Going to college? Do this Instead!
If you’ve been following me a while, I’m sure you already know by now that I’m not a big fan of going to college.
Unless you want to specialize by going into a very technical career, in which case, you absolutely need to go to college (and pursue even further education and training). I’m talking about careers such as nursing, doctor, engineer, scientist, etc. Anything you can’t “self-teach.”
For example, I wouldn’t want a self-taught surgeon working on me, haha. That just wouldn’t make sense. Or like a pilot. I don’t want a self taught pilot, flying the airplane that I’m in, no thanks.
But for almost everything else, you can learn everything you need to know going the self-taught route (which includes learning from mentors, going to conferences, taking e-courses, reading books, doing apprentice-type programs, etc).
So many people wish they had zero money, yep you read that right
What? People wish they had zero money? Let me explain. Continue reading and you’ll get what I’m saying.
Look, it costs between $40,000 to $100,000 on average for a college degree in the US
Average student loan debt is about $33,000 in the US right now.
Do you know what debt means?
It means you’re MINUS. You don’t even have zero money. You have MINUS money (you wish you had zero money).
But you have negative money. I think people forget this. They think, “oh debt, no biggie, this is the good type of debt because I’ll just pay it off with my future job.”
But it’s like spending money and time to “buy yourself” a job that doesn’t yet exist it for you. Something that you hope that you’ll have down the line, that is not guaranteed, and may potentially be automated by AI and machine learning within the next 10-20 years.
Additional education and more debt, and then even more debt
I’m astounded by how many people just pile on more “education” hoping to make more money. Sacrificing precious years and years at the prime of their lives, going negative to do so.
Look at this, this is ridiculous:
I would laugh, but I can’t because it’s so sad and a reality for so many people
Just do the math
Let’s do a hypothetical situation:
Let’s say you want to become a doctor (because it’s so cool right? Everyone thinks that doctors are wealthy).
So once a doctor becomes a doctor making $200 – $300k a year in his 30’s after schooling and after subpar pay working as a resident… just to claw back out of the grave of debt in order to break even and have zero dollars in his bank.
All that effort to get to zero dollars, by then, the average person in his 30’s who didn’t even go to college could’ve been in the positive $100K+ in his savings because of no debt and 10 – 20 years of work already under his belt.
So really, you’re looking at 40’s and 50’s for the average doctor to probably break even with the person who was just got a job early without incurring any debt and not wasting the opportunity cost by spending 4-8 years in school and post-grad schooling.
If we add even further preparation and savviness to the mix, on the side of the no-college kid, and say he invested his savings starting from his very first job, doing employer 401K matching, and all that, that would’ve compounded to 10x the principal put in by the time he’s in his 50’s.
Do this instead of college
Rather than spending anywhere from $40,000 – $300,000 and between 4 years and 12 years going to school, why don’t you instead use that amount of money for one of these options:
1. Rather than spending $40,000 on getting that foreign language degree, why don’t you actually move to the country you want to learn the language of? Not only will you learn faster, but you’ll have far better experiences and memories you can look back on.
2. Rather than spending the $40,000 + $100,000 on getting your business admin bachelors degree and then an MBA, why don’t you use that roughly $150,000 as seed capital to start your business venture? Granted it’ll be harder to borrow that money to start something like this because institutions and the government gives you money so easily if you want to spend it towards college but not to start your business…but you get the gist. Many people pay partial or all of their college with cash, or they work themselves through college, it’s not all borrowed.
3. Invest the $40,000 – $300,000 instead. Again similar to above. No one’s gonna lend you $300,000 at 6% unless it’s for school. But you get the point. Whatever money you have, rather than spending it on a non-technical degree like being an English major, forego the schooling after highshool and spend your opportunity cost better by actually making $40,000 a year at an entry level job for 4 years (4 x $40,000 = $160,000). The 4 years you would’ve otherwise spent PAYING $40,000 rather than MAKING $40,000. Then in 7 – 12 years, that money would 2x with normal/historical stock market returns.
So you’d have $320,000 after this period of time POSITIVE, than be NEGATIVE $160,000 compared to lets’ say your friend who went to college to get his philosophy degree instead.
I’ll end on that note, but here’s a final statement
I’ll end on the previous note, but here’s a final parting word from me, and what I’m really trying to get across:
People often forget that opportunity cost is a cost as well. It translates into real dollars and not just time.
The 4 years you spend in college, spending that $40,000 in tuition debt, isn’t the only cost. That’s 4 years you could’ve been MAKING $40,000 a year at an entry level job. Not LOSING $40,000 and then having to spend years after you graduate, looking for a job, and finally landing that job, just to claw back and to try to get to a bank balance of ZERO.
Again….people wish they had zero. But instead they have negative $40,000 – $300,000. Oh yeah btw, you have to pay interest on that negative money that you have for the next…forever.
It’s insane. If you have a real solid plan, then go for it. I won’t judge you. But don’t go to college just because everyone else is going to college and it “seems like” the normal thing to do after high school.