15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.

Lessons To Unlearn From School, part III



“Education is the key to success”

Most of us were taught from an early age that to succeed in life you need to go to school, get good grades, so you can get into a good college and get a good job.

According to one study, the average college graduate over the course of their entire life will earn roughly one million dollars more than the average high school graduate. In another study, it was reported that if the high school graduate set aside the amount of money they would have spent on tuition and invested it at a modest return, they would end up earning roughly an extra million dollars at the end of their life.

In other words, college has zero influence on how much income you will make. Is this true? It has to be, Grissom from CSI said so.

There are of course exceptions. Some high-paying fields with specific education requirements like doctors and lawyers earn much higher salaries than average. But I also happen to know high school graduates (barely) that make millions in businesses of their own or in professional sales.

Higher education is big business. It is a multi-trillion dollar industry like coal, and oil, and automobiles and all those other industries that they teach you to hate in public schools. Like all other businesses, they sell a product. To increase sales, they create the false premise that in order to succeed in life you require their product. They created such a huge demand for their product, that the cost of it skyrocketed well beyond the pace of inflation. Thank God the government stepped in to ensure that it’s easy to get a student loan. The net result? Hundreds of thousands of young people with a college degree, $30,000 to $50,000 worth of debt, and entering the workforce four years behind the kids that decided not to pursue a degree.

Let’s pretend you are a business owner. Who would you rather hire, a young man with four years of work experience or one fresh out of college with a four-year degree in Sociology? It seems to me that most people would prefer the high school grad to the college boy who probably expects to be paid more because he has that degree. There is such an abundance of degree-carrying young men and women today, that a four year degree doesn’t even begin to distinguish you out of a crowd anymore.

The next time you stop at Starbucks, ask your barista what his degree is in. (I had a BA in Art while working at Starbucks).

Of course, the answer if you ask those multiple-billion dollar education factories is simple: Go back to school and get your masters degree.

Question: Are you working in the field that you received your degree in?

Author: Matt_S_Law

Matt S. Law is an author focusing on success principle and motivational books. He was born, raised and currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii.

4 thoughts on “Lessons To Unlearn From School, part III

  1. Yes, I am and have. So I do consider myself not only fortunate but very blessed to have a career as a….librarian and now knowledge management specialist. Since I worked in public and private sectors for several different employers in health care, engineering, law and accounting sectors, I’ve learned alot from the clients I served: doctors, judges, lawyers, firefighters, engineers, paramedics, etc. It’s been a wild ride.

    Higher education and selecting an institutional so that you won’t get ripped off, means looking for only institutions that are formally accredited by long standing professional associations and government that require compliance on standards on curriculum and skills development outcomes with long term programs for continuing education.

    Education is not everything but gives a person critical analytical skills to solve problems and assess the veracity of information….a big problem that gets worse with the Internet and every blogger (like ourselves) who like to show some level of “expertise”.

    Best poeple to hire are those that have life experience (meaning as a parent, etc. for several yrs.)/paid work experience plus some formal education beyond high school. The latter demonstrates a willingness ot learn in a structured manner and subject oneself to a series of tests.

    • Hi, Jean. Thanks for commenting. I should probably note that I am not against education, although I probably come off that way sometimes (and I am definitely not against teachers). I certainly want my doctor to be highly educated. 🙂 But like you say, choosing a path in higher education requires research and forethought with a clear future destination in mind. Without that, college ends up being just an extension of high school.

  2. Interesting post. I am wondering if we are entering a shift in thinking about the “necessity” of a college degree. For many jobs, technical certification or specialized courses would suffice. Unfortunately, that shift in thinking would have to happen at the hiring level, as well. I have worked in some variation of my field of study (communications) my entire career. And now I’m saving money for my son to attend college in three years–it’s daunting. I was fortunate not to have to take out student loans (thought tuition was a LOT less then) and I do not want my son to have to, either…but one of us is going to bleed over it! 🙂

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