Did you go to college?

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For Most People, College is a Waste of Time

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4 Responses to “Did you go to college?”

  1. Nate says:

    Except for science and engineering degrees. Sweet, I have a wannabe science-engineering degree.

  2. JB says:

    Yeah, I can only speak for my field (software development), but I’ve seen absolutely no evidence over the last decade of my experience that degrees are in any way correlated to being good at what you do.

    I’ve seen way too many non-good developers with degrees to believe that a degree on a resume means anything, at least on its face.

    On the other hand, out of the really good people I’ve either personally known or seen their work, I’d estimate that probably only about half of them had degrees. In other words, it doesn’t make much of a difference, and therefore could be considered a “waste of time”.

    I think over time (at least / especially in this particular field) more and more people / companies are becoming aware of that reality, and adjusting their hiring requirements accordingly.

    The problem they face is that they have to have some sort of objective “minimum requirement” bar, and lacking anything else that can be measured on paper (as opposed to in person), they fall back on tradition and ask for a degree.

    I do recognize that it isn’t the same for everyone, and some people do learn important skills in college that help them to develop into being good (or at least being able to be good) at their jobs, but I think this article is correct in suggesting that what should be measured is what you actually know or can do, as opposed to how or where you learned it, since the latter certainly doesn’t guarantee the former. If college helps you get there, that’s great.

  3. jenn says:

    Interesting article. For me the most valuable things I received from college were the friendships. I have never been in a place that fostered such deep committed friendships. That was worth the price of tuition and the time it took to graduate. It was also a safe stepping stone for me into adulthood. I’m grateful for the years I had to ponder many of life’s questions with people I love without the worry of a traditional job and major responsibilities. I, now, realize how privileged I was. I hope to send my children to a liberal arts school for the same reasons above and mostly because it gives them more time to explore before getting lost in the daily grind.

    That said, most people I know don’t use the degree they graduated with and I don’t think the degree represents talent.

    I once read in Entrepreneur Magazine that most of the world’s billionaires don’t have a degree and many are even high school dropouts. I think often wildly (not only financially) successful people have an inner tenacity or drive that can’t be taught through universities or certifications.

  4. Nate says:

    Out of my coworkers the ones whose work I respect the most and graduated from ivy league schools or top ten computer science programs.

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