Ok, so the title is inflammatory and over the top and may not necessarily be true. Maybe I should call it, “Why College Needs to Be Rethought by Just About Everybody” or “College: The Fast Fading Frontier.” The point is that many of us need to take a good hard look about whether or not college is actually the right choice.
And why is that?
Because of this. I could really end this blog right here, because that’s enough reason for anyone to second guess the traditional college path. You have to pay a fortune for that education and the fact is, there are so many other things that money could go towards.
Society tells us that a college education is necessary to get a good job and succeed in life. Cultural pressures push us towards going to college, getting a degree, and landing a good paying job. But at what cost are we to pursue such a thing? Average student debt is somewhere between $24,000 and $26,000 per borrower (Source). That can take years to pay off depending on the economy, your ability to get a good paying job, and your willingness to put off other economic goals (such as marriage or buying a home. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that, ” In 2011, first-time home buyers, with a median age of 31, fell to the smallest percentage of total home purchasers since 2006 (Source).”)
Don’t get me wrong; it’s extremely important to get an education because your opportunities in life are very limited if you don’t have a working knowledge of the world around you. Education sharpens and develops your skills. But education doesn’t necessarily happen in the classroom, and it’s time to challenge the mantra that going to college is the most effective, most efficient use of your time and money.
If you’re going to college, you really need to make a choice: are you going to get an education so you can be a well-rounded individual with a background in liberal arts? Or do you want to get a job? If the answer is, “get a job,” then you’re probably better suited by skipping the college scene and getting some experience in “the real world.” Aside from doctors, lawyers, and the majority of science and mathematics majors, college can end up being a massive waste of time. (Especially since you’re forced to spend time on that notorious thief of time and treasure we call “general education requirements”.)
As you can clearly see, I’m tremendously biased against what I see as an archaic institution that’s outrageously expensive and designed to equip a generation of the past. That being said, in the spirit of disclaimers, I am working towards a degree using an online program called CollegePlus, whereby I skip the bureaucracy, reduce the time, and cut the cost. I do so only because I have been blessed by God to be able to work through paying for such a degree out of my own pocket. If I wasn’t so blessed, I would forget the degree altogether.
What are your thoughts? Am I too harsh? Not harsh enough?