This was originally a guest post at Aaron Clarey’s site, Captain Capitalism (original link here). Aaron has refused to give me proper credit for my writing, hence I am posting this here on my own site.
When asked if he would give me credit for my work, this was his response:
The reality of college in today’s modern world is this: college doesn’t do a whole lot.
I’m a living and breathing example of this. In December of 2012, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in economics. In February of 2013, I took a job as a computer engineer. In February of 2016 (with one additional job in between), I am now a guy who makes his living off the Internet, whether it be via my blog, books, web design, or whatever else floats my boat.
I recently reactivated my personal Facebook account after several years, because I’m now living in Eastern Europe (it’s huge here). I was missing social opportunities, so despite my usual protests to engaging in any personal social media, I jumped back into the fray.
When I logged back into Facebook for the first time, what do you think I was greeted with?
Profiles of old friends who were kicking ass in life, using their degrees to their fullest potential and maximizing their college investment?
Profiles of old friends were who still meandering in the same jobs they had in college, or had become baristas after realizing that their worthless degree was not even worthless – but actually a negative return on investment for their life as a whole.
If you guessed the first option, then go back to reading your Liberal Arts textbook, I wish you the best.
For those of you who chose the second, allow me to elaborate on my story a bit.
I’m now 24 years old, and as I said, I have a degree in economics but ended up working as a computer engineer. This is the first red flag that the collegiate system in America is broken.
In what world can some 21 year old kid with a degree in economics start working on 1 million dollar+ computer systems as his first job? They say it all comes down to connections, and this was exactly the case for me. I had a great friend and mentor in high school – when I started working in a computer shop at the age of 14, he was the head salesman. We struck up a fast bond and he is still one of my best friends to this day, despite a ten year age gap.
He talked me up to his bosses at the engineering job, and I walked into the interview knowing it was mine provided I didn’t come off as a total moron.
Needless to say, I got it.
I never was asked what my degree was in. Not once, in a two hour long interview, with four panelists. The piece of paper that I had invested the last three and a half years of my life (and $100k, give or take – and I went to a public state school!) did not matter one bit.
Yet, my entire life I was indoctrinated to think that it was. I should mention that there is some truth to that – they may have not given me a shot if I didn’t have the piece of paper proving that I could take orders and listen. However, the proof is in the pudding. You don’t need a degree to start a career – but the real lesson to learn here is that you should never get a worthless degree.
To illustrate that, let’s look at a few of my other friends.
Is a very cute, now 24 year old girl. She left the original university where we started college together after a year and a half to return to her hometown, which is a big tourist hotspot. In school, she was studying Journalism and Media Studies.
In her hometown, she took a job at a large hotel as a check-in clerk. She was making $15 an hour, give or take. Five years later, she has finally finished her degree, and still works in the hotel. She now makes $22 an hour, give or take.
Despite her dreams of being a sportscaster and a writer, I can promise you that I write more on a daily basis than she likely has in the last year.
Was a good friend of mine for several years. He was a Marine Biology major, and a pretty good one at that. He had strong grades in all of the hard classes like organic chemistry, physics, etc.
Max started working at Petco during our junior year at school. At 24 years of age, after 5 years of study – he still works at Petco.
Is someone I still keep in pretty consistent touch with. She got a Sociology degree. Right after graduating, she moved back home. She then found a job that paid her about $14 an hour as a social worker. She hated it and said it was “too hard”, so she took a job at a coffee shop instead.
It was, in her words, “Less stressful and more fun.”
Now, she is engaged to be married and will tie the knot at the end of this year. Most likely, she’ll be pregnant within a year and never work another day in her life again (provided her future husband has a degree worth that provides more than a barista job).
This means that she threw away all of her parents money and their Sociology for a job making coffee.
WHAT DOES THE BLUEPRINT LOOK LIKE?
Even those who have strong personalities are not immune to society’s shames and methods.
From a young age, it is quite clear to any young person growing up in America that you must go to college. Especially as a man – you are made to believe is the only way you can get a girl, the only way to provide, that you are far less of a man if you lack a college degree.
In reality, having a silly Liberal Arts degree in LGBT Studies makes you less of a man.