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HOT TOPIC What is your life like without a college degree?

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OscarDeuce

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uccessful tech founders tend to have MS degrees. A lot of the stuff I see about business owners is skewed by slowlane businesses and matches the genpop, but Tom Stanley's Millionaire Mind about decamillionaires also found higher than average education levels across all industries. Is the education the cause, or is it just the type of person that tends to get more education tends to also be more disciplined and go after business harder? Don't know...

May be true if you're talking strictly about high tech, but I see little real world evidence to back it up. I know a fairly high proportion of multi-millionaires and a billionaire or two (including names that get dropped here occasionally) pretty well, as in hang out and get drunk together well. My survey doesn't come up with may college degrees. I'd also argue that just because a business isn't high tech, it isn't necessarily "slow lane," particularly if it makes one a "decamillionaire." Some of my friends made their money selling shoes, painting lines down the middle of highways, just plain hustling, or, wait for it...writing a specialized computer program without a degree (is that even legal?). Some never finished grade school, one made it after serving a 10 year prison sentence. The point is, there are an infinite number of ways to become successful in whatever way you want to define it. What matters most is the willingness to take action and accept risk, and I'm not convinced either of those attributes come from a college degree.

Cheers,
O-2
 

Bouncing Soul

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@OscarDeuce - I agree with your last sentences in general.

My personal experience also includes lots of millionaires and entrepreneurs, and only 1 totally skipped college. That family was so frugal they even made their own clothes and used the money clawed and saved from shitty menial jobs to get going in real estate investing which finally made them rich in their later 40's. They were militant about the need to go to college with their kids (and me), BTW.

(EDIT- trying to be accurate here...one of the self taught engineers I mentioned in an earlier post made a couple million off stock options as an employee before I met him...but he was not an entrepreneur by any stretch, and his kids all attended prestigious schools too)

I mention Tom Stanley's research for the simple fact I trust it more than my own experience in some ways, his sample set is much larger, and geographically distributed. Also, many of the most successful business owners I personally know are adamant about their kids going to college, which matched Stanley's findings. Stanley does point out some things that are kind of interesting, like wealthy people tend to tell their kids to get MD or JD degrees because at least they can always get paid for their hard work, yet those degrees don't correlate too well with building big weatlh. He also points out if you remove doctor and lawyer millionaires, the 2.8GPA kids tend to create more wealth than the 4.0 kids for themselves. My experience also matches these sort of things.

My experience is the prevailing attitude among successful fastlane entrepreneurs on the forum doesn't match that of the ones I know in the real world on this topic, and interestingly, only this topic is there this disconnect. I really don't know why that is. (Survivorship bias maybe?) I do certainly agree not one path serves all entrepreneurs, or argue that lacking a degree will necessarily hold you back in your business.
 
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Bouncing Soul

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Also- my dad didn't get a college degree and has been a business owner my whole life.
 

BlakeRVA

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I would like to quickly interject and reiterate that this is not the place to be discussing the value of higher education or whether or not it is the right path for the aspiring entrepreneur. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading some of the stories and perspectives offered by posters here thus far and would like to continue down that path. If you wish to continue this discussion, please do so through a private message. Thanks!
 

PedroG

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Universities today are much better places for entrepreneurs

The Master's in Computer Science that I'll be finishing before doing my MBA has an Entrepreneurship option. If you choose to do a thesis, it's basically starting a business from scratch, including all the market research and product prototype, which is kinda cool.
 

eliquid

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Questions for anyone:
- Did you find it difficult to find high paying work without a degree?
I pulled this from Wikipedia, but the average income for someone with a HS education was $31,539
The average bach. degree salary was $50,944
The average masters was $61,273

I have some college ( about 1.5 years worth ) and I routinely made $60k+ salaried jobs without a degree at all. I topped out at $85k before I got into self-employment.

Not having a degree didn't effect my income and it looks like I did same or better compared to those with a degree ( on average ).
- Do you feel you would have had more opportunities if you had a college degree?
Only those opportunities that didn't matter, like where people judge you based on a paper rather then your skills. I am not a people person, so all those "networking" things college people brag about wouldn't have helped me either. I'd rather not get a job just because I knew someone from my dorm anyways. I'd like to think my success actually came from me and my efforts, not someone I bunked with 20 years ago or their rich dad who gave me a leg up because we knew each other from Political Science class.
- If you are a business owner, did you have any trouble receiving loans from investors or banks?
Never.
- If you could, would you go back to school, if so, why?
I'd go back if the gov. wants to pay for it and will also run my business for me. Otherwise, why waste the time? I can learn what I want from books and hiring others ( cheaper than college ) who are smarter than me with real world use cases in a faster time frame.
- Do you feel you have had to work harder because you do not possess a degree?
Upfront, yes. I had to "earn my keep" more upfront than some kids off the street with the paper. Otherwise, no.

Questions for drop outs:
- If you dropped out, how far along were you and why?
I was 1.5 years in. I couldn't afford it on my own being middle class and not a minority. I paid for everything myself. I could only get a Hope Credit back then and possibly a Pell Grant. Scholarships seemed limited and the University I applied to for the start of my 3rd year rejected me due to too many applicants had already applied for their small program I was wanting to be in ( architecture ). No help with cost of college and limited options for remaining schools left a sour taste in my mouth.
- Do you regret not finishing?
At first, yes. I felt I had failed and would never amount to anything. It was years later I realized I was wrong thinking that way.
- What did you do after you left school?
Worked in a warehouse. Took any and all jobs I could, but at least I wasn't saddled with college debt from loans.
- What was your initial reason for attending college?
I thought I needed it. I was the first in my family to even attend.
 

Tyler Ellison

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I think this is a great thread and it's great to compare experiences.

Did you find it difficult to find high paying work without a degree?

Not in my case because I taught myself SEO & marketing on the internet and was never hard up because I landed a major client early and was well paid to work from home. Probably too well paid, it really killed my drive to have that security and I became complacent. I always paid bills on time and had enough fun, but it slowed my overall business progress in some ways to be 'too well paid' early on.

Do you feel you would have had more opportunities if you had a college degree?

Not in my field of interest, professionally. Halfway through college I concluded I wasn't really there to prepare for a career and I was there to learn what I actually wanted to know, hence my major field of study: Portuguese.

If you are a business owner, did you have any trouble receiving loans from investors or banks?

Yes, but not because of college, it was lack of evidence of dependable income, and lack of a 'business plan'. I had enough limit on credit cards to pay for anything I ever needed to work with since my kind of work is low-cost to entry.

If you could, would you go back to school, if so, why?

I'm thinking about it, because I actually have less than a full semester of classes left to finish, and I enjoy my field of study. It would be for personal growth and fun, not for business or a career, and I don't like leaving things unfinished.

Do you feel you have had to work harder because you do not possess a degree?

NOPE! Hard work is everywhere, my father taught me a good work ethic. I would have worked hard wherever I landed.

If you dropped out, how far along were you and why?

I only had one semester left, but I fell in love and got married. That became my primary drive to do business on my own. I wanted to be able to provide a decent life for my wife and kids. The college and degree wasn't going to really help me get there, so it felt like putting life on hold at that point. I wanted to live, not wait to live.

Do you regret not finishing?

No, because one more semester of college to put off my life wouldn't have been worth it. I'm planning on finishing remotely anyway and even worked it out with the university. Just waiting for the right moment now.

What did you do after you left school?

Moved to South America, got married, and started taking on SEO clients since I'd done such awesome work doing SEO for a local company. I got more serious into things like copywriting, and dabbled in a lot of personal projects. I hit a point after several years that I wanted to move onto other things so I took on virtual assistant work for low pay just to work with the kinds of companies I wanted to own and the people I wanted to know. It was a great experience and help propel me to the next level. Now I do paid advertising across many different networks as an affiliate and in partnership with some ad agencies, all performance pay.

What was your initial reason for attending college?

Ha, I thought I wanted to be a teacher at the time. My family calls it the 'poverty-seeking gene' since most of my family are teachers. I saw that really wasn't what I wanted and then looked into law, but then I realized I didn't care if college got me into a career and just started studying what I wanted to.
 

iAmAttila

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Im debt free. Make 7 figures a year and own multiple houses and dream cars. Could retire now. But im an entrepeneur at heart and will probably die working on what i am passionate about at that time
 

akbigdog

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Attended college because it's what I was supposed to do. No other reason. I knew I did NOT want To work construction like the rest of my family, but didn't know specifically what I DID want to do. Originally signed up for computer science program in college. Dropped out after three semesters. Got job managing local newspaper website. Started web design business on the side a couple of years later. Was acquired by branding agency, became CTO. Sold partner stake. Wasn't sure what was next. Sucked into corporate J.O.B. (Aimlessness is bad.) Got laid off. Got another job. Got laid off again. It sucks. Screw corporate. Went rogue. Marketing consulting now. Ongoing full-time retainer. Working from home. Better than job, but still very much slow lane, albeit relatively high-paid slow lane. Also do project-based marketing consulting. Higher paid, but still requires my involvement. Have hired several sub-contractors to fulfill contract deliverables. Still, looking for better setup. Dabbled in day trading in crypto markets. Yikes. Have open positions in private equity deals. Probably gonna lose on some or most of those. Looking at import business and building brands around successful products. Also have a fledgling A/V company that has organically grown over past couple of years and is promising. Have some contacts to get "small" projects from A/V company that does Grammies and Apple events. Thinking about pursuing this avenue.

In short, I don't feel the slightest bit limited by having NOT graduated college. My mom still to this day argues with me about it and says I should have finished. She says the only reason I do "so well" is that I'm smart. I tell her thanks but there are plenty of smart people out there and that college is a scam. I think she's just insecure because she didn't graduate herself.

Kinda funny actually: having interviewed for many senior-level corporate positions (SVP Marketing, CMO, head of marketing, etc), nobody freakin asks about your education. Full disclosure: I have an ambiguous notation under Education on my resume: undergraduate. Technically, it means I still am an undergraduate, but interviewers (incorrectly) assume it means I graduated, so they don't even ask. Ha, joke's on them.

Any more, I feel like a masters degree is the new bachelors. I call it education inflation. The minimum required education for even menial jobs is rising over time. It's one of the biggest rackets in this country. Case in point: I spoke yesterday with a former colleague (who I'm helping to start his own business, yes!!) who is trying to get a corporate job to pay the bills while he grows the business. He said he's interviewing for jobs to run call centers—that's what he does—and he's interviewing against MIT grads. Are you freaking kidding me? You graduate from freakin MIT to run a call center? Education inflation.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

The Grind

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I get to watch people years younger than me with nice 60k a year jobs....

Partying after work..

Buying nice cars, Buying nice houses..

Being able to buy food..

Being able to afford to go out on a date..

Not living in the hood..

Being happy that theyre "making it"

While I didn't go to college...and make 9/hour.

It's fun.
 

DaRK9

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3 months in.
Nope.
Web design then became a bartender.
Parents.

Life is great. I work nights, get to have loads of fun, make drinks and meet new (generally rich, lot of 30k millies mixed in) people all night.

And even with slow days so far I've averaged around $33 an hour this month.
 

Michael W.

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Wife just got promoted. Got a nice raise. Making about 60k now, no degree in the medical field. Not sales either. Not fast lane but not poor house either. Just told she will have a whole department under her in the coming months. I'd guess around 65-70k by mid year. Not bad for no college. I did the same although I was a tad but younger. Let me say that an extra 70k plus benefits doesn't hurt.
 

DaRK9

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@DaRK9 How did / do you get started bartending? It's something I might want to do. Advice would be greatly appreciated!
Bar-back, but act like you are an apprentice, not just a barback. Learn all you can, bust your a$$. Ask questions. But not when busy. Always be thinking ahead. If you see something, DO something, not say.

Don't worry about "bartending schools" or any of that BS. It's fine to read up on the history and types of alcohols, beers, liquors.

Looked up barback and saw this. Actually pretty close.
https://www.reddit.com/r/bartenders/comments/2axfbe/how_to_barback_for_beginners/

Some bartenders are dicks to the backs, don't let it bother you. Get a cheap bar kit from Amazon.

Let me know if you pursue this and I can give you more tips.
 

GMJimmy

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Hi All,

Can reflect on both sides. I have a college degree, and I had a life before college degree too.

I worked besides school since I was 12, and I graduated when I was 27. That's 15 years of work and life without a college degree.

When I was 12-15 I took mainly physical jobs, on construction yards, scrapyards, recycle plants, carwashes on weekends and during holidays. It started to change at around 14 when I met a businessman and I don't know how and why but I ended up making marketing campaigns for him (he had a small retail store where he sold chinese crap and counterfeit clothes). It was in 1994, no internet etc. I came up with a brave idea like 'everything for 1cent', designed their flyers, photocopied 5000x and asked friends to distribute on the weekend. On next monday an extreme long queue was waiting for the shop to open. Success. In advance I asked for about 2weeks salary for this which seemed a huge money to me especially because it didn't feel like work and I was ready in an afternoon, and he was more than happy to pay. And it was a returning business. Then I knew there's an easy way to make money.

Unfortunately he was jailed soon after (not because of this but he was a really shady guy), and at the same time our family became really poor and had to move to the coutryside. I had to work my way up again.

Because I had these experience of hard money vs easy money, I was not only looking for ways to make more money, but to make it with the least effort. For years I was working in contractor-type works (but with no contract). I could always find something so I cant say that it was hard but even during work I was looking for ways out of the rat race. I saw 2 ways and I was walking both pathways: to get better jobs with better salary, and to look for the easy big money. I was continuously learning, not just in school, but developing my money-making skills (I dont say business-skills because some were not business related, but i.e. learning typewriting or photoshop). By the age of 18 I was making 2-3 times the monthly minimum wage, plus going to school. I worked about 20 hours a week.

By that time I already had good connections with several businesses and businessmen, other contractors etc. I had an established reputation and could easily grow. Lack of college degree was not a limitation. I was always helping out my clients with my work and ideas, and I was always happy to chat with them about their business, business challenges and posible solutions, plans etc. I could have charged for these as 'consultations' but I respected them more and with most of them I made friedships: and you don't ask money from your friends to talk to them :)

I decided to go to university for 2 reasons:
1: I knew I can work and learn at the same time. That was my lifestyle for years so that was quite normal to me.
2: I had a feeling that without a degree I may not reach my full potential. And I was sure that I would regret it later if I don't go to college.

Being a college student let me raise my wages as well, and also I was continuously incorporating my new knowledge into my work. It opened up new possibilities. By the end of the college in an average month I made about 10x the national minimum wage, by 20-30 hours of weekly work.

After graduation I was offered a full time job by one of my clients. Good money, easy job for me.

So I think if you are a contractor or businessman, a college may not help you more than the same time allocated to personal and business development, networking, finding lifelong clients etc. But it depends, no two situations are the same.

I feel it easier to get a higher paying job, and it opens many doors as well.

But if you are going for fastlane, you need to decide whether it's part of your plan and your vehicle.

To me, a college degree in itself is just +30 mph in the slowlane:

That may be enough to keep you there forever (good job, comfortable enough life etc).

But maybe an exit to the fastlane as well if you use that acceleration and make it a business.
 

SteveO

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I get to watch people years younger than me with nice 60k a year jobs....

Partying after work..

Buying nice cars, Buying nice houses..

Being able to buy food..

Being able to afford to go out on a date..

Not living in the hood..

Being happy that theyre "making it"

While I didn't go to college...and make 9/hour.

It's fun.
The question is simple. What are you doing about it?
 

Vigilante

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I sit on the sidelines and watch people with college degrees be impressed by other people with college degrees.

Meanwhile, back in reality :

40% +/- of high school graduates never go to any college depending on whose numbers you believe. The real number is probably closer to half.

Of the few less than 1 out of 2 people that attend college, half of them never graduate.

I'm no math major, but that tells me that roughly 1/4 people ever gain a college degree. 75% of people in the United States never get a degree.

Of the 1 out of 4 high school graduates that gain a college degree, 50% of those are employed in in jobs that require no college degree.

So... perception doesn't equal reality.

When you factor the required professions (doctors, lawyers, teachers, and others) in which the credential is mandated... the truth is almost nobody outside of certified, required professions are degreed personnel. The certifications take up most of the 50%-60% of that went to school, the 50% of those that graduated, and the half of that 25% of the population of graduates that are actually working in the area for which they went to school.

Nearly 90 out of every 100 people in the United States have no college degree. They're air traffic controllers, bankers, wall street traders, investors, entrepreneurs... you name it. All neighborhoods, all income groups, and every imaginable cross sector of the economy and demographic is represented. The "uneducated masses" are by far the majority in the United States... by a factor of almost 9-1. There's a better chance that the guy next to you in the Ferrari doesn't have a degree than does. Most of the people with college vocational training end up being employees for someone else.

I forgot your question, but I think it was :

"Why would anyone get a college degree if you didn't need the certification for a specific, licensed profession?"
 
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wade1mil

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I've applied for jobs a few time in the past five years. This may just be my perception because I'm always in a bad mood when I'm looking for jobs, but I'd guess 75% of the jobs that pay more than $40k a year (guaranteed) say a bachelor's degree is required. It makes it pretty tough to afford food when you don't have a degree or friends because you've worked at home the past five years :)

This is from Georgetown, so they may have just made these stats up, but here is what they say (no $40k minimum):
By educational attainment: 35 percent of the job openings will require at least a bachelor's degree, 30 percent of the job openings will require some college or an associate's degree and 36 percent of the job openings will not require education beyond high school.
 

eliquid

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I've applied for jobs a few time in the past five years. This may just be my perception because I'm always in a bad mood when I'm looking for jobs, but I'd guess 75% of the jobs that pay more than $40k a year (guaranteed) say a bachelor's degree is required. It makes it pretty tough to afford food when you don't have a degree or friends because you've worked at home the past five years :)

This is from Georgetown, so they may have just made these stats up, but here is what they say (no $40k minimum):
By educational attainment: 35 percent of the job openings will require at least a bachelor's degree, 30 percent of the job openings will require some college or an associate's degree and 36 percent of the job openings will not require education beyond high school.


I sit on the sidelines and watch people with college degrees be impressed by other people with college degrees.

Meanwhile, back in reality :

40% +/- of high school graduates never go to any college depending on whose numbers you believe. The real number is probably closer to half.

Of the few less than 1 out of 2 people that attend college, half of them never graduate.

I'm no math major, but that tells me that roughly 1/4 people ever gain a college degree. 75% of people in the United States never get a degree.

Of the 1 out of 4 high school graduates that gain a college degree, 50% of those are employed in in jobs that require no college degree.

So... perception doesn't equal reality.

When you factor the required professions (doctors, lawyers, teachers, and others) in which the credential is mandated... the truth is almost nobody outside of certified, required professions are degreed personnel. The certifications take up most of the 50%-60% of that went to school, the 50% of those that graduated, and the half of that 25% of the population of graduates that are actually working in the area for which they went to school.

Nearly 90 out of every 100 people in the United States have no college degree. They're air traffic controllers, bankers, wall street traders, investors, entrepreneurs... you name it. All neighborhoods, all income groups, and every imaginable cross sector of the economy and demographic is represented. The "uneducated masses" are by far the majority in the United States... by a factor of almost 9-1. There's a better chance that the guy next to you in the Ferrari doesn't have a degree than does. Most of the people with college vocational training end up being employees for someone else.

I forgot your question, but I think it was :

"Why would anyone get a college degree if you didn't need the certification for a specific, licensed profession?"


Im really big into this topic bc I have no degree and had to earn my keep against others.

Here is the thing though, I've split tested my resume and linkedin for job offers before and even used a fake person's resume and linkedin to test if a resume with a degree would get me more interviews.

Having college listed in the resume or linkedin got me more interviews. However, once I got the interview up to the hiring process, not 1 single person asked me to prove it or asked me about it past what was just listed on the resume to get me an interview.

I didn't take those positions years ago, but out of all the positions I did take in the past.. not a single one of them checked if I did have a degree.

If I was someone having to get a job and worried about this topic, I'd enroll in a local community college for 1 credit ( you will prob spend no more than $300 doing this ) just so you can put it on the resume legally that you are in college at least AND pursuing a bach/masters. If they run a check, it will show that you are indeed enrolled.
 

PedroG

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I've seen so many people make the huge mistake of not getting their college degree. Unless you already have a fast lane business, I don't recommend skipping college. Of course, college isn't for everyone, but unless you really do have a better plan, get your degree. You can still work on fast lane ideas.

I don't have a fast lane business yet, but for slow lane standards, I'm doing awesome and way better than 100% of the people I know that didn't get a degree. They're always struggling, with roughly the same salary they had 10 years ago. My salary, on the other hand, has increased 140% since I got my very first full time job after graduating 11 years ago, and that starting salary back then was very good.

And one should point out too, that it isn't the degree itself that gets you places. There are many people with degrees that just get by. They get an OK job but lack the intelligence and/or ambition to take it further, so they remain stuck doing "OK" for the rest of their lives.

You can get an education and work on your ultimate goal at the same time.
 

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My friends are so happy they spent 50k on HR degrees as an 18 yr old haha. Really helps them with their jobs in sales today... I bailed out of an accounting degree and traineeship after a year. I took some good experiences out of it, sure, but I always saw there was something extremely weird about accountants working 70 hour weeks for 60k compiling tax returns for banana farmers making hundreds of thousands a year.
 

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I didn't read through the entire thread because i want to post my personal experience without getting biased by reading what every one is saying. I am 28 years old and have never stepped a foot in college for any education.

When i was finishing high school, i had a full time job working as a telemarketer at a call center and i was at the top of the world having started making a fixed salary. Financially, i think i needed the job but in my country you can survive without making money, so i could have chose to just study but anyhow i didn't finish high school and continued to work at my job.

Fast forward 10 years and i am 28 years old and own a call center with a pretty good life and never regret not having a degree, infact i sometimes wonder what a waste of time would that have been if i had started my journey in college education.

here are the questions you asked (Answered)

Questions for anyone:
- Did you find it difficult to find high paying work without a degree?
Never tried, i have only had couple of jobs at call centers and they never care of degree, if you can speak good English and you can some what sell, you are in.

- Do you feel you would have had more opportunities if you had a college degree?
I do not think so, the only opportunities i feel i am missing out is by not having friends i would make at college.

- If you are a business owner, did you have any trouble receiving loans from investors or banks?
Yes and No... when i was 21 and i was working with a banker to get a business loan for $200,000 i was asked straight to my face, how do you think you can repay us back when all you have is couple of years of running a business with no education and lack of management with such education (i only had 5-6 employees back then)

- If you could, would you go back to school, if so, why?

Yes, i want to go to a MBA college for professionals and its primarily because i want to have some fun while i learn something. I know by heart my time would be better spent at work and growing my businesses but i think going through theory classes and getting to see the other side of learning won't hurt. Plus, i expect to network with alot of good people and eventually hire the top kids in my class.

- Do you feel you have had to work harder because you do not possess a degree?

No, absolutely Not.

Questions for drop outs:
- If you dropped out, how far along were you and why?
Never even completed high school... College and schooling looked to boring compared to real money i was making at job

- Do you regret not finishing?
Not at all.

- What did you do after you left school?
Starting working from home selling mortgage leads to mortgage brokers, generated by cold calling (finger dialing, no dialers back then)

- What was your initial reason for attending college?
Never even started.
 

EvanOkanagan

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Drop out here!

Questions for drop outs:
- If you dropped out, how far along were you and why?
- Do you regret not finishing?
- What did you do after you left school?
- What was your initial reason for attending college?

1. I was about 3 years into it...

I would go home and study these books in my curriculum... Then I would read my own books: biographies, self-development books, Real Estate, etc. I found myself far more intrigued and focused on the latter. All of these books were giving me the message I was meant for more than what I was being trained for... so I left.

2. Not at all! I could say I regret starting, however, it led me to where I am today... so no regrets ;)

3. After I left school I went through a bit of a trial and error period. I was deep into self development books and working horrible jobs (cheese-plant cleaner, mould restoration, ice cream truck driver lol)...

Then I got into sales and my life changed. The more I learned, the more I earned. I only made about 20k the first year... then about 60... then over 100... and never looked back since. My sales skills got me a great reputation and I could work practically anywhere.

I eventually got my Real Estate License and became a Realtor... I still consider it my slowlane "job" (though the income is very good) so I started investing in Real Estate. I could now leave my job and live decently off of my investment income. I quite enjoy it though and only work about 20-30 hours per week making more than I ever have so I'll stay for a while.

4. Mostly family influence. My grandfather was a huge fan of the college I went to and my Dad always egged me on to go to College.

----

Overall college was a good experience. It helped me decide that I didn't want to go to college!
 

Vigilante

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I've seen so many people make the huge mistake of not getting their college degree. Unless you already have a fast lane business, I don't recommend skipping college. Of course, college isn't for everyone, but unless you really do have a better plan, get your degree. You can still work on fast lane ideas.

I don't have a fast lane business yet, but for slow lane standards, I'm doing awesome and way better than 100% of the people I know that didn't get a degree. They're always struggling, with roughly the same salary they had 10 years ago. My salary, on the other hand, has increased 140% since I got my very first full time job after graduating 11 years ago, and that starting salary back then was very good.

And one should point out too, that it isn't the degree itself that gets you places. There are many people with degrees that just get by. They get an OK job but lack the intelligence and/or ambition to take it further, so they remain stuck doing "OK" for the rest of their lives.

You can get an education and work on your ultimate goal at the same time.

Have you ever run the calculation on your break even point? Typically it's around a dozen years. By breakeven point I am talking about people that went straight into the workforce, have four years of earnings ahead of you, and spent zero on a college education.

On average, most college graduate without specified certification degrees are working in careers that don't require a degree. As a result, even if they start with a higher base salary (which is debatable) they have a four year earnings gap with annual increases to close, before accounting for four or five years of school, expenses, textbooks, and room and board.

Sometimes things aren't always what they seem. You might not realize how much that beer pong actually cost you.


If you spend $160,000 on your degree, while your "non-educated" peer went straight into the workforce making $40,000 a year, you have a $320,000 deficit to make up before you reach a breaking even point. Assumes you graduate in four years, which most don't. Chances are the earnings gap is higher.

Most never do. You have to make the difference up only between your salary and the gap to your "uneducated peer" salary. Even if the earnings gap is $10,000 a year, it's going to take you 32 years to close the gap.

And, if you haven't figured it out yet… The $1 million earnings gap promoted by academia itself is bullshit with no statistics to back it up.
 
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eekern

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I have a bachelor degree in "leadership". We all know in 2015 that you can learn leadership from theory, all the "leader jobs" I applied too told me I lack experience. hehe

Now I work for myself and would sell my diploma for 100$ any day (cost me over $50K in debt)
 
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Vigilante

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I have a bachelor degree in "leadership". We all know in 2015 that you can learn leadership from theory, all the "leader jobs" I applied too told me I lack experience. hehe

Now I work for myself and would sell my diploma for 100$ any day (cost me over $50K in debt)

You have to add to what it cost you all of your expenses, and what you missed in earnings while you were sitting in class.
 

eekern

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You have to add to what it cost you all of your expenses, and what you missed in earnings while you were sitting in class.

Don`t even get me started, it`s the biggest regrets of my life..

I wish the universe had showed me TMF before, then I would never made that decision.
 

Impressive M

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Have you ever run the calculation on your break even point? Typically it's around a dozen years. By breakeven point I am talking about people that went straight into the workforce, have four years of earnings ahead of you, and spent zero on a college education.

On average, most college graduate without specified certification degrees are working in careers that don't require a degree. As a result, even if they start with a higher base salary (which is debatable) they have a four year earnings gap with annual increases to close, before accounting for four or five years of school, expenses, textbooks, and room and board.

Sometimes things aren't always what they seem.

If you spend $160,000 on your degree, while your "non-educated" peer went straight into the workforce making $40,000 a year, you have a $320,000 deficit to make up before you reach a breaking even point. Assumes you graduate in four years, which most don't. Chances are the earnings gap is higher.

Most never do. You have to make the difference up only between your salary and the gap to your "uneducated peer" salary. Even if the earnings gap is $10,000 a year, it's going to take you 32 years to close the gap.

I agree with everything you have said a 100% and want to add a little something here:

Above and beyond the break even point, you will also have to consider the fact that the person who is "non-educated" probably has more experience than your "educated" peer. I mean, 4 years at a full time job beats 4 years in college anyday when it comes to life experience. Imagine 2 friends starting their lives when they are both 24, 1 has 4 years of college education and other has 4 years of full time job with a good track record. Is the friend with college education gonna run so fast now that the experience, track record, credit history of other friend is all not going to measure up?
 

eekern

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I agree with everything you have said a 100% and want to add a little something here:

Above and beyond the break even point, you will also have to consider the fact that the person who is "non-educated" probably has more experience than your "educated" peer. I mean, 4 years at a full time job beats 4 years in college anyday when it comes to life experience. Imagine 2 friends starting their lives when they are both 24, 1 has 4 years of college education and other has 4 years of full time job with a good track record. Is the friend with college education gonna run so fast now that the experience, track record, credit history of other friend is all not going to measure up?

Good question, and I don`t have the answer. But I do know that:

1. The school guy will have a mindset of: "failing is bad" / "only one right answer"
2. The work guy will have the mindset that: "if I want something I have to work for it" / "there is no right answer, I have to find my approach"

I would put my money on the second mindset...
 

Blue1214

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If you know how to teach yourself skills and are motivated, you don't need college.

If you are the type to sit and wait to be taught, you will definitely need college to get by in life.

If you know your stuff in any given field and can show results, no one cares if you went to college.

---Obviously except for those select fields where it is absolutely mandatory, like doctor or lawyer.
 

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