“Is college worth it? Probably not“. These may sound like words from a broken down middle class clerk who can’t afford to pay for his son’s education, not precisely. From Elon Musk to many other successful entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk simply do not see college as a necessary step anymore. So what is the problem? Are we really seeing the sunset of the university system, and if so why?
Here we present to you the opinion of someone you definitely should be listening to.
Why pay? It’s free!
Tesla billionare Elon Musk puts it very clearly. He advices young people not to burden themeselves with college degrees. I mean, not in the way you must not get one, but more like that is not the only path. Earlier this year, during the Satellite conference in Washintgon, he made bold statements. “Did Shakespeare go to college? Probably not…” he said. Later on the debate kept going and an audience member asked him why degrees were “preferred” for positions at SpaceX. He replied that the main value of college lies in proving discipline for completing “annoying homework assignments”.
He later added “I think college is basically for fun and to prove that you can do your chores, but they’re not for learning,”
The event kept going and Musk took things really to the next level. He basically thinks that “college is unnecessary as people can read about anything for free”. He also mentioned a list of college dropouts who later became successful in life, Jobs, Gates, Ellison and so on. He is not so different since he managed to drop out of his PhD program at Stanford after just two days.
Maybe college is worth it, but which one?
Another big question people are agonizing over these days might be which college is worth the effort? This is especially true as the student debt “thing” is becoming a huge burden on young generations. Many people think it is just unfair that we demand so much from young kids. Society wants them to sign a loan contract which will put something like 100.000 dollars debt for something they don’t even know how to chose.
So if people are gonna spend all that money, might as well be sure on what to spend them. The answer is highly predictable, the STEM fields are the best if you want to build a solid career. If you are born a problem-solver you might just pick engineering, that will do. On average you would make about 80,000 dollars a year as you start, and salaries can reach up to 118,000 per year.
Nursing isn’t so bad either. For example, according to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) a nurse at the beginning of their career can make up to 73,000 per year. As for everything else, there are really no guarantees that going to college will be of any utility. Although studies show that on average college takers make on average 55,000 dollars more annualy than high school graduates, these data always need to be contextualized.
I wonder if we are really witnessing the end of the the conventional education era. With new proposals every year like Google’s free online certificates or six-months degrees for just a few hundreds dollars I wonder how much longer we will see young generations give up huge loads of money for something that can either cost so little, or like Elon Musk said is “unnecessary”.
Thank you for your interest and to our next update!