn't learn anything at all. Classes were graded usually 50% mid-term and 50% final exam. I just took 2 tests per class, 8 classes and got my masters degree with a 3.8 GPA.
I think you should finish high school. For college, while it is true that you can get almost everything or every idea online but then you can't experience and feel how it is like being in college on line. There are some things that are beyond textbooks that are in the campus. The people you get to meet may influence you or vice versa, there are a lot of possibilities do not limit yourself just because others regrets doing so. On the other hand selecting the most appropriate and most beneficial course for your entrepreneurial side will also help you. There are trainings, provided and actual skill development that could benefit you in the long run. You are young and you are earning, but I think it takes more than the cash to be successful, experience and knowledge always go hand in hand. You should also keep in mind, college life includes a lot of socialization, partying, drinking and girls.... it is true that some of this may destruct you but as a young man you I guess it is not really wrong to experience these at all, at the end of the day you should still stick with your main goal. BTW it would be nicer to try and fail and try again while you're young than regret never been into parties or drinking and having all those girls around you when you were young. Because as you become "the entrepreneur" you wanted to be, the damage of such college acts can bring you to more troubles, failures and dangers.
Very good points in this thread and the answer is: it depends. Programming is a job that is in high demand in the current world of business, so it is something that a degree in may be of use. Those who have that piece of paper that says they've put the work in do make more money on average.
Inversely, if you can teach yourself to code and learn the ins and outs of the industry, there may not be a need to go to college. Let's face it, you can learn most aspects of programming from a book, and this may lead to the same level of skill as someone who went to college.
The only clear advantage that college has is that piece of paper. This tends to catch the eye of employers while reviewing your resume. Many employers don't have time to look at your previous work to see that it is quality and may simply hire someone with a degree just because it's what they look for.
Ultimately I would say college isn't necessary, but going to college for programming is not something that I would call a waste of time.
I wouldn't say that college is a waste all together. A waste of time perhaps, but not a waste of an opportunity to learn something new. The truth about a college diploma, is that it will always look good on a resume, and a job application. But if this is all you are wanting to get out of it, then we are surely talking about a waste of time. You can go real far in life with street smarts, in other words, experience and good ol smarts.
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