Archives For Alternatives to College

Will the next generations throw their hats?

My son just turned 1 this week and I’m not sending him to college, unless he insists on going (but he better have a good reason).

Why should I? Why should I pay for a degree that he’ll never use anyway? This info on college grads extracted from the Bureau of Labor Statistics might shock you:

“Over 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees (over 8,000 of them have doctoral or professional degrees), along with over 80,000 bartenders, and over 18,000 parking lot attendants. All told, some 17,000,000 Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that the BLS says require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.”

Unless you “know” that you want to be in a very specific profession at an early age, there is an argument against even attending college. There is so much college debt associated with a degree that it will be a burden on him (Relax grandparents, I am saving for his college, should it be a necessity). I figured out how to saving using these college savings calculators.

There are so many free and inexpensive ways that he’ll be able to learn besides attending college. In 18 years who knows what kind of technologies will exists to gain information?

Here are some current ways you can learn and ideas that I have for teaching. This could be the expansion of the homeschooling movement. Why not play a part in their learning when they leave the nest? [Yes, I realize that much maturing can and needs to occur through the college years, but why pay $10,000 a year for maturity]

Try a combo of the following instead of that Bachelors of Arts in Sociology (which will get you nowhere).

  1. Ted Talks- You think the professors at STATE U are the best in the world? Probably not, try Ted Talks instead from the leading thinkers of the day.
  2. Free talks from Leading universities. Again, free courses from leading universities.
  3. Travel the U.S. working part time and learning new languages. Live in L.A. to learn Spanish, San Francisco to learn Cantonese and NY or L.A. to learn Mandarin.
  4. Personal Coaching- Want to learn to cook or start a business? Get a coach!
  5. Start a business- Here is my favorite idea. Use some of that college money that is saved up to start a business and pay for professional consulting and coaching. Just think about all the leadership and life lessons he’ll learn by starting a business around his passions and getting support in doing that? Isn’t that what most of us end up doing anyway at some point in life? 600,000 small businesses are started each year according to the S.B.A. Here is some of what you’ll learn:
  • Marketing- Blogging ,emails, tweeting 101, Google holograms (its in the future right?) Adsense 101, and newsletters.
  • Graphic Design: Website design, printing design, logo design.
  • Accounting-Quickbooks, Budgeting, Paypal, Square, cash-flow, meeting payroll every week.
  • Sales- Every job in the future will involve sales and negotiating. Start now.
  • Managing & HR: Recruiting, hiring, firing, writing job descriptions.
  • Leadership: Motiving, visioning, inspiring, training, writing business plans.
  • Operations: Shipping, logistics, and basic business functions.

Starting a businesswill basically teach our little sapling about life and following his dreams. Why wait till you’re 33 to  do something that you love when you could start when you’re younger? If you still aren’t doing what you love, try No More Mondays by Dan Miller (Amazon Affiliate Link).

This plan of course might change in the next 18 years and of course has to get approval from my wife, but it seems that the ivory towers of education are becoming less useful as time goes on, especially if you go without a purpose in mind.

Still want to send your kid to college so they can be a barista at the local coffee shop? Why?

(Photo by Kurichan+)