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The definite answer to whether you should study at university

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monfii

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Should you study at university?

It's a recurrent question on this forum. In this post, I'll try to help you out.

#1: What is university?

Strictly speaking, university is the place where you go learn stuff. In pre-internet era, it was very convenient to go there as getting knowledge was tedious. You'd have to go to a library and start looking for things in books yourself. Google wasn't there to give instant answers to your questions. Udemy didn't exist either.

As such, if you hoped to learn, university was the right place to go to.

But times have changed. Universities no longer have the monopoly on knowledge. Peter Thiel observed that people gave university four different functions.

  1. It's a consumption product: a giant party where you do nothing besides drinking for four years.
  2. It's an investment product: it's a way to raise your own quality so that you raise your salary and can recoup your investment
  3. It's an insurance product: going to university will help you get a good job to avoid falling into the cracks of society
  4. It's an endless competition (what Thiel thinks university actually is): it's a place where great minds compete to become management consultants and investment bankers instead of changing the world as they had originally intended.
To me, university is a time of your life during which you have the occasion to shape a tool (knowledge and experience) that will help you out in the future.

Is university the only place to get knowledge and experience though? Hell no.
Is university the cheapest and best way to get knowledge and experience? Nope.
Is university teaching you things you can only learn there? No (well, depends, more on that below).

However, you do have the benefits to get professors' feedback on your work, which ensures that you improve the skills you are learning (this can also be acquired through getting customers). University also provides you with a "sandbox", a place where you can test stuff and make mistakes that don't have consequences in the real world.

I'll be honest with you. If you hope to go to university to learn, you will be disappointed. To really learn something at university, you have to get into the top universities in the world. It's the only place where knowledge is worth it. The rest is a waste of time. When it comes to getting knowledge, Google is your best friend.

Here's a list of fourteen places where you can learn valuable knowledge for free, or almost free.

  1. Khan Academy
  2. Udemy
  3. Teachable
  4. Skillshare
  5. Coursera
  6. Edx
  7. Udacity
  8. Codecademy
  9. Simplilearn
  10. W3schools
  11. Lynda (Linkedin)
  12. Youtube
  13. Google Certificates
  14. Amazon Certificates
I am sure there are many more. Universities as knowledge centers are outdated. Companies are now the ones at the frontline of innovation, and they are slowly replacing universities.

Going to university depends therefore on what you want to do with your life.

#2. What do you want to do with your life?

Since you are here, we'll have to assume you want to build a fastlane business. Is university mandatory to build a fastlane business? No, unless:

  1. the country you live in requires you to have a university diploma to start a company.
  2. you want to build a fastlane business in sectors where getting a degree is mandatory, like the medical sector, accountancy, law, etc. However, mind that there are ways around it. Sometimes you can do an internship and get the paper you need to get started. You can also partner up with someone that has the qualification you do not have and split the shares of the company 50/50.
These are the two strongest "technical" reasons for you to go to university.

So let's have a look at why else you think you would need to go there.

Want to learn? No need to go to university as we outlined above.
Want to party? Just move to Europe or Asia for a year. You ll have the benefit to learn a language on top of that.
Want to secure a job? Fewer and fewer companies are looking at your diploma. Furthermore, looking at a diploma only happen for your first job. Experience and skillset are what matter most afterward.
Want to get into debt? Buy an apartment.
Want to meet people? Join events, masterminds, conferences, forums, do an internship, or travel
Want to chill for three-four years? Yes, then going to university might be for you. Study communication, art history, social sciences, or gender studies, it will be easy. But don't come to complain once no one hires your a$$ afterward.

Conclusion

Am I against universities? No. I am in fact in the fastlane because I want to make enough money to be able to go back to university, and study and write there until I die.

However, I am immensely disappointed in universities because they didn't teach me anything I wouldn't have been able to learn myself. As such, I feel I have wasted five years of my life when I could have taken this time to build a fastlane business instead.

The only positive experience I got was doing an exchange in one of the best universities in the world, where professors tell you about the dinner they had with the prime minister yesterday. That's when I felt getting to the top of society was possible, because these people weren't any more different than I was. They were just harder working, and more confident (nothing I couldn't become myself).

The bottom line is this:
if you want to be rich as fast as possible, skip university.
If you want to learn how to code, skip university. You'll do it better and faster by yourself.
If you want to learn business, just build a business. Studying business is useless (I know, I did it).
If you want to party, skip university (cost isn't worth it).

BUT
If you want to learn STEM, university may be good for you (because it's harder to learn by yourself).
If you want to give yourself some time and test out different stuff, try university (as long as it's not putting you into monstruous debt).
If you feel it's an experience you have to go through, try it. But remain open to the idea of quitting.

What if you don't have a choice?

Sometimes, your parents force you to go and there is nothing you can do against it.
Here's what I would do then:

1. Choose a useful degree, something that gives you an edge, such as the possibility to start companies others can't (real estate, insurance, law to become a notary, or accounting to become an expert-accountant), or something that is giving you great skills to solve problems and start companies (engineering mainly).
2. Go study abroad in a foreign language: it will most likely be cheaper and you will 10X your results. My favorite countries to study in are: Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Poland (don't study in Polish though). Find out how to do so here: How to study debt free, expand your mind and gain international experience

Universities were dying. The pandemic only accelerated their death.

Don't go there unless you have an actual reason to. I went there because I didn't know what else to do. Had I looked for an answer to that question instead of looking for which useless degree I was going to study, I wouldn't have wasted five years of my life.

Monfii
 

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