More Reasons To NOT Go To College

At one point in society, college was a worthwhile endeavor that served a real purpose. Today you pay annual double-digit increases in tuition to take classes about Spider-Man, just to have an over 40% chance of dropping out before getting a diploma and having a 52% chance of moving back in with mommy and daddy once you get your diploma. Not to mention having a diploma representative of everything real-world employers don’t want.

This is insanity folks. You’ve got to man-up and say no to this system.

By the way, this is nothing new. When I was 23 years old I had an 8th-grade class reunion. I was shocked to hear many of the other 23 year-olds there say things like “Well, I got a degree in psychology! Now I moved back home with my parents while I figure out what to do with it. Haha!”  Because I had never been to college and went to work in the corporate world instead, while these college “educated” kids were sitting at home, I already had four years of real-world work experience on my resume.

Who do you think was making more money? Who do you think was happier? Who do you think ended up making more money in the long run? Who do you think had less debt?

I don’t have to answer any of those questions because you already know.

In the modern era, for the vast majority of people, including very smart people, college sucks. Yes, it probably was great back in the 1950’s. It’s not the 1950’s any more.

A better way to start life in the real world is to get an entry level job right out of high school at a large company in a growth industry, learn the ropes for a few years, ideally getting into the tech areas or marketing or sales, then ideally either start your own business once you’re ready (best) or network hard and move laterally to other companies every few years to continually boost your income (second-best).

“But statistics show people who go to college make more money and are unemployed less often!”

Vox Day published a great article here about why the “statistically you’ll make more money if you go to college” argument is complete and utter BS. Mainly because smarter, more motivated people tend to go to college and dumber, less motivated people tend to not. It’s not the college degree that makes the difference, it’s the type of people who go to college in the first place. He lists other reasons like the fact that these stats don’t account for the fact that 40% (at least!) of people who go to college don’t graduate. I won’t rehash the rest of the article here. Read it for yourself.

While I agree with the article, my take is a little different. One of the biggest problems with college is that it’s not a free market system.

I’ll use an example in another area. Why is health insurance in the US so expensive?  There are many reasons, but one one of the big ones is that because of governmental mandates, a healthy 22 year-old man who buys health insurance must have a policy that is expensive enough to pay for autsim, pregnancy, childbirth, mammograms, breast cancer, and a variety of other crap he doesn’t ever need to worry about.  If we had a free market system in healthcare, which we are not allowed to have, a 22 year-old man would pay for exactly the type of healthcare he wants or needs.  Since the liberals and conservatives don’t think that’s “fair”, he is forced to pay the healthcare costs for women who choose to have babies (for example), thus his premiums are fucking outrageous, and he’s unable to afford them.  To make matters worse, if he’s not a deep thinker, he will protest and ask the government to pay for his health insurance instead of asking the government to stop forcing him to pay for other people’s mammograms, which would be far easier, far less expensive, make way more sense, and accomplish the exact same thing.

I don’t want to get into a debate about healthcare. It’s a stupid debate anyway. My point here is college works the exact same way. That’s why it’s become so damn expensive. A guy pursuing an English major in college is not nearly as expensive for the college as a guy pursuing a hard science or engineering degree.  A secret joke inside college circles is that the English majors pay for the engineering majors.  That’s because the English majors pay the same college tuition costs as engineering majors even though it’s way more expensive to train an engineering major.  Which is, of course, an insane rip-off.  If college in the US was a free market system, which it is not allowed to be, English majors would pay one price for college, computer science majors would pay another, and engineering majors would pay another.  But again, that would not be “fair”, so the English majors (and the pyschology majors and the business majors, etc) all get ripped off. Badly. Add to that the fact that the government is willing to loan money to anyone for any reason to take stupid college courses, so now the colleges can teach all the stupid crap they want and they know they’ll get paid anyway. So of course they’re going to jack the prices up! Why not?

Just like healthcare in the US, college is designed to be overly expensive.

This is what happens in non-free-market, quasi-governmental systems. Everything starts out fine, then things get more and more expensive, more and more bureaucratic, and of course, instead of blaming the college system which is ripping them off, students get pissed that the government isn’t helping them pay more of their insane, rip-off college costs (that just end up in the pockets over overpaid college administrators, by the way).

Getting ripped off by college administrators to go $100,000 into debt to learn stupid shit the marketplace doesn’t care about is not the answer. There’s a better way.

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  • Anonymous
    Posted at 04:08 pm, 3rd July 2014

    Wish articles and sites like these existed some 17 years ago, when I was just first starting college. It took an education outside of college, on my own cognizance, to realize this. Things, such as the college training I had as an engineer, only to find out that I am basically an expendable commodity, ready to be disposed of as soon as I am old and worn, and that I am just contributing to the slave labor force (legalized of course) in the form of long work-weeks, stress, and 2 weeks of paid-time off. Whooppee… Ever since making the decision to go into business for myself and actually having to educate myself on how to run a business while I am still maintaining my day job, I have come to realize that the Industrial Revolution (the economy as we currently know) is a recent invention and that prior to this, the majority of the population were artisans and entrepreneurs, learning a trade under an apprenticeship, then eventually going into business for themselves.

    It’s true, as you say that 95% of the population is resistant to change. The 5% like me that to eventually wake up face a rude awakening, finding that the past 30+ years of our lives have been washed down the drain, as we were all bred to believe in the Matrix.

  • Steven C.
    Posted at 07:00 pm, 9th August 2020

    In the mid-nineties I read a letter in the Vancouver Province (that’s Vancouver, British Columbia) from a woman complaining that her degree in “19th Century French Romantic Literature” had not led to any employment.  I can’t imagine what job she thought her degree qualified her for; unless she was going to time-travel back to 19th century France and apply to a publishing house.

    It didn’t help that half her letter was a rant against private sector businesses and how they shouldn’t exist; so two reasons not to hire her!

    Some people argue that a liberal arts education makes people more “well-rounded”.   However, an education like hers is too specialized to make anyone “well-rounded”, and contains too much Marxist indoctrination to boot!

    I would suggest that the better method would be to obtain an education, or training, that is career-oriented; and then become more “well-rounded” in one’s spare-time through use of all the cheap or free libraries, museums, public lectures, educational programs, internet resources, etc. available to all of us in the developed world.

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