We have been told that going to college is what we are supposed to do after we graduate from high school, and so, we go. It's almost as if everyone is just on autopilot without thinking things through. We are told to go to college for four years, or more, get a stable job, invest in the company 401k, and retire.
We are here to tell you that if you want to become financially independent, avoid the rat race, and retire with what you actually need, and over that, then don't go to college. You don't have to follow in the footsteps of everyone else! The bottom line is that you are better off gaining real-life experience than going to college and paying tuition that racks up to a hundred thousand dollars in student loan debt.
Is a Degree Necessary in Some Cases?
When you ask yourself, "do I really need to go to college?", the answer is no, but it also depends on what your career goals are. For example, if you happen to aspire to become a surgeon or lawyer, certain schooling is required by the state. Situations like these are an exception to the case, and for good reason.
What Happens if I Don't Go to College?
Good question! By not going to school for a traditional 4-year degree, a few things can happen. Firstly, you will have a good shot at quickly becoming financially wealthy. You will also be able to avoid a huge student loan debt that would have been a financial burden for 10 to 30 years.
By not going to college, you will be in control of what you learn. This will allow you to focus on the specific training you need to be successful. Furthermore, you will be able to start out gaining real-life experience. You can apply this towards working for yourself, or, working with an employer who is looking for someone with actual experience.
There are plenty of home businesses and jobs that make a lot of money without a college degree. Also, you will find that there are many alternatives to college degrees. These other options can provide you with valuable knowledge on the career of your choice, as well as provide you with financial and business street smarts.
Not Going to College is a Smart Financial Decision
Most students are in debt the moment they graduate. They may have just paid a hundred thousand dollars for a piece of paper. Additionally, they are now out on their own with no entrepreneur skills and no real-life experience. Not to mention the fact that they will likely be starting off in an entry-level position.
In reality, success starts with financial know-how, marketable skills, and business smarts. Not necessarily with a degree that was spread out between career information and electives that have nothing to do with your career.
Graduates may be paying thousands of dollars for required electives and other classes that may not even apply to their career goals. We are not saying you don't learn valuable information in college, but that you can learn this same information, and much more, as well as gain real-world experience, while avoiding debt, outside of college.
Specific Reasons We Recommend Not Going to College:
1. Student Loans Can Keep You in Debt and Poor
By not going to college, you can make good money, and also save money by avoiding huge student loans. In contrast, you can go to college, take out loans, graduate, get a job, and then use your paycheck to pay off your loans for years to come. This will keep your net worth down and keep you poor.
Many students graduate with almost $100,000 in student loan debt. Or, they start out with a $30,000 loan. This medium size loan then gets deferred for years. The interest turns this medium size loan into a very large, out of control debt. So, you are basically going to college to get a good job, only to use your earnings to pay off your student loans. That doesn't make sense. Furthermore, this can leave you with no additional funds for saving and investing. If you have already started college and have some hefty loans at this point, see how this may have affected your credit score and what you can do to fix any negative credit.
The problem is that not many people are educated on the fact that you don't need to go to college to be successful. The end result is millions of Americans are being kept in debt for years. It would be great if a "complete guide to not going to college" was passed out to high school graduates. It could detail things such as the amazing jobs they can obtain without a college degree. Or, how they can start their own business without going to college. It could also let them know the reality of how much money they will save by not taking out student loans. At least this way, they will be informed, know their options, and can then make a decision based on facts.
2. You Can Get an Education without Earning a Degree and Save Thousands
Don't go to college to educate yourself so that you can someday become financially independent. There are better, more efficient, and more cost-effective ways of doing this. You can become educated through non-traditional educational avenues. It's even possible for you to learn everything you need to know without it costing anything. The great thing about going this route is that you can get focused on exactly what you want to learn.
You may still need to put in a tremendous amount of time and effort educate yourself. However, because you are in control of what you are teaching yourself, you will learn what you need to succeed in a fraction of the time it takes to earn a degree, and without the cost.
How You Can Obtain a Free or Low-Cost Education:
1. Gain Real-World Experience by Working in Your Field of Interest
If you know what you are interested in, find related companies and apply for a job. Even if it's a lower level position. Remember, it's temporary as you gain experience. You may also benefit from doing a part-time internship. Yes, there is sometimes no pay, but the education you gain from that time will be extremely valuable. This highlights the fact that there is no pay while being educated in college either. Actually, you are paying to be educated while learning in school.
2. Skip the Traditional 4-Year College Degree and Utilize Other Educational Avenues
In today's day and age, you can learn almost anything, and become an expert, without a college degree. There are many avenues you can take. You might find all the information you need online through articles and videos. For instance, if you want to become a professional web developer, you can, without a doubt, find all that you need online to accomplish this.
You can attend seminars, read educational books that teach you new skills, or books that have financial freedom as their end goal. Other options are to attend boot camps or find a mentor to speed up the learning process. Furthermore, you can enroll in online or in-person courses, as well as workshops, without the student loans.
3. Start a Business Instead of Going to College to Fast Track Your Education and Earnings
You can become financially independent without a degree by starting your own business. This will fast track your education, as well as your net worth. All you really need is a computer, a website (we recommend using WordPress to build your site), and the desire to do the research to make it happen.
You may be interested in becoming an at home business writer or graphic designer. Or, you are considering starting a home-based business as a real estate investor. Whether it's flipping land, or, investing in rental properties yourself or as a group investment, taking these paths could have you financially ahead of any graduate in just a short time. If you are going to give real estate investing a try in your quest for financial freedom, make sure to utilize this free Cheat Sheet.
Additionally, working for yourself will put you in control of what you learn and how much you earn. The best part is that you will be making money while you learn as opposed to paying to learn. Starting a business is easy these days, and it will teach you important life skills that a college education can't. You may also want to incorporate your business for added protection and to save huge amounts of money on taxes. We recommend forming an LLC.
Not Everyone Thinks a Postsecondary Education is Important
Here is some information to give you a little reassurance that it's ok not to go to college. For a lot of their positions, companies like Apple, Google and IBM are looking for real-world experience as opposed to what college their employees attended and what classes they took. IBM stated that many of their new tech hires don't even have college degrees and they are starting at a salary of up to $40,000 a year.
The founder of Dell Technologies dropped out of college at the age of 19. His net worth today is over 34 billion dollars. Bill Gates of Microsoft left college before he graduated. He was the wealthiest person in the world for many years. The founder of Facebook quit college before he graduated and is net worth is over 70 billion. Additionally, Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple, followed the same path that led to great wealth. While these are extreme cases, it allows you to see the possibilities!
You Don't Need a College Degree But You Should be Educated
Many people earn a bachelor's degree only to say years later, "every skill I'm applying to my career today was learned after college." These are some of the people who regret going to college, the same people who are held back financially because they are paying thousands of dollars in student loans.
The bottom line is that you do need an education, but you don't have to take out loans to obtain it. Or, waste your time with classes that don't even apply to the field you want to work in. Whether your end goal is to go into business for yourself or work for your dream company, the key is knowing what you want to do and seeking out the information to make it happen!