Massive change is upon us, and there are a great deal of misconceptions that are going to be broken as we enter an ever-changing world. The biggest change that is upon us is the drastically evolving higher education system. If you watched our College Bubble mini-documentaries, you would be overwhelmed with the facts that the government system behind the massively-bloated college system is inevitably going to pop as tuitions continue to increase and returns on investments to attend these schools continue to fall. If you are like me, you feel bad for 18-year-olds who are told to go to college regardless of the cost or amount of debt they will be in after they graduate.
I'm careful not to just speak my mind regarding college to just anyone, because many people still hold the accomplishment of graduating and attaining a traditional degree with the utmost regard and respect. For many people, it's a representation of the American dream to attain a degree that will lead to a comfortable lifestyle. For parents who look around at their peers with envy that they didn't go and attain a 4-year degree, they are usually the strongest advocates for requiring their children to go to college because of that deep-rooted milestone that they want ensure future generations take part of. Education, for most people in the generations prior to this one, very likely paid off. For this generation of graduates, the education system is failing them and leaving them high and dry.
To be fair and to bring to the table some form of moderation, let it be known that being educated and adding skills that can provide value to society is noble and wise. There are also still ways to go to college in a more affordable manner than spending $40,000 a year and have a mortgage of debt over you for attending a private college for 4 or more years. If you are going to go to school to learn something, make sure the degree makes financial sense, and do it in a way that isn't going to set you back a decade or two in your life while paying back student debt. That's the good news. Don't go to school to major in some worthless history or liberal arts degree, expecting to get a job beyond either becoming a job as a teacher or working in some local museum.
Here's the Good News...
We are in the information age, and this simply means that information today is virtually free and easily attainable. If you want to, you can learn almost anything you want right on the Internet. Now, I wouldn't watch a YouTube video on brain surgery and then try it, but if you wanted to know how to change your brakes on your car, Google it, and you will find a video of someone explaining exactly how to do the job in a concise and very understandable video. You aren't limited to some foreign instructor that can barely speak the language, or some disgruntled boring-to-death instructor that has no real-world knowledge to share with their students. You can search the Internet for the best educators in the world, and you will find it for free.
If you want education on starting a business, Google it. If you want education on investing your money, Google it. If you want to learn how to cook, Google it. There are no more mysteries anymore! Now, what most people are going to say is that you can't trust what's on the Internet, and guess what: there is a solution for that, too. They are called reviews. When you want to know what people thought about a specific recipe, you can look down at the reviews. If you see that it has 500 different 5-star ratings, you know that the recipe is tried and tested.
When I was in college, majoring in accounting, I found myself time and time again relearning the lessons on YouTube from an instructor I found that really connected with me and delivered the information in a way that I understood. I found myself getting free tutoring on YouTube, which essentially got me through college. Everything that I needed help on in my journey was searchable, convenient, and FREE!
The takeaway from today's Money Weekly is simply this: we live in an age where the world is at our fingertips. You don't need to feel boxed into a paradigm that limits you to overpriced education in a traditional sense. Society's value of college degrees will evolve, especially as a generation of graduates exit into the workforce without a job, or working a job that doesn't reflect that time and money that was invested into the degree they worked for. I anticipate the private industry relaxing their standards on 4-year degrees in the very near future, and moving more towards testing as a barometer of skills. I don't expect this from the government's public-sector jobs. I could actually see the government doing what they can to actually create artificial demand for the education system that is inevitably going to pop.
The best advice I can give someone is to opt-out of conventional wisdom. Educate yourself, work on your marketable skills, create solutions in the economy, and network with people. Even people who tout conventional thinking know that it's not what you know, but who you know.