It was 2011 and I was sitting in the office of one of the biggest CPAs in my medium-sized town. My grandfather helped arrange this meeting so that I could see where I was headed.
The reason I was here had to of been that I knew somewhere deep down that I might have been making a huge mistake. I was within 6 months of graduating university with a double major in Finance and Accounting. This was something I was real proud of. I took courses that would prepare me for the CPA exam as well. All this work and I had the feeling I made a huge mistake.
As I looked at this man that was about 60 years old, stressed out all the time, working 50 hour weeks, and about 150 pounds overweight, this was not a future that I could accept. He talked with me about accounting, but I couldn’t listen. The whole time I just thought of the mess I made.
For some people and some professions, I highly recommend going to college. This is the young woman who knows she wants to be a doctor and sets out exactly to do that. This is the dentist that takes the quickest most beneficial route through dentist school. This is not the person who graduates high school and then goes to college so that they can figure it out.
This decision that one makes when they are 18 has far-reaching implications and ramifications for a person’s future. This is a huge choice that unfortunately people make without thinking.
The average student loan debt for graduates of college in 2016 was $37,172. This is a significant amount of money to owe after you get out on your own in the real world. In addition to this, the Washington Post reports that only 27% of college graduates have a major that is related to their current profession.
People are going to school and going tens of thousands of dollars in debt to get degrees to work in industries that are unrelated to their majors. I recommend a simpler path for people today.
You should first figure out what you want to do. If you think that you want to be a lawyer then go spend a day with a lawyer. If you think that you would like to start your own business, then go and interview someone who has successfully started their own business. I completely support you if you know that you want to be a doctor and higher education is going to be the only way to get there.
However, what I am not for is making a decision that can set you back significantly in life on the vague idea that a business degree will be useful for you. I did it. I paid the cost for being stupid and I had to make up for it and start again on a new path.
I ended up finishing my 6 months left at school because I was so close to being done and today I don’t use the degree or 90% of the information I acquired and took tests on.
After you know what you want, you must then figure out the quickest steps to get there. This is often better than college could ever be for you. Most importantly it gives you action that you can take now to get where you want.
For example, you wanted to major in marketing? Then just go and figure out how to market a product. Others and I would much rather like to work with someone who can sell a product and who has already done so on the internet than someone who can show me their four year degree and studies on marketing theory.
If you are thinking about college, go if you know your path requires it and you know that it is one that is absolutely necessary for you to do what you want in life. There are too many costs associated with this decision that it shouldn’t be a guess.
People want results. People want value. You can learn anything on the internet. If you figure out how to get someone the results and the value they are looking for then you won’t need to show anyone a college degree.
Education is important. Being able to give value to others is more important.