In 10 Things I Wish I had Never Believed – I said I wished I had never believed a person couldn’t be successful without a college degree and went on to post the follow up 10 Tips to Secure a Management Position Without a College Degree.
A new book on this subject was released this month – Real World Careers – Why College is NOT the Only Path to Becoming Rich by Betsy Cummings.
I read the 180 page book in single evening (easy read). The first half of it is excellent, but after that, some of it seemed like filler. The author could have condensed this to 90-100 pages without losing anything. But I would still recommend the book to anyone that is considering skipping college and jumping directly into a job or entrepreneurship.
Here is an excerpt from page 15:
Studies do show that college graduates can generally expect higher earnings – as much as twice what nongraduates may make, according to the latest census figures. But what those numbers don’t take into account are the people who saw college as an obstacle in their career paths. These go-getters avoided the experiences of their friends who graduated in four to six years, got out, and found themselves in low-paying entry-level jobs, often with huge student loans to pay back. Believe it. It happens. Far too many sad stories have been told of college graduates doing menial jobs. For every grad who lands a high five-figure job on Wall Street, there are many more who end up waiting tables at Chili’s or ringing up Chino’s at J.Crew.
More to the point, too many high school students are being oversold on the notion that college is the only way to professional success. That’s a disservice to students when you consider that only half of those who enroll will actually attain a four-year degree.
The book has several excellent questionnaires you can use to find out if college is right for you, and if it isn’t, what direction to take after deciding to skip college.
Betsy Cummings offers inspirational stories about people who have succeeded without ever setting foot in college. The examples include traditional corporate careers and entrepreneurial avenues.
These stories and statistics are not from 1960 – they are from 2004-2006.
A few stats from the book:
- 50% of students that enroll in college will not earn a four year degree, many of whom will incur five to six figures of high interest debt
- Over 60% of students that do graduate will take over six years to earn a degree
- 4 out of 10 people working in computer and math sciences do not have a four-year degree
- 2 out of 10 engineers do not have a four-year degree
- 1 out of 14 people working in life sciences do not have a four-year degree
- 1 out of 10 people working in social sciences do not have a four-year degree
- Only 34% of Registered Nurses have a four year degree – (I know this one is hard to believe – but the source cited is the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses 2004)
For those of you that can’t afford college or are hesitant to borrow large amounts to pay for college, this book is a great place to start.
I wouldn’t call this a great book, but it is worth the price if you are having second thoughts about college.