Many opinions are framed around the idea that college is a waste of time.
Whether you believe that college is a necessity or a pointless effort, there’s no denying that it’s an expensive and time-consuming endeavor.
In contrast to certificate programs, which allow you to earn a certification relatively quickly and inexpensively, obtaining a college degree requires time, effort, and money.
But can that time be better spent elsewhere?
Is there an alternative to college that can help you start earning money faster and find success just as easily?
As of 2021, just under 38% of US adults aged 25 and older have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher.
College degrees are no longer a requirement for building a successful and fulfilling career.
In fact, many well-known companies have begun to hire employees based on their skill sets, rather than just college degrees, which brought to the idea that college is a waste of time and, college is a waste of money.
It's becoming increasingly clear nowadays that you don't need to follow the traditional college path and earn a degree to lead a prosperous and successful life.
The Case For Why College Is A Waste Of Time
Education is important, but if you're not married to the idea of a traditional educational route and think college is a waste of time, you may find that not attending college is one of the best decisions you can make for your future.
Here are a few reasons why:
Some of the most well-known successful individuals of our time either dropped out of college or never went at all.
Steve Jobs famously quit after one semester at Reed College, deciding to work for Atari before leaving to co-found Apple.
Walt Disney didn’t even finish high school before entering the business of animated films, establishing a company worth billions that remains a powerhouse to this day.
So, if you genuinely consider that college is a waste of time, you need to remember that many alternatives exist that may deliver true success.
1. Plenty of Job Vacancies Don’t Require a College Degree
Is college a waste of time? A college education has traditionally been viewed as a path to stable jobs and high earnings, but we are seeing a increase in the amount of companies adopting a skills-based hiring structure rather than making degrees a requirement.
This opens the door to ambitious and talented people who lack the desire to spend at least 4 years pursuing higher education.
Don’t assume that a college degree is required to do what you want to do–take the time to research jobs in your preferred field to see if a degree is necessary.
2. Certificates Offer an Attractive Alternative
College degrees require you to take dozens of courses and spend years obtaining a general education in addition to your chosen major.
Certificate programs, on the other hand, give you the ability to hone in on your specific niche without wasting time on outside pursuits.
An increasing number of online courses allow you to obtain certificates that teach you valuable skills you can use to obtain a job.
3. There are Faster Ways to Enter the Marketplace
College can delay your entry into the workforce. If you have an idea for a business and you are ready to get started, don't deflate all of your energy by postponing your career for education.
Sometimes the right thing to do is to take a risk and go for it.
Whether you’re taking a leap into entrepreneurship or getting started in a new career, you may benefit from taking an entry level position and learning on the job.
4. Student Debt Can Cripple Your Future
Is college a waste of money? Student debt has become so excessive that even graduates in the highest-paying careers can find themselves hamstrung by their student loans.
If you’re not planning to enter a field in which a degree is absolutely necessary, it makes more sense to put that money toward the pursuit of your career instead.
Reasons In Favor Of Attending College
Although there are many reasons to forgo college, it still remains the best path for certain people to reach their desired career.
Here are a couple of reasons why college might be right for you:
1. Your profession requires It.
You can’t get away from it, as some jobs do require a college degree.
If you want to become a doctor, lawyer, or other jobs in the medical or legal field, you will need multiple degrees.
If you have your heart set on a career in one of these areas, college is a requirement.
2. You build connections with people in your field.
One of the benefits of attending college is that it brings you together with peers who share your interests.
You gain access to a network of alumni that can help you find a job, as well as fellow graduates who can offer guidance and camaraderie.
In a world where networking can get you anywhere, college is full of people who can help you get where you need to go.
A College Degree Is a Waste of Time For Entrepreneurship
As I touched on above, many of the most successful entrepreneurs don’t have college degrees.
Here are a few more examples of successful entrepreneurs who opted not to attend college:
Richard Branson is well known as founder and CEO of Virgin Group, a multinational conglomerate company.
From the airline company Virgin Atlantic to communications company Virgin Mobile, Branson has managed to make billions–all without a high school degree or any formal business education.
If you’ve seen the movie The Social Network, then you’ve witnessed the story of Mark Zuckerberg’s path to founding a revolutionary social media company.
Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard in 2004 to pursue Facebook full-time, building it into a company that has dominated the social media landscape for over a decade.
Bill Gates is one of the most famous businessmen in the world.
He founded Microsoft, dropped out of Harvard to focus on business, and has amassed a fortune worth $104.1 billion as of 2022.
Michael Dell dropped out of college to found Dell Inc., which quickly became one of the largest technology infrastructure companies in the world.
His net worth is now $54.6 billion, a stunning achievement for a man without a degree.
Alternatives To College Degrees
So what can you do if you don't feel college is right for you? There are many non-traditional paths that can offer you equal or better benefits without the drawbacks.
Depending on your career path, you might want to pursue any of the following alternatives:
Community colleges offer a variety of degree programs and allow students to earn associates degrees and certifications.
Some popular community college degrees include nursing, law enforcement and web technology.
Trade schools provide secondary and post-secondary education designed to teach technical skills required to complete the tasks of a particular job.
Coding bootcamps are intensive programs of software development that are designed to provide students with the skills they need to land jobs in software development.
Becoming an entrepreneur and building your own business can give you freedom, flexibility, and earning potential if you have the self discipline and ambition to make it happen.
Self learning and certification
Companies like Audo guide your learning process, helping you gain the skills you want and putting you on a path to the job that’s best for you.
A.I. powered recommendations give you personalized recommendations for what to learn next.
College may not be right for everyone. There are many drawbacks that can make college a waste of time as you need to allocate a lot of time to obtain a degree.
Meantime, many people think that college is a waste of money, because they need to have enough financial resources to make investment on college education.
However, it remains an excellent path for those who are determined to be in a profession that requires a college degree.
If you're interested in entrepreneurship, college might delay your ability to join the workforce and start earning money.
If you believe that college might not be the path for you, don't be afraid to break away from the pack.
Look into the alternatives—getting your education from an online program or starting a business straight out of high school to see if you can get the credentials you need without college.
You don't need to torture yourself and your resources, if you think that college is a waste of time but you need to continue your learning journey to achieve the desired success.