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RANT Formal Education is Overrated!(or not?)

B_Mac

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Statistically those with a college education are more likely to be successful even in entrepreneurship. The stuff about 'college doesn't help entrepreneurs' is poppycock. You either need college or need a ton of self-motivation for self-education.

Harvard University has the No. 1 spot among the world’s universities for producing billionaires, according to Wealth-X, which ranked business schools in terms of number of billionaire alumni in a survey last January.
Are you saying they are successful entrepreneurs because they went to college? And that the more prestigious the college, the more statistically likely they are to be billionaire successful?

Is it possible they had the qualities/traits to be billionaire successful before going to college and the colleges picked them because they have those traits. In that case, the colleges don't really add much to the person, they just manage to pick out those who will be successful.

It seems like you say this later on:
People who were accepted to Ivy League schools then went to cheaper universities are actually just as successful as those with went to the top-tier schools.
So is this REALLY true?
'college doesn't help entrepreneurs' is poppycock
Or do colleges just know how to pick people who would have been successful without the college?
 

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ChrisV

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Formal education is an overated piece of shit!
I’m not a big fan of the amount of hate that formal ed receives around here sometimes.

Most of the top successful Fastlaners are university educated.

Sure you can self-educate yourself, but a lot of people self-educate and then come out believing in The Secret Law of Attraction or that Vaccines cause autism.

The problem with self-education is that there’s no quality control. People just read some alternative medicine blog or Conspiracy theory website and think it's true. You really need a good way of separating the truth from the bullshit, and that's a skill that's really emphasized in universities.

The information presented in legit universities have been thoroughly vetted and fact-checked and are based on research.

Sure universities aren’t perfect, but they’re really great places to learn.
 

Dan_Cardone

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In a time when the median price of a home in Manhattan is just over $1 million, according to real-estate website Trulia, experts say that being a millionaire no longer means that you’re rich.

Lmao, good luck with that. 1 mil? Maybe in Herlem next to a crackhouse.

America’s billionaires tend to also be among its most well-educated, recent research suggests. In “Investigating America’s Elite,” published in the journal Intelligence, Duke University psychologist Jonathan Wai found that billionaires are more likely than CEOs, judges, senators or House members to have attended colleges with the most rigorous admission standards

This is the part people leave out. Billionaires are highly educated; formal or otherwise.

Statistically those with a college education are more likely to be successful even in entrepreneurship. The stuff about 'college doesn't help entrepreneurs' is poppycock. You either need college or need a ton of self-motivation for self-education.

Harvard University has the No. 1 spot among the world’s universities for producing billionaires, according to Wealth-X, which ranked business schools in terms of number of billionaire alumni in a survey last January.
I wonder if the "networking effect" that comes with going to big universities help with that? Im sure it does.
 

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For F*ck sake this topic has been beaten to death.

Does college get you closer to your goals?

If so, do it.

If not, don't.

It's that simple.

College is not the end-all-be-all to success, and neither is skipping out on it.
 

ChrisV

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In a time when the median price of a home in Manhattan is just over $1 million, according to real-estate website Trulia, experts say that being a millionaire no longer means that you’re rich.

Lmao, good luck with that. 1 mil? Maybe in Herlem next to a crackhouse.

America’s billionaires tend to also be among its most well-educated, recent research suggests. In “Investigating America’s Elite,” published in the journal Intelligence, Duke University psychologist Jonathan Wai found that billionaires are more likely than CEOs, judges, senators or House members to have attended colleges with the most rigorous admission standards

This is the part people leave out. Billionaires are highly educated; formal or otherwise.

Statistically those with a college education are more likely to be successful even in entrepreneurship. The stuff about 'college doesn't help entrepreneurs' is poppycock. You either need college or need a ton of self-motivation for self-education.

Harvard University has the No. 1 spot among the world’s universities for producing billionaires, according to Wealth-X, which ranked business schools in terms of number of billionaire alumni in a survey last January.
 

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Looks like your millionaire ego got stroked.

I didn't say @MJ is the only millionaire here. I know that there are many more people here like you, @biophase ,@Kak ,@Vigilante ,@SteveO ,@AllenCrawley ,etc who are also millionaires.(To the best of my knowledge) But, I don't know about their education and their opinion about the importance of it.
Let me put my $0.02 in here. :)

Here is what I believe.

I don't believe that college is useless. But it depends...

COST

The cost of college vs. the starting salary these days makes the return a large risk.

I have a Masters degree in Engineering, which at the time cost about $50,000 for undergrad and $15,000 for my Masters (I had a assistantship for my Masters which paid half the tuition). My starting salary was $35,000. So you are $65k in debt to make $35k (54%).

But today, you are seeing $120k in debt to still make $35k for many majors. For my engineering field, the starting salary is now $55k. $120k in debt to make $55k (45%). So it's still ok, but it's on the cusp of being not worth it. Again, my opinion.

EDUCATION QUALITY

Taking away the cost of tuition, the quality of education is a huge factor. You can go to college for 4 years and learn no actual skills to help you get a job. I remember I was interviewing an ASU grad for a job and asked him if he knew Excel and he answered, "yes, is that the one with the numbers?" WTF???

Look at the 4 year tuition cost and then google the starting salary and then make a decision on if it is worth it.

EDUCATION TYPE

Since I majored in Engineering, alot of things come easy to me. The ease at which I can understand numbers. The way I think through problems. All these skills have helped me in my business life. But I do wonder if I had these skills before college, or if college honed them. I was always a numbers person. Was it worth $65k to find out?

MY ADVICE

I have many friends who have teenage kids and when they ask me my opinion. I tell them, it depends on their financial situation, the cost of the college and the major they've chosen. I try to get them to think about the ROI, the debt on their kid or on them. But this is a hard conversation.

In fact I had this conversation 2 weeks ago. My friend's son wants to go to Stanford. We talked about the cost, which was going to be $350,000. He also understands business and the return on investment. He basically said if his son gets into Stanford, he's going to find a way to pay for it.
 

MJ DeMarco

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My question was Knowing what he now knows would he graduated in the first place?
No, you said that "MJ is the only person in this forum qualified to give a verdict on this."
I think this is a miscommunication due to ESL.

I think the question he's asking is not if anyone is qualified to answer the general college question, but would I make the same decision to go to college in today's economic climate. That would make me the only person to qualified to answer because it's asking for my opinion specific to me. I don't think he means to say that my opinion is the only relevant answer on it.

My question was Knowing what he now knows would he graduated in the first place?
As to that answer, in today's world I probably would have NOT gone to college, assuming I still wanted to be an entrepreneur. However if I had other interests (engineering, medicine, law, etc) I would probably find a way to go, dependent on cost. And I'd definitely do two 2 years in community college first, not 4 years at a big Div-1 school.
 

Vairavan

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This old article from Marketwatch says most billionaires are highly educated.

But according to Forbes:

the billionaires who have only high school degrees have come farther, for the most part, than their more highly educated counterparts.
What do you guys think? Is education overrated or not?
 

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ChrisV

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I wonder if the "networking effect" that comes with going to big universities help with that? Im sure it does.
Well a big part is how selective Ivy League schools are. Actually this is a well-studied phenomena – the only reason people who attend the Ivies are so successful is due to how selective they are. In other words, the ivies will only choose the best of the best - and those people turn out to be the movers and shakers. People who were accepted to Ivy League schools then went to cheaper universities are actually just as successful as those with went to the top-tier schools.
 

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So close!

If you cut my sales in half, but doubled my profitability, I'd give you $4790.00. ;)
I'm in.

Ebook #1

1. Get a line of credit for $100k from the bank.
2. Identify which products are selling the most.
3. Calculate out all the "variations" that exist.
4. 80/20 those variations down.
5. Once you've identified the top variations, fly out to Poland, Indonesia, South America or somewhere where there's wood craftsmen that can make what you need.
6. Pay them to make your stock inventory.
7. Import it at probably 1/4th of what it costs you in personal labor to make.
8. Pay me my 50% commission as a thank you.
9. Pocket the 2x profit.



Ebook #2

1. Identify where your leads are coming from.
2. Scale out your lead funnel so you 10x your leads.
3. Create a great video of yourself doing badass woodwork.
4. Maybe change the name to badass woodwork.
5. Quadruple your prices since you're now branded as badass woodwork.
6. Pay me my 50% commission as a thank you.
7. Pocket the 2x profit.


That's two ebooks right there. By my calculations... $4,790 per ebook * 2 ebooks = $9,580 for the ebooks.

Thanks!
 

Walter Hay

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In fairness, with life-and-death stakes, I can understand why medical students would lean heavily on outside expertise.
Unfortunately, the fanatical adherence to the orthodox beliefs that have been embedded in their brains while studying at college is constantly being reinforced by the pharmaceutical industry, with the result that they become afraid to deviate.

I once had a GP who knew of my unorthodox approach to medical matters, and his son became desperately ill. Always careful to not offend, I casually mentioned an alternative treatment, and in desperation he seized on the information and applied it for his son. His son lived.

The practice nurse at a medical center saw me regularly, and also knew that I had an eclectic outlook, figuring that I should apply the best of both worlds. She recounted her mother's serious problem, the cause of which was nowhere near as major as mine, and I suspected she wanted to talk about my view on treatment.

I told her of a discovery that I had made while doing some pro bono research for a specialist with whom I was friendly. She gladly gave that non pharmaceutical treatment to her mother, with results that outshone the orthodox but unsuccessful treatment that her mother had endured for years.

I should add that I was born with a genetic problem which results in an average lifespan of 37.4 years, and rarely life beyond 50. I am now 80, having self medicated since being written off by one GP when I was 21, and later by one specialist. I nevertheless accepted pharmaceutical treatment when I deemed it to be the best option.

An eclectic approach can work, but qualified professionals need to remove their blinkers if they are to employ the best of both systems. Sadly that profession is a prime example of harm caused by college education.

Walter
P.S. I have practiced for many years as an unregistered naturopath and have never charged for my services. My specialist friend managed to arrange for me to receive medical journals and also access to research papers. I marvel when I see and hear medical professionals quote obsolete and clinically disproven medical "facts." Sorry if my RANT has hijacked this very interesting thread. Maybe my rant should be moved?
 
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JScott

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I think @MJ is the only person in this forum qualified to give a verdict on this.
He is both a millionaire and a graduate. So far as I remember he says education is not necessary to become a millionaire in his book.
Yup, pretty sure that MJ is the only millionaire and graduate on this forum...

But, let's say -- completely hypothetically, of course -- that there were other millionaire/graduates on this forum. Would their opinion carry as much weight?
 

Lex DeVille

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My opinion on degrees has changed somewhat over the past few years. I'm not a billionaire, so I can't speak for that side of things. But I am paying out of pocket for a graduate degree. I started my business without a degree, but with lots of self-education. So I don't find it impossible to have success without a degree.

Once I had my B.A. it was a useful credibility marker. It indicates a sense of commitment and follow-through, which may not be important for most; however, I believe it could be important for fundraising, entrepreneurial pursuits and hidden opportunities.

An M.A. for me is both a credibility marker and a pass-through to a Doctoral degree which establishes the most credibility. I have no intent of applying my education in traditional means (for instance counseling, therapy, and probably not even research).

So I guess my opinion is that the value of a degree is based on intent and perhaps context. As an entrepreneur, it doesn't matter if it costs a lot. Business pays for it. Plus degrees create barriers to entry, networking opportunities, and a chance to learn things you otherwise might not.

Overall my B.A. is mostly useless except for credibility and networking. An M.A. offers enough credibility for many customers to make buying decisions without much thought. A Ph.D. makes you an "expert" even in unrelated fields and opens doors that are closed to most of the world.

I would still have success without degrees. So in my case it comes down to who I want to be and how I want to be seen in the future. Letters behind my name are rewards for me. They're personal accomplishments just as building profitable businesses are personal accomplishments. They're one more way to look back on life and feel like I did something with it.

But I started with success, then worked toward degrees. So for me it isn't a question of success hinging on college. Also, I value degrees a lot more now that I have one.
 

Walter Hay

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I am not knocking education, but there are different ways to obtain a useful education.

I have been very fortunate to live in an age when even primary education actually taught useful stuff. The state-run primary school I attended from age 6 to 12 taught such things as public speaking.

For example I actually gave my first public lecture to about 200 strangers, most of whom were student teachers from a nearby college. I had to speak for 10 minutes on a history subject, while being allowed only sufficient notes that I could conceal in the palm of my hand.

As I related in my story in the Featured User thread, I spent months in hospital during those primary years with visitors only once a week. I used that time to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, and this undoubtedly compensated for my lack of school attendance.

It probably did, because I passed the entrance exam to attend a selective state-run high school, where the range of subjects was far broader than in non-selective schools. I learned Technical Drawing, Music, Geography, English, French, German, Maths 1, Maths 2, Physics and Chemistry, all as separate subjects. I captained the school debating team, edited the school magazine, and acted on stage at a huge public theatre as a member of the school drama club.

Obliged by family poverty to leave school two years before my classmates would, I nevertheless think my education was complete.

A degree is not essential to become a millionaire, but a good education, plus some serendipity helped me.

Walter
 

Walter Hay

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Doctors are indispensable and do a world of good (literally), if you're doing it right.
The medical profession is one of the most heavily indoctrinated by their education, and almost all with whom I have had dealings are scared to step outside the orthodoxy of what they have learned.

Walter
 

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I’m not a big fan of the amount of hate that formal ed receives around here sometimes.

Most of the top successful Fastlaners are university educated.

Sure you can self-educate yourself, but a lot of people self-educate and then come out believing in The Secret Law of Attraction or that Vaccines cause autism.

The problem with self-education is that there’s no quality control. People just read some alternative medicine blog or Conspiracy theory website and think it's true. You really need a good way of separating the truth from the bullshit, and that's a skill that's really emphasized in universities.

The information presented in legit universities have been thoroughly vetted and fact-checked and are based on research.

Sure universities aren’t perfect, but they’re really great places to learn.
This is actually a double edged sword.
Because of the “vetting,” people become too sure of the information they are receiving.

They tend to be in an echo chamber where many things aren’t questioned.

This is especially true when it comes to politics, where far left nonsense seems to reign.
 

jon.M

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I’m not a big fan of the amount of hate that formal ed receives around here sometimes.

Most of the top successful Fastlaners are university educated.

Sure you can self-educate yourself, but a lot of people self-educate and then come out believing in The Secret Law of Attraction or that Vaccines cause autism.

The problem with self-education is that there’s no quality control. People just read some alternative medicine blog or Conspiracy theory website and think it's true. You really need a good way of separating the truth from the bullshit, and that's a skill that's really emphasized in universities.

The information presented in legit universities have been thoroughly vetted and fact-checked and are based on research.

Sure universities aren’t perfect, but they’re really great places to learn.
My perception is that the "college sucks"-trope that's going on nowadays is largely because:

(A) It's what people want to hear. I notice lots of slowlaners have adopted the opinion -- probably because it means they don't need to hold themselves to as high standards. Why delay your gratification when you can order some bracelets from AliExpress right now and become an ENTREPRENEUR?

(B) It's what people want to focus on. All these people who talk about Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg may be unaware of the survivorship bias. How many dropouts end up like Bill Gates, and how many do not?

(C) It's what people want to say. If you never went to college it's tough to admit you perhaps made a suboptimal choice. Of course, most people will live with the belief that their way of life is the best. Why would they settle for less?

Of course, this also applies to university graduates. But the fact that non-university graduates say something the majority wants to believe may contribute to the popularity of their opinion.

Personally, I'm from both camps.

I'm a high-school dropout who never got a diploma in a country with no equivalent to the GEDs. But this year I used my entrepreneurial skills to literally talk my way into a Computer Science undergraduate programme in university. It's a cakewalk compared to real life, and most students will probably never amount to much. But if you go through it with a fastlane mindset... it will open your mind up to countless possibilites. And you'll get armed with a superpower called expertise in an area you can build solid companies off of.

A few weeks ago I went to Stockholm to see Nassim Taleb. He talked about aiming for optionality. An option is, according to him, something of limited downside with a large, open-ended upside. It made sense to me, as he managed to clearly articulate something I'd been thinking about for some time myself.

No one knows the future for certain. But everyone can improve their options and probabilities.

A teen could drop out of high school and work to achieve their dream of millions. But frankly, the odds are stacked against him. And what are his options if the dream does not play out within a couple years? McDonald's? Hustling on UpWork like everyone else in the gig economy (with no special skills, too)? Cleaning hepatitis-infected blood, piss, puke and shit in a hospital?

For an university graduate, the odds are also stacked against him. He could also end up on Mickey D's. But he could also end up armed with tons more knowledge, connections with the people who may not end up successful founders but C-suites, and potential for quite well-paid jobs that provide money, flexibility and experience which the high school dropout will not have.

Let's assume you will fail in your ambitions of building a multimillion dollar company - worst case scenario - would you rather end up with a pocket full of mumbles in a world with ever-increasing demands on workers, or a well-paid worker drone with better circumstances?

I don't only bat for the fences. I hedge myself as well.
 

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Solid Snake

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Are you saying they are successful entrepreneurs because they went to college? And that the more prestigious the college, the more statistically likely they are to be billionaire successful?

Is it possible they had the qualities/traits to be billionaire successful before going to college and the colleges picked them because they have those traits. In that case, the colleges don't really add much to the person, they just manage to pick out those who will be successful.

It seems like you say this later on:


So is this REALLY true?


Or do colleges just know how to pick people who would have been successful without the college?

Not sure if you heard of Naval Ravikant,

but he says frequently that college is useless when it comes to building business.

Even Peter Thiel has said that college at this point is a scam. A lot of folks in silicon valley, or at least a certain segment of it, have been saying this.
 

broswoodwork

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I'm in.

Ebook #1

1. Get a line of credit for $100k from the bank.
2. Identify which products are selling the most.
3. Calculate out all the "variations" that exist.
4. 80/20 those variations down.
5. Once you've identified the top variations, fly out to Poland, Indonesia, South America or somewhere where there's wood craftsmen that can make what you need.
6. Pay them to make your stock inventory.
7. Import it at probably 1/4th of what it costs you in personal labor to make.
8. Pay me my 50% commission as a thank you.
9. Pocket the 2x profit.



Ebook #2

1. Identify where your leads are coming from.
2. Scale out your lead funnel so you 10x your leads.
3. Create a great video of yourself doing badass woodwork.
4. Maybe change the name to badass woodwork.
5. Quadruple your prices since you're now branded as badass woodwork.
6. Pay me my 50% commission as a thank you.
7. Pocket the 2x profit.


That's two ebooks right there. By my calculations... $4,790 per ebook * 2 ebooks = $9,580 for the ebooks.

Thanks!
Wait a minute... that sounds like actual work! I'm out.

Just playing. I am actually doing ebook 1, in essence. A few of the details are flipped. Namely, instead of importing, I'm going to change the method and materials of the most time consuming portion of the product. It will cost less to build, be buildable in minutes instead of days, and I can produce substantially better versions (the ones competitors are selling the most and for more) that'll allow me to double my retail price and enter the wholesale with a super competitive offer.

I still feel oddly honor bound to cut you a check though...
 
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404profound

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In a time when the median price of a home in Manhattan is just over $1 million, according to real-estate website Trulia, experts say that being a millionaire no longer means that you’re rich.

Lmao, good luck with that. 1 mil? Maybe in Herlem next to a crackhouse.

America’s billionaires tend to also be among its most well-educated, recent research suggests. In “Investigating America’s Elite,” published in the journal Intelligence, Duke University psychologist Jonathan Wai found that billionaires are more likely than CEOs, judges, senators or House members to have attended colleges with the most rigorous admission standards

This is the part people leave out. Billionaires are highly educated; formal or otherwise.

Statistically those with a college education are more likely to be successful even in entrepreneurship. The stuff about 'college doesn't help entrepreneurs' is poppycock. You either need college or need a ton of self-motivation for self-education.

Harvard University has the No. 1 spot among the world’s universities for producing billionaires, according to Wealth-X, which ranked business schools in terms of number of billionaire alumni in a survey last January.
Harvard produces billionaires because of family inheritance and social systems that automatically induct graduates into the best paying wall-street seats and lobbying firms. I would argue college made me a critical thinker, but the stuff that ended up making me money I taught myself out of books / youtube.
 

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The only problem I see from college education is the disconnect between the education and the actual job.

I mean we learned maths, biology, chemistry, physics, public speaking, excel sheets and tons and tons in the 3 years course, with around 2 semesters of actual occupational health and safety courses based on one NEBOSH book, which could of been studied and passed in less than six months.

Then on the actual job, we just had to walk around the site with a checklist telling employees to wear their safety helmets and uniform.

But that's in the Middle East, so I don't know about the West. I heard they actually implement their knowledge practically everyday at the job.

Another thing in this part of the world as of 2019, if you don't have a degree you'll basically live under poverty line at jobs with wages that dont even cover your transport. Unless you become a successful business owner and you know how hard that is.
 

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This entire freaking thread is Scripted because you’re all defining “Formal Education” from an Industrialist’s point of view.

A teacher ONLY EXISTS to train you and get you a job, right???

^severe sarcasm

So this whole thread asks “how do we get from point A to point $$$$$ more efficiently? Do we need college to do it?”

Wrong. Wrong!!! So so so freaking wrong.

That premise is fatal!

A real education, a real teacher, is one that connects a person to great minds in Art, Literature, History, Nature, and the ever-changing kaleidoscope we call Science.

Education is a life, an atmosphere, a culture of existence where your heart is changed and challenged; where your soul can soar... not just be shoved into the shape of a cog. It’s NOT “here go do this and make some cash”.

I can learn how to DO almost anything by watching YouTube or researching online but a real education isn’t being a mindless, heartless automaton who just performs a task, a real education from an experienced wiser more mature teacher questions who we are to BE and opens up possibilities for us to LOVE.

You might find a teacher like that in a great college. You might find a great teacher like that in your local library. You might find him sweeping the alleyway like Mr. Miyagi.

You wanna be a leader who shapes the next generation and impacts others and GENUINELY ADDS VALUE? You can’t learn that from just YouTube! You gotta immerse yourself with excellent ideas and find someone who will inspire you with their passion.. oh ffs.

Blah! I’ve been up all night chasing down products on six different apps.. (totes procrastinating from what I’m supposed to be doing I might add) I can’t even make a good sentence right now.. but to dismiss the breadth and width of what a great education is.. that’s just creating more sheep!

Come on. We can do better. This isn’t a question of college or not. It’s the intent behind WHATEVER EDUCATION YOU PURSUE.

Are you going somewhere to gain a job or to enrich your soul? Cuz.. one of those things is NOT like the other.
 

Dan_Cardone

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It is overrated if you expect them to teach you how to make money directly.

But I think college education still have far more good benefits.

1) Network. It is harder to make friends after you leave schools and step out in the working world. I am a financial consultant and my high school and University network forms a good client pool.

2) Ecosystem. Even if you are into doing business if you go to a good school you are more likely to find capable business partners. A good school with alumni entrepreneurs give you good connection on business network and potential fundings. There is a reason why so many ultra successful entrepreneurs drop out from top tier schools not average schools. They managed to find enough resources there while being in the school.

3) Critical thinking ability- It is very easy to get sucked into the guru worship crap while navigating alone in the cyber space for business and life advice. Tertiary institutions teach you that.
I somewhat agree on #1.

I think the problem isn't that schools make it easy to network (they do), but that people are horrible at networking in general. In today's hyper connected world its super easy to meet and network with people but few people take the time to understand how.

Going to a university almost "forces" a person to interact with others which is why they always find networking easier there. I tell everyone, school or no school, make it a goal to reach out to five people a week who can help you in some way. Find a way to also provide value to them and in no time a large network will be formed.

Agree on #2.

Strongly disagree on #3. Have you seen the majority of kids in college (or freshly graduated) lately? Bunch of sheep! Thats all I'll say about that...
 

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