Society places a lot of respect for higher education, even though some of the most popular billionaires in the world are college dropouts.
It’s become normal to ask young kids what they want to be when they grow up and force a degree or technical certification as the only means to make said dream a reality.
The young generation faces a tough time deciding their future route. With so many options, it’s hard to determine at such a young age what it is one wants to do for the rest of their life.
They need guidance in whether to invest hard-earned money in pursuing a degree or building up a successful business. Influencers and many successful business owners have shared their own feedback on the real purpose and intent of college.
When you listen to Elon Musk, he says college is “for FUN” and not learning. Could this mean we really don’t need a college degree to live a fulfilled life?
Together, let’s address the most complicated question: Do you need a college degree to be successful?
Defining Success Parameter
Every single person has a different definition of success. Some might think building a business empire is a success while others choose to run a welfare company for society. For some people, it’s just living a satisfactory life with their family. There’s no wrong or right answer. You should do some self-reflection to resolve this first ladder and analyze and define the path of your life.
In doing so, answer the question: what is your definition of success?
You Could Be The Next Steve Jobs
Try thinking out of the box irrespective of the peer pressure for any fancy degree of being a doctor, engineer, or researcher.
Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit and are ready to spend days and nights on a successful business idea? Do you want to be a changemaker or a top-rated researcher in a lab?
The easiest way to find answers is by connecting the dots of your dreams with your abilities. By defining your success criteria and discovering your passion, you achieve clarity in your mind. Only then are you are ready to explore your options.
Let’s discuss what would be the smart decision in terms of value and money.
Graduation Degree Is Your Safety Net
Because of the way society has marketed degrees, your degree is often associated as a safety net for the future because having a degree is often the minimum requirement for getting a job in most places. Just take a look online and everyone wants you to have a degree even for what some may concern the most basic of roles.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, bachelor degree holders earn more than their counterparts. Moreover, 91% of the jobs are taken by people who have a degree. Even if you have a startup alongside the degree, you already have an edge if the startup fails.
Financial security is not everything! Your college experiences later become lifelong memories to cherish. You spend years meeting new people, developing new critical skills, forming opinions, shaping your future, and making connections.
Your college life equips you with an institutional support network and you can call them for any mentorship program and advancements in your life. Most of us don’t understand how to make connections and build stronger networks as we are all not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. So, the college environment equips you not only with skills but also teaches you how to cope with life.
Your job could be a pathway to your dream career. For example, being a researcher requires you to have a degree and years of experience in research. That’s how to get close to your goals.
It’s important to mention that desired degree could be a bigger investment for your future. Because, when you put the required effort and dedication into learning, your career is secured. There are bright chances of earning a six-figure salary.
You Can Make It Without A Degree
Your talents and skills can lead you to a promising career. That being said, you can make it without a degree because options like YouTube and low-cost online learning opportunities are changing the way we view learning.
When you are dedicated, you can learn a skill in a short time compared to college graduates often required to complete multi-year programs. With online classes and resources, you can truly save time, energy, and money. Being self-sufficient gives you the freedom to utilize time for the most important things in life. With this flexibility, you don’t have to rely on a college or institution for higher education or skillsets.
Self-learning can save you from student debts as you don’t have to waste thousands of dollars on costly tuition costs. When you think about it, if people invested the same amount they typically would on a degree instead into their own business and future, they’d likely be more successful and have a different appreciation of hard work and skills.
To be frank, college degrees often serve as mere paperwork with real knowledge gained during on-the-job training within the first couple of months at your job. Even internships are more useful than basic classes that don’t provide real-life opportunities to apply learned skillsets. Furthermore, research shows that plenty of high earners don’t have a degree. Not to mention, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, Elon Musk, and so many others are college dropouts who are among the top earners and influential personalities of the world. They’ve achieved their successes by applying their minds to solving and enhancing current world problems.
College life does not equip you with grit to achieve success in your life. You can only learn grit while figuring out the real-life challenges to achieve a long-term goal. The author and psychologist Angela shares a valuable life lesson at her TED Talk. Angela states, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.”
You cannot learn grit from notebooks. However, it can be learned by starting an independent freelance career, a small business idea, or achieving success in a country other than your homeland.
Depending on your goals, apprenticeships may be more rewarding for you rather than achieving a degree. You can get real work-life experience and more wisdom in contrast to memorizing textbooks. Options are available to get an apprenticeship in nursery, law, business, IT, and many more.
Trends keep changing when it comes to IT, technology, so your degree may lose value by the time you graduate.
The End Remarks
At the end of the day, your decisions hold the command of your life and the probability of being successful. Whether you choose to attend college or you opt for an independent entrepreneurial life, you must follow your passion and be the best at it.
So, tell us your story. Are you a successful college dropout or are you building yourself to excellence through attaining a degree?
We support you no matter which route you take.