19 Good Jobs That Don’t Require a 4-Year College Degree

by Neal Frankle, CFP ®

You can get a great job without going to college and getting a degree (BS or BA). That’s right.  You can get a fine career even if you haven’t got your degree.

If you (or someone you know) is interested in finding a job, bypassing college could be a really smart move right now. But this is a very individual mission. What’s right for Janice down the street may not be the best move for you.

Going to a trade school or getting an Associate Degree instead might be a brilliant move for you.  And you can land a wonderful career without any school at all if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and do the work.  That’s right.  Many fine employment opportunities are open to those who get on the job training.

I read recently that only 1 in 4 college graduates are finding jobs. On top of that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 of the 10 fastest growing jobs don’t require a 4-year degree. As you might expect, these are service jobs and they’re difficult to outsource. Booyah! Even better. That’s why the opportunities are there.

The question is, how do you decide which trade to get trained in and how do you get the training at the least cost?

Here are the steps I suggest you take:

Flex Your Brain

Make a list of all the jobs you find interesting. Even if you ultimately want to be a business owner rather than an employee, be open-minded. If you want to own a fleet of plumbing trucks one day, start off as a plumber. In fact, you should look at it in reverse. Just because you might start off as a plumber doesn’t mean you can’t own a fleet of plumbing trucks one day. Good jobs without going to college for 4 years might lead to a great business opportunity!

Also, you can learn a trade now and go to college down the road if you so choose- just make sure that you don’t spend money you don’t have to when you get your degree. The point is, nothing you do now is irrevocable.

Investigate

There are tons of high-paying no degree jobs. According to CNN, Salary.com and other sources (updated 5/17/13), here are 19 top careers that do not require a degree:

  1. Air traffic controller – Annual income: $108,000
  2. Nuclear Operator – $75,600
  3. Registered Nurse – $64,700
  4. Construction Manager $95,956
  5. Radiation Therapist $74,900
  6. Storage and distribution manager – Annual income: $66,600
  7. Transportation manager – Annual income: $77,762
  8. Police and detectives supervisor – Annual income: $64,430
  9. Non-retail sales manager – Annual income: $59,300
  10. Forest fire fighting and prevention supervisor – Annual income: $58,920
  11. Municipal fire fighting and prevention supervisor – Annual income: $58,902
  12. Real estate broker – Annual income: $58,720
  13. Elevator installers and repairer – Annual income: $65,893
  14. Sales representative – Annual income: $62,000
  15. Dental hygienist – Annual income: $66,221
  16. Radiation therapist – Annual income: $72,491
  17. Nuclear medicine technologist – Annual income: $71,212
  18. Child support, missing persons and unemployment insurance fraud investigator – Annual income: $53,900
  19. Criminal investigators and special agent – Annual income: $53,990

BONUS JOB IDEAS

  1. Immigration and Customs inspector – Annual income: $53,990
  2. Police identification and records officer – Annual income: $53,990
  3. Commercial pilot – Annual income: $67,500

According to the the U.S. Department of Labor, 2 out of every 3 jobs only require on-the-job training.If you’re competing for one of these jobs, going to college for four years could actually hurt you. Why? Because the other people competing for that job will have had 4 years of experience while you were hanging out at Starbucks with your laptop and iPhone.

Connect

Now that you know what you want to do, make sure there is going to be a job waiting for you once you get trained. Just because there are jobs that don’t require a degree doesn’t mean you’ll get one. Investigate!

  • Talk to people in the industry – Ask them about job prospects. Ask what they like and dislike about their jobs. Ask what they think about the future of the industry. I guarantee that if you call 10 people in the industry, 7 will be more than happy to meet with you for a cup of coffee to give you a clear picture. Ask them how they got into the profession, where they got trained and what schools (if any) they’d recommend for you. Most important, ask who else you should meet to learn more. Meet with at least 10 people in the industry to make sure you’re view is accurate.

If you don’t know how to get in touch with people working in the field, no problemo – see step 4 below.

Schools

Interview the various trade schools that offer training. Ask to speak with alumni currently working in the industry. Ask if they started their careers without college. Then, when you meet with these folks, ask them for a few other references – people who didn’t necessarily go to the school they graduated from. Talk to those people too. While you’re interviewing the schools, ask about job placement assistance and success rates.

Remember that you only have to spend the money to get trained once but have a lifetime of earnings ahead. If one school costs more but has a far better success rate, it could still be a better bargain.

Oh, and one more thing. If you already have a degree from college and can’t find a job (or your retired and want to earn money) you can still follow these same steps to land one of these awesome jobs.

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{ 247 comments… read them below or add one }

papa_gun October 5, 2013 at 2:43 AM

Lol……whats wrong with theses people!! All This article is saying is that you dont need a degree to find a job,it didnt say anything about not training or getting a license!!! ONE WAY OR ANOTHER YOU HAVE TO EARN IT!! ITS YOUR CHOICE TO PICK ONE

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Neal Frankle October 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM

You got it papa gun! I think some people equate getting a job without a degree with getting a job without doing anything at all. I never claim that to be the case. Thanks for picking up on that.

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Steve P August 23, 2013 at 6:47 AM

I wonder what the real value of degrees is as seen by an employer. Experience may count for more in some cases. I worked in electronics. Most jobs I did were slightly related to my degree but in reality I could have done them without. If you have two or more degrees does it follow that you can do the job better than someone with only one?

There aren’t many jobs about these days so perhaps if you have lots of qualifications and lot of experience you may get the job.

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xpez2000 September 26, 2013 at 11:41 PM

I hate these articles. Just go get a damn degree! When you are 70 you will lok back and think …”OH WAIT, YEAH, FOUR YEARS REALLY WASN’T THAT LONG AT ALL. WHY DID I RESIST GOING TO COLLEGE ALL THAT TIME..” Also going to college requires sacrifice, determination, diligence, and passion. A good college education will test your patience with all of these attributes that are needed to be successful in the REAL WORLD OF LIFE.

NOW STOP BELLYACHING ABOUT GETTING A DEGREE AND GO DO IT!!!!

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Neal Frankle September 28, 2013 at 8:54 PM

I live your gusto XPEZ. Not sure everyone has the ability to do this however. And I think there are opportunities (although a harder path for sure) for people without a degree.

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chris August 4, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Well you can clearly tell whoever typed out most of the above text does not have a college degree. I’m really struggling with the idea that you can become a RN without a college degree. Maybe in Mexico!

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Neal Frankle August 5, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Not a 4 year degree as the post states.

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Linda November 18, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Neal, keep it up! Some people can’t read, some can read but don’t comprehend, some are just plain….well, you can’t help them!

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Neal Frankle, CFP ® November 19, 2013 at 6:38 AM

:) Wisdom. I like it Linda! Thanks for the encouragement. Always appreciated!

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Mel July 17, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Just to be clear, a plumber does not need a for degree, but to own a fleet of trucks in the plumbing industry you
1. work as a plumbers apprentice for at least 3 years at pay barely above yourselfminimum wage.
2. pass your state’s licensing exam and become a journeyman.
3. depending on your state you will need at least another 2 years in field to be a master plumber.
That said realistically it would take about 10 years to get your on fleet even if you streamline through the training. That sounds like someone’s dream career and not just a job. Ask yourself this question, do you want to be a plumber for life? I have to say, this article is misleading.

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Neal Frankle July 18, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Mel,

Are you a plumber?

Either way, what’s wrong with being a plumber?

What’s misleading?

Thanks,
Neal

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Really July 21, 2013 at 7:47 AM

This article is so misleading and unreal. It makes finding a non-degree job easy but is it really, that easy to do? Hell no!! The jobs listed most all require a license or certification, which means going to so kind of school for training.

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Neal Frankle July 21, 2013 at 10:44 AM

What makes me very sad about this comment is that it indicates that the reader:
a. didn’t really read the post
b. isn’t willing to do the work to get a great job

I never said a great gig was going to fall into your lap friend. Yes…it takes work. But all is not lost just because you don’t have a degree.

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Future RT(R) July 7, 2013 at 4:39 PM

I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but healthcare professions such as radiation therapist and a registered nurse DO require at least an associate’s degree. I’m sorry, but I would not want someone doing my radiation therapy treatments (that are VERY precise and require the correct training and schooling to master) who wasn’t properly trained or educated.
It’s very confusing to read an article stating that you do not need a college degree to get these jobs and then have the schooling tips at the bottom in order to obtain those degrees in which you DO need for most of the jobs listed above. A lot of these jobs require a lot of time and effort put forth when it comes to going to school for them. I dedicate most of my time in my life for 2 years straight in order to obtain my degree in the healthcare field. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. That’s what people really need to hear.
Good luck :]

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Neal Frankle July 7, 2013 at 8:34 PM

This is a post on jobs that do not require a FOUR year degree. Thanks…

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Shea Emerson July 23, 2013 at 2:47 PM

The title does not specifically reference 4-year degrees. This is misleading and disappointing.

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Jack Scott August 15, 2013 at 8:18 AM

19 Good Jobs That Don’t Require a 4-Year College Degree, what part do you not understand or find misleading?

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Linda November 18, 2013 at 4:17 PM

You can become a RN without a degree, 2 or 4 year My granddaughter has been an RN for 10 yrs. and she does not have a degree. (Florida). She did complete the RN program at the local Community College, but it is not a degreed program. She took and passed the state exam and has been working as a RN ever since. She has specialized in dialysis and has managed one of the dialysis clinics in our area.

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Nicole Harakoye June 28, 2013 at 6:37 PM

I would like to become a registered nurse, How would I get started?

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Linda November 18, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Contact your local hospital or technical school or college and ask them. All states may not have the same requirements.

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Patrick June 19, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Hello there i’m tired of these 8 dollar a hour jobs I need something more than 8 bucks a hour. I am just not sure on what I should try. So please if anyone had any info on getting a better paying job I would very gratefully would appreciate it.

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Banana June 8, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Real Estate Broker requires a license to become a real estate agent and only after two years of being a real estate agent, are you eligible to become a real estate broker.

Dental Hygenist requires a certification to become a dental assistant, and then you have to go to school become a dental hygenist.

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George May 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM

I think people should check this list again most of these jobs require some sort of college degree…this information is not 100% true

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Tauseef Alam June 4, 2013 at 10:39 AM

I’m a bit agree with George comment. Jobs like Criminal investigators, Sales representative may not require a college degree but i doubt a non college graduate can get a job like Nuclear Operator, Air traffic controller because these kind of jobs require more of a technical skills which can only be develop with a degree programme & experience.

What’s your say on this Neal.

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Neal Frankle June 5, 2013 at 6:41 AM

If you don’t have a 4 year degree, all these jobs offer potential employment. I am not saying you should get a degree. But if you don’t have one, you can still be successful and you can still pursue these jobs – and many more.

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Banana June 8, 2013 at 8:04 PM

That’s not true, there are strict requirements to becoming a real estate broker. I know, because I was a real estate agent in CT.

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Banana June 8, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Let me rephrase that; you don’t need a college degree, but you do have to take the time to go to school, which takes approximately 10 weeks, there is a state test and a national test that you have to pass, and then spend two years as a real estate agent. THEN you can become a real estate broker. There are also several fees involved on an annual basis, and several courses to take annually. The bottom line is, you still have to put in years and financing to accomplish this.

StevenPage May 20, 2013 at 5:20 PM

A lot of great comments here, and a lot of bad ones too.

There are smart people with degrees and there are a smart people without degrees, but as an HR employees who gets thousands of resumes, how do you separate the smart one from another ?.

The answer is you can’t, however you can set criteria’s that will set people apart. That’s why a college degree comes in handy.

A College degree doesn’t say your smart, it only says that you taken your time to complete the courses required to graduate. While that doesn’t mean much, it does say that you dedicated your time, and were respondsible enough to pick the right courses and graduate with a degree that’s RELATED to the job that I’m offering, and that’s why you would have a chance at the job.

The interview process would then help me determine if you have the right personality, or knowledge for the job.

But without that piece of worthless paper you call degree, how can you stand out from the other thousands of papers ?

There are a lot of successful, rich people that do not have a degree, but the fact is that your chances are higher if you have a college degree, those are just facts.

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ElleJay May 20, 2013 at 11:56 PM

I suppose you could read the applicant’s resume or require a cover letter. The truth is: that would require too much work. The myth is that the HR person is looking for the best employee for the position. Actually, the hiring manager is looking to weed out applicants. First education, then credit…some jobs are requiring Facebook passwords. I don’t want to get started on HR, I’ll just go to bed now. Self Employment the answer! Neal tried to tell me this a LONG time ago. Once you ARE hired, and you pull back the curtain, you see how biased people really are. Some people aren’t capable of seeing outside the box; they can’t even see the box! Doesn’t anyone see that this system isn’t working?

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Allisa May 20, 2013 at 12:52 AM

Thanks for the list. It actually made me think if it still worth is to have a diploma these days since you can actually have decent job without it. Also, you may have forgotten to include jobs from the gaming industry. It also doesn’t require any degree.

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zimmy@moneyandpotatoes.com May 18, 2013 at 7:06 AM

You can also include police dispatcher on that list. The pay can vary wildly based on the size of the city and other factors such as number of years of experience. I currently work for a town of 50k and have over 10 years of experience. I make about 42k with a possibility to make up to 55k in a non supervisory role. I could make up to 65k as a supervisor.

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Monica April 11, 2013 at 5:56 AM

Be Two incomes forgot to mention now that my kids older we are both going to be driving trucks until i get my one year to pull local gas tankees. I know college grads who are renting ,engineering n the medical fields are the bestt

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Monica April 11, 2013 at 5:43 AM

What about truck drivers,tanker driver with one year of truck driving u can become a tanker pulling oil/gas and make 65_90k+$500 bonus every month and turn around buy a home and save for own local business. 4_6 years college =over 300k of savings . Mr Gilmore a man my husband worked for after quitting truckn to help raise my twin,well Gilmore worked his way up and by 40 saved up enough to start his own business n let his son run the concrete business. Two business,multimillionaire own land in la and alaska for gold mining no degree and I currently live on his land. I’ll have my cdl in 4 weeks I’m 25 n quit college because by 32 I’ll have my own house n business investment savings without the student loans

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Zach April 3, 2013 at 5:44 PM

College is not for everyone. If you have a great love of math and science and have proficiency in computers, you should definitely go to college. The college graduates who cannot find jobs usually have liberal arts degrees, like mine, or they did not obtain enough experience in school to be employed. 94% of STEM grads from last year found employment in their field. I have a political science degree but was able to find a job 2 months after graduating due to my internship experience. It pays moderately well but I like the work too much to be concerned with the money for now. In order to be successful after college, you need to seriously research the job market related to your field of study. Does that mean you should study nursing if you are grossed out by blood? No, but if you want to study philosophy or history, just know that there are too many people with those degrees for too little job openings. If you do choose to study liberal arts, or humanities, you are going to have to do a ridiculous amount of work outside of the classroom to find a job. If you’re thinking about dropping out because computer science is too difficult, think again. My roommate only had a 3.13 GPA but he found a job before graduation. There are companies that are desperate for your skills! College does open more doors for you, but you need to plan carefully and study something that is marketable and tolerable. And try to do community college first to save money. My loans are only 7,000 because I did a year and a half at a state school after junior college.

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Kie March 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I enjoyed the article Neal. Thanks for providing the information for everyone.

I was saddened by the comments afterwards, but I guess that is just the nature of having open comments on a blog. I think way too many people took things as personal jabs.

I went to college and got my degree, but I’d be the first person to tell you that not everyone needs to go to college. Whether you go and pursue a degree or enter the workforce directly, your life is pretty much what you make of it. I think a lot of it depends on what field you want to pursue in the long-run. Your post pretty much backed that up.

My degree helped me get into graduate school which in turn helped me get a more specialized job. After a while I wanted to change fields, but didn’t have the time or money to go back to school. So your list helped me even though I already had a degree.

I found the jab about college students being at Starbucks and using their iPhones funny, mainly because I know it doesn’t apply to me. I think people need to lighten up a little.

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Neal Frankle March 5, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Kie, Very well said sir. I could not have said it better in fact. Life is absolutely what you make of it and there is no “one size fits all”. Thanks very much for your positive share.

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Sammy C. February 27, 2013 at 10:59 PM

There are many good places of employment for people even without a college degree, where you can start and build a solid career. Research potential employers and their job benefits and hourly wages or salaries for the job position you’re interested. Make sure to do your homework and prepare for the interview days ahead.

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Nina February 27, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Thanks for sharing this information. I myself went to college whereas my fiance did not. We both started off with similar paying jobs at different companies, I however have managed to climb up faster and therefore currently make more. I wanted to help him find a better paying job that did not require a degree. My fiance is incredibily intelligent, diligent, and charismatic, but it’s unfortunate that many positions would turn him down due to his lack of a degree. College is a tool, you get out of it what you want to. You don’t need it to find a job, but it does open more doors for you. I would never tell anyone not to go to college if they were considering it. I would also never tell anyone that need to go to college to be successful. My father barely speaks english and didn’t even go to high school, he however owns his business, made great investments, and is living quite comfortably. There are success stories both ways. I hope more companies look at a degree as a bonus not a requirement. To be honest what i do for a living does NOT need college, but yet it was a requirement.
Anyways, thanks again for posting up this information, I found it to be positive motivation to help my fiance on his search for a better job!

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Skippy February 22, 2013 at 3:21 PM

I recently read a great book called ‘Not All Wanderers Are Lost’ by Ross Radich. He says he has “never stepped inside the front door of a university” and he has no formal qualifications, yet he seems to have landed a dream job travelling the world (all expenses paid and being paid to do so!). He does pre-quarantine inspections of large machines before they are shipped to Australia, but he doesn’t seem to spend much time actually working. I guess it’s worthwhile for his employer just to have him in the right place when he is needed. I’m sure there are lots of other jobs out there like that, you just need to know they exist. That is the hard part I think.

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Neal Frankle February 24, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Skippy…..nice. And I think you are right. First, know that there opportunities exist and then go out and don’t stop until you find them. I like it. Great!

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brad February 22, 2013 at 12:16 AM

There are many non-degree careers. One of the most important ones left out is the military. There are some very technical military trade schools that transfer well to the civilian world, especially when combined with several years of experience. Exaples include: Avionics, Nuclear, Weapons, Security, Corrections, Sat Comm, IT, Intel, aviation mechanics, electronic technicians etc. Many contractors and government positions jobs like these require a security clearance that service members already have, and most pay from 50K-90K.

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Nancy February 16, 2013 at 7:47 AM

Correction:
Not hiring a qualified person who has experience, but lacks a degree is a form of discrimination that SHOULD be outlawed.

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Nancy February 16, 2013 at 7:44 AM

I have 20 years experience as a graphic designer/illustrator and am ready, willing, and able to work–anywhere in the U.S. I have many years of college training, but no degree. In 2007, I was laid off from my Art Director position at Skip Barber Racing School because of the recession. I KNOW my trade and am darn good at it, but have been unsuccessful in securing a full time position because I don’t have a BA, BS, or (in some ridiculous cases), a Master’s degree. Not hiring a qualified person who has experience, but lacks a degree is a form of discrimination that shouldn’t be outlawed. There are too many Americans out of work–myself included!

You learn while doing, and gain experience on the job. It’s called “On-the-Job” training.

N

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Mo January 31, 2013 at 5:00 AM

ignorance. ignorance. ignorance. Lets use constructive criticism folks. This is a page to help someone to find a career. With that in mind, the reason you all have visited this page is to discover another tool to use in your job searching. Feedback should be informative and helpful. We are all frustrated, lets be positive to support a positive change in the world. Here is my comment. Perhaps, breaking away from social media for a few hours a day. It may give you a fresh perspective. And use your time on the internet efficently, keep your intent in line. Cheers {]:

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Neal Frankle January 31, 2013 at 5:34 PM

I love this reply. Thanks MO.

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david January 29, 2013 at 9:49 PM

i have been to college and most college classes do not prepare you for anything in the real work alot of it about money, who the hell uses Algebra outside of school i have never used it, I think its about WHO YOU KNOW NOT WHAT YOU KNOW if on any application they say do you know anyone who works for this company !!!!!!!!

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Dezi June 13, 2013 at 7:44 PM

I completely agree with the whole…”IT’S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, IT’S WHO YOU KNOW” theory! The working world has become so political….even if you have a four year degree! My boyfriend has been trying to look for a job in his field for three years, and every chance he gets, the position has been filled by the hiring reps, friends’ son…or the directors’ receptionist daughter….talk about discouraging….I think finding a job regardless of degree or no degree has become a joke.

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mimi January 22, 2013 at 12:09 PM

who cares about having a degree or not. The point is getting a job period! Some jobs require a degree. Actually ALOT of jobs demand a degree esp the field im in. It’s crazy. I just want to support myself and chase my dreams. My degree was not to feel better than anyone else but to give me a fighting edge in this selfish world.

I guess a degree is now a useless paper. If we are not able to do our own research, acquire all the necessary skills we won’t make it. I don’t agree with the experience requirement. What about people that never had a job before? Give people a chance to learn and prove themselves. Take out the requirement for experience when it comes to jobs that require education and keep the experience for the skill based jobs. We are ruining our country if we think this will work!

I hope we all can find jobs and stop bickering and fighting over foolishness!

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George January 11, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Do what you want in your lives. As long as your happy doing what you doing, do it. Everyone stop bitching about stuff that doesn’t involve you. I know a lot of people who are CEO’s and presidents of Forbes 500 companies with no college degrees. Worry about yourself and the life you chose. Don’t worry about others. That’s why everyone’s messed up. Be happy with who you are and who you wanna be. Not who everyone tells you to be.

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Neal Frankle January 12, 2013 at 6:15 PM

George, I cleaned up your commend but totally agree with your argument. People have a lot more freedom than they realize.

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deality Mathewson January 8, 2013 at 11:35 PM

residing to the issue; college dose prove your smart, you go to collage not to work right away but to learn about subjects you enjoy. If you just want to be in the job market and make money then do so. With said logic a smart person that hacks a bank and gets away with it is smart because the goal was achieved monitory means. if you just want to work and grow in the human dramas of your work environment then do so.
as for the rest earning a degree proves you wanted it nothing more. The rest is up to you to prove. If you want to prove you can create something great with out college whats stopping you build it, but expect allot of self thought knowledge and connections. Create what you wish but you will die, your money earned is dispersed what you create before that time grows after you.
contribute or consume either way its the experience of what you enjoy that is follow.

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Michel January 2, 2013 at 4:59 AM

There is a very obvious problem here, which has very little to do with whether a degree is a good thing or not.
Most people want to start off at the top and don’t want to do anything they don’t like. It doesn’t quite work like that in the real world. There should be a balance.
Unfortunately some people get jobs easier because they have a degree, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be good at it, or even like it.

Interests change and industries change (some more than others) and four years is a long time. And keep in mind that talking to people in the chosen profession only offers subjective information from a small group in a specific area or field.

Here’s what I’ve learned:
What I did right and didn’t realize when I started out, was paying in cash as far as possible and having lots of patience getting everything I wanted.
Getting by instead of greedy.
Finding a job that few others wanted (not enough money or prestige), taking every opportunity I was offered no matter how small, and learning from others all the time and using that to find more work. What I did wrong was not to enjoy life more (worked when everyone else was having fun). I could have worked less and spent less on some things. I did jobs for money without enjoying it, which I regret most. It had advantages, but caused too much stress and unhappiness.
And lastly, I should have changed jobs more often to get more skills and avoid boredom and frustration.

I started out without a degree, but over the past few years, I have studied everything that interested me. I now have a pile of papers I don’t use. It is a hobby after all.

Degrees, I now know for sure, are far too expensive and frankly a HUGE money making scheme for the most part. (Even worse that politics). It won’t teach you much about what you really want or need to know. The whole system is flawed. You need certain degrees in certain jobs yes, but in most cases a lot of the required subjects teach unnecessary information, and often, required subjects have little to do with what you need to know.
My work is more difficult because of young people with degrees who get jobs they shouldn’t. They have no clue what they’re doing and mess things up that we have to fix. The degree only makes them think they know everything. Very annoying.

I would like to see a change in education. Perhaps a different type of degree with fewer required subjects, but more focused in the exact field of study and with lots of practical training. It will take less time to finish, cutting out useless information and subjects due to less work for educators, and therefore much cheaper and quicker.

Yes, all learning is good, but does it require all that information for the purpose of doing a certain job?
In my experience, a very definite no! (With the exception of specialized areas, like medicine where you can never know enough of course).

Also, companies need to get past the useless degree requirements and perhaps offer in-house training with short courses where needed. In four years you can learn a lot about a specific business and gain valuable experience, while learning. You don’t need to stop studying either.
A psych eval and basic ability and personality tests should be done to get into a program (and a probation period with few responsibilities and doing mostly ‘gruntwork’ as a test, while acquiring basic skills). The company I work for offers something similar which works very well.
Learning a trade is also an area where you will always find work, even without an employer. We always need plumbers, electricians, tv and car repairs. Look around and it’s there.

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Neal Frankle January 2, 2013 at 5:02 AM

Thanks. Lots of wisdom in your comment. Much appreciated. Thanks for sharing your experience. I think your comment could be very useful to readers.

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lauren December 26, 2012 at 7:37 PM

watch the pursuit of happyness, based on a true story, hard work and dedication pay off.

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Neal Frankle December 30, 2012 at 8:41 AM

I read the book and didn’t really have much understanding of the decisions this man made. As I saw it, he kind of threw his family under the bus in order to money. I may have missed something but I don’t call that success.

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C. December 23, 2012 at 2:33 PM

I would love to go to college. This is the first time it would not be wasted time or money. So far I did just fine without college. Life is learning, I speak two languages fluently, I have never been without a full time job in the 24 years since I graduated, I own a home. Times are tough. Entry level jobs can lead to the opportunity to prove your value in a company. Sometimes I decided it’s not the job I thought it was. It’s a two sided street. Communication skills are on the top of my list. Does it matter where I learn the skills? I provided childcare to a teachers little girl to learn algebra. My daughter is in first grade and that’s where my focus is right now. There comes a time when she doesn’t want my attention as much and then I can go back to a new part of my life. But even now, I am amazed how much I learn from being around children. They are fascinating little people.

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Neal Frankle December 26, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Hey C – totally agree. I have learned so much from my 3 kids. WOW…..we could talk about that for days. My experience is that my kids force me to the best person I can be. Sounds like you and your children are really thriving. Cool….

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Mark December 23, 2012 at 6:17 AM

I agree you don’t need college to make you better at certain jobs. Like sales, I’ve been in sales most of my life. I went to college but once a knee injury ended football, I took a sales job. College doesn’t teach desire, “want to”, etc. College is great if you want to manage your company, etc. and anymore alot of the companies want 4yr college grads because they’ve shown work ethic, but show a little gumption and there will be a job for you. Remember, no one is going to knock on your door and offer you a job, degree or no degree!

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Amber December 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM

If someone got the job and you didn’t then why not just ask someone what made the difference. Usually it’s not the skills you have but how well you handle yourself in the interview. In an interview they ask you questions. Not for the answer but because they want to see how you answer. They want someone that can sell themselves to them. If they like you they will hire you. Not for the skills because they already figure you can learn what you don’t know. Sales consultants have to sell a product to someone. They think they have to find someone who likes the product but end up finding out the person never cared for the cheap product anyway. They just loved the consultant so it didn’t even matter what they were saying yes to.

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Neal Frankle December 16, 2012 at 7:28 AM

Amber – excellent point. I love the idea of contacting the employer and asking her why you didn’t get the job. This is a great way to learn and get invaluable feedback. I also love the insight that if you get the interview, it means the employer is OK w/your skill level. A wonderful mindset. Thanks!!!!

This post might also be helpful when it comes to interviewing and finding better job offers.

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Anne December 5, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Amazing long discussion . . . really a college degree may or may not be worth it, but you have to decide that for yourself. I’m working on my 40 (yes, forty, minus a lot of years in and out of jobs and raising 5 children . . . ) year degree and expect to graduate in May 2014. :) I’m glad I’m going. College is much more than a piece of paper or a ticket to a better job. I’m enjoying learning.

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Neal Frankle December 6, 2012 at 5:40 AM

Congrats on your progress. I also find it fascinating there is so many different opinions on the value of college. I’m learning a lot as well be reading the comments. Best, Neal

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Anonymous December 4, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Apologies for the spelling mistakes, stupid smart phones! Lol

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Anonymous December 4, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Both arguments are valid. I believe you find something you are great at and enjoy doing. Everybody has different views about “success” and if you don’t go to college you will not be able to support a family, have/enjoy life etc…. Some careers require a college degree however there are plenty of jobs out there that make decent money. My friends dad worked as a plumber apprentice eventually working his way up to master plumber and then owning his own business (all with a high school diploma and hard work/experience). I myself did not go to a traditional 4 year college however I am a firefighter/paramedic and enjoy what I do. I’ve competed against guys who have had 4 year degrees, even masters degrees because some jobs sometimes real life experience outweighs what you have on paper… For example someone can have a degree in fire science with absolutely no experience and have read about how to pull hose of a fire engine, learn how to control breathing, be physically fit enough to handle situations and put out a fire but just because you’ve studies it does not mean you can do it. I’m not bad mouthing people who go to college because I think it’s great! I’m actually going back myself despite being a late 20s with a child because you are never too old to learn Anything. Cheers!

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Missy November 30, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Dental hygienists need a degree. Dental assistants don’t. I should know I am a denal hygienist with a degree in dnal hygiene.

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Rachel November 29, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Just imagine how much work you could get done if you weren’t all sitting at home writing angry comments to strangers about a topic that no one will agree on anyway.

Good job.

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Neal Frankle November 29, 2012 at 8:56 PM

I love this comment. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I wish everyone had this mentality.

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april November 20, 2012 at 5:57 PM

i thought you needed a degree for the jobs he listed?? does anyone know of any others. i would love to go to college just cannot afford it!

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carla November 13, 2012 at 10:27 AM

even here, I find negative comments, no offense to anyone please don’t take it that way, but every topic I read on the internet just about, I see people arguing with one another, no one seems to get along anymore, we are in this country all together, many of us don’t have jobs no matter how good, bad we are, we need to all get together and not have war here

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Neal Frankle November 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

I am disappointed with that too……I try to focus on the positive though and thankfully there are plenty of those.

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Shawn November 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Please don’t make and spelling or grammar jokes I got them all my life and have Dyslexia. Dosent bother me I still have honors classes and have. 3.7 G.P.A

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Shawn November 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I am 15 year old high school student. I feel the college like some others have said should something that you want to do. However if you would like to persuade a career in a medical field , law or technology. I learned in life it’s all about who you know to make it where you want to be. With good connections in high position you can easily make your way up in the corporate office. My mother has been in collage almost half of my life and has a master degree and was laid off. She was out of work for six months. My mother applied for many jobs as she would go on about 2-3 interviews a week. She finally recived a Job last month. With me witnessing this at my age I figured college is not a promise for a Job.

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Neal Frankle November 10, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Shawn – I think you are saying that the value of college depends on your career path. If you study something in college that you love – but the economy isn’t in need of – it won’t help you advance in your career as much as other studies might.

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Josh October 31, 2012 at 8:34 PM

I feel that this entire article is invalid. Some other comments say that you are blessed with a god given gift to gab all day, have passion and a lovely set of social skills that college can’t teach you and that this is more important to a career than proper education . WRONG. In any of the careers above I would not want an uneducated ( or loosely educated by trade schools) person flying me around, investigating crimes, or to by my banker . College teaches you crucial skills for a specific career so that you can excel in one area. You don’t have to be a lovey dovey softy to be say a doctor, that is irrelevant. You need to be experienced and have nearly 10 years, in this example, of education to validate that you are legitimate. It’s as if saying because you run around with your hands out pretending you’re an airplane and someone gives you a 3 month crash course and then gives you the keys. Any notable job nowadays should and does require a college degree and LEGITIMATE education and years of experience. And if you say you’re not “fit for the school atmosphere” then you probably don’t belong in the work place to begin with :) good night

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Neal Frankle October 31, 2012 at 11:13 PM

Josh, I respectfully disagree.

First, the question is what education do you need to get in the door. The article sets that out.

Next, the question is what skills do you need and develop to advance. I would much prefer to work with someone who is dedicated, honest, responsible, smart and dependable in many fields – regardless if they have a degree or not.

I do not believe that everyone needs to go to college. And I know that anyone can be successful – college or not – if they really want to.

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Josh November 1, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I now take back what I said and I am sorry. I want to be a doctor and a bunch of people I know we’re trashing my idea so I just took it out on this article. I now see that you can do anything you put your mind to.

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DANIEL MILLER October 30, 2012 at 4:41 PM

SOME ONE?????? WHAT JOB CAN I GET, I GOT DIPLOMA ONLY BUT I WANT A JOB THAT PAYS FROM 40,000 TO 70,000 , WHAT JOB IS GOOD ???NO DEGREEE NEEDED, MAYBE SOME SCHOOLING ,,PLEASE HELP IM TIRED OF AGENCIES, I HATE SALES, WHAT ELSE PAYS GOOD

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Ashley October 30, 2012 at 1:56 PM

I just looked up some of these jobs without degrees on your list through a few different employment websites. They all say required degree for work :(

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Neal Frankle October 31, 2012 at 12:40 AM

Could you reference where you found that info? I am glad to update the post if things have changed. Last time I checked, you did not need a 4 year degree for any of these.

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student4now October 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

In our community, a policeman must have at LEAST an Associates and be working on their Bachelor’s … no if’s and’s or buts! (even meter readers must have an Associates )
A child support collections requires a MINIMUM of a Bachelor’s in Social Work (and they prefer an MSW)

Many of the non retail/sales positions listed require trade school if not real college … 2 friends went through Trade school and will wind up paying more for their trade school certification than I will have paid for my AA/BS/MCP-LPC when I am done … my niece and nephew in law have no degree and are desperate to find something that they can make a living on that will pay the bills and childcare for the baby they have coming in March. They both have a hard fast belief that you don’t NEED a college degree …and refuse to do so (mostly because their parents don’t have one and … well ..they don’t understand the struggles that their parents went through and that their lack of education is what caused her to grow up without health insurance and the reason he had to go live with his grandparents periodically so that his parents could make ends meet. )

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jcdew October 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Would you go to a Doctor that hasn’t went to school? It is only a piece of paper right?
How about a Dentist with no schooling?

You wouldn’t?
That’s what I thought

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Abby October 3, 2012 at 4:22 PM

I googled “what job opportunities are available for people who don’t go to college,” and this page came up. I am a 17 year old high school student parents and teachers in my town put a lot of pressure on kids to go to college. And for a long time I thought that the only thing in life that was truly important really was getting into a “good college” which supposedly leads to a “good life.” But a lot of things changed and I missed a lot of school and suddenly, as I start my junior year for the second time I’m starting to re-evaluate my priorities. I do think I’m reasonably smart, but there are lots of smart kids…what if I’m not smart enough? What if I can’t do it? So here I am, trying to find what jobs there might be for me that I could even think about without feeling paralyzed by a feeling of panic. I think a college degree is an enormous asset in helping a person find a job, but I don’t think it hurts to see what else is out there as well. And this article does give me something to think about, so thank you.

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Neal Frankle October 3, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Abby, Thanks for your kind words and your honesty. I believe that college isn’t for everyone – but you have to be very strategic about this. Think about what you might want to do professionally. If people who are already are doing that don’t have a degree, I think it makes sense to pursue alternatives which probably include . Also, consider which is something I never thought about and probably should have when I was young.

If you find out you really do need a degree – I would go for it. I would not worry so much about getting into a prestigious school. Just go to a school where you can get great experience improving your writing and speaking skills – on top of math and science. These studies will help you no matter what you end up doing. This is my opinion of course. FWIW. Good luck!

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ncl September 19, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Someone needs to do their research. I’m a dental hygienist and the position requires a minimum of two years of college. Plus, national and state boards to get a license to practice. I saw other jobs on that list that require college degrees also. Very misleading article.

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Neal Frankle September 19, 2012 at 9:42 PM

NCL – the article says a college degree – and you have stated that your job requires education – not a degree. What other jobs do you see on this list that does require a degree?

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ElleJay September 15, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Thanks Neal!
I’d hate to get off topic but this has been on my mind… I find that it’s harder to get a job with bad credit than with no degree. I feel that companies that do credit checks are hurting our economy. I always thought the criminal background check was to give the employer insight on the candidates character. Now, it seems there is yet another hurdle. I know two men: one has an MBA and lost his business in 07- ruining his credit. He drives a towncar for a living. The other guy has no degree, 3 kids he provides for. He is an underwriter for a major bank and his pay is insulting. He can barely afford to pay his bills and his credit score has suffered. Having worked at this bank nearly 10 years, he is threatened every few months that he will be fired if his credit score doesn’t improve. So, in my opinion, credit has become the new EXCUSE for why a person is not qualified for the job.

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Neal Frankle September 15, 2012 at 7:15 PM

You are right. It’s crappy and unfair that qualified people have to struggle like this. Also , I agree that “bad credit” today doesn’t mean the same as it used to mean.

But I have never been a fan of working for a large company. And this is EXACTLY why I like being self employed. Ultimately, the fat cats have our futures in their hands – if we allow them the power. This is not a perfect solution for all, but ultimately, it’s the only one I’ve come up with.

While not everyone can be fully self-employed, I strongly encourage everyone to at least get a side hustle if possible.

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Angelo September 14, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Hi, I log on to your blogs on a regular basis.
Your humoristic style is awesome, keep it up!

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Neal Frankle September 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Thanks for being a reader and your kind words…

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Ve1ro September 7, 2012 at 5:47 AM

Thanks for posting this…
I had to decide against college recently due to my living situation and taking care of family members, and your job ideas were very helpful in making a new goal quickly.

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Neal Frankle September 7, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Glad this was helpful.

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James D September 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Hey great article Neal, How about some listing some jobs for the middle age crowd that “won’t” take 15-20 to get there (i.e. Police Detective, Nuclear medicine technologist, etc.)

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Bob September 4, 2012 at 12:33 PM

At least all of you are willing to work. Better tha tn depending on my tax dollars to support you. Already to many welfare cases in this country . So get out there work hard millions on welfare are depending on you

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Bob September 4, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Knowledge is power know that. Just make sure what you choose to do in life makes you happy. Money doesnt equal happiness. But sure does make things easier. I said good day

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Blair September 3, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Honestly you would think this was a bunch of children by reading everyone’s comments. Everyone is so critical of others. I’m 19 and just starting life, trying to decide whether to get into college or hop aboard workforce. All I can say is think all of your options through and do what you think will make you happy. In turn I think that will lead to prosperity.

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Sabrina August 29, 2012 at 8:56 AM

I’m just wondering where you could possibly ever get a job as a Radiation Tech or a Nuclear Medicine Tech over someone with a college degree? Most places I find aren’t willing to train you, especially when someone with a college degree can walk in already knowing what they’re handling.

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Jacey August 27, 2012 at 8:54 AM

In what world is a high school graduate going to get an awesome job over a college graduate? You’re living in a dream world.

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Jane August 6, 2012 at 5:14 AM

This is such an interesting conversation, and I am quite pleased and shocked that some people with degrees are admitting that it isn’t the mark of excellence as others seem to believe.

I come from a successful family who, none of which have a university education, make me feel like a failure and loser for choosing not to go to uni. At 21 I feel rubbish enough not having a direction in life, just drifting from one depressing level entry job to another, but what really pressures me are my family trying to convince me that a degree is some golden ticket to a life of success, wealth, happiness and respect. I however, think this is bullshit. Yes if you know you want to be a lawyer, vet or doctor that’s brilliant and obviously you need a degree to get there, but from my experience (in the uk) most students are lazy kids who want nothing more than to avoid getting a job for another 3 years.

I totally agree with the people on here who say that graduates rarely come away with a job in the first few years. I think having a degree gives most people the illusion of granditure when in reality they have no idea what it means to get up in the morning, to be hardworking and to be a grown up. I once worked with an architecture student, who I can assure you was the biggest arsehole I have ever met in my life. He placed himself on a self-righteous pedestal and would not be convinced otherwise. He assured me that after he graduated in a years time, he would be making £80k and ‘out of this shithole’. Well guess what, 3 years later he’s still working behind the bar, part time of course, living at home and driving his mothers Nissan Micra. And he stil looks down his nose at all us uneducated apes!

As others have mentioned, take a look at the greatest acheivers in history. Benjamin franklin paid for his own education and worked bloody hard at it. Andrew Carnegie made his vast empire of wealth from pure elbow grease and determination. All the entrepreneurs on dragon’s den became successful from starting off small and working hard. None had degrees.

It isn’t fair to generalise and say every student is a know-it-all bum with no hope of ever achieving anything and it’s also not fair to say that the working class have no hope of success. I guess what determines success in your career and life is ambition, persistence and belief in yourself. That’s what I’d like to think anyway.

PS – Brilliant, non-biased advice Neal. Keep up the good work!

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Neal Frankle August 6, 2012 at 11:11 AM

I agree with your view that this is a case-by-case basis. Nice balanced thinking!

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nichole lampton August 1, 2012 at 5:03 PM

I have been in Accounts Receivables for 15 years now yet I still can’t advance with any company. I continue to be told I need a college degree to advance. Can you explain this or give any suggestions as to what I could do to change that? I am a single mother so going to college isn’t possible for me right now with my infant.

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Neal Frankle August 1, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Nicole, I would say the only possible solution is to look for a more reasonable employer. The position your employer is taking is ridiculous. I have friends w/out a high school diploma who are VP’s of major firms.

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James D September 5, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Chances are Neal, those High School Diploma-less friends of yours started out life many years ago. Stuff like that just “doesn’t” happen to people today (unless they have a horse shoe stuck up their backside!)

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carla July 30, 2012 at 2:49 PM

After reading some these comments, I’m depressed now, instead of encouraging comments about jobs, etc., all I read are people getting upset with each other which makes me reallyyy think I myself will never find a job.

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Neal Frankle July 30, 2012 at 10:56 PM

Carla, I understand but I strongly encourage you NOT to get upset. For every person who leaves a comment, there are many thousands who do not. Some people just love to fight and there isn’t much you can do about it. But the idea behind this post is that there is plenty you can do. Everyone here has a different opinion. And they may be right – for themselves. My hope is that you will look at yourself, assess your strengths/weaknesses and then pursue the best course. You can do it Carla.

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JustNeedAdvice July 26, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Hi,

I’ve always been a life long geek / nerd using the internet / computers extensively ever since I was 12-13 years old. For a while after high school, I kind of shunned this part of me and never thought it could perhaps help me making a living.

Fast forward to now, I’m 24 and still trying to figure out what I want to do in life.

For a while I thought my passion might be political science and I did about 2 years in college because like you Neal, I was afraid NOT to go to college and get a degree. Now I sort of had an epiphany and realized my future in providing a living for myself is in computers. I have begun showing an interest in programming and changed my major to Computer Science.

My question is, should I finish school and get my degree in Computer Science or should I just focus my time, energy and money into learning on my own and somehow getting real world programming job experience? I have plenty of programming mentors who can help me out and they tell me school is pretty much a waste of money in this field. If you learn everything on your own and actually create things and get experience, it is much more valuable to potential employers than a degree. A lot of Computer Science graduates don’t end up being hired for many jobs because they simply don’t have any real world programming experience.

I just don’t want to waste more time and money on a degree if it is not really going to help me out in the long run. I don’t know what to do. I’d like your opinion.

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Neal Frankle July 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I would absolutely get the degree. No question about it.

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Tracy Williams July 26, 2012 at 7:14 AM

I still don’t understand. Don’t many of these jobs listed require an associates (2 year) degree? Either way, you’re still investing your money and taking classes to learn. In my mind, community college (or a technical school) is college. It’s considered higher education and you’re still getting a “degree” or certification in something. I guess college degree in everyone’s minds here equals “Bachelor’s Degree”?

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Neal Frankle July 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM

It’s commonly held that a “college degree” is a 4-year diploma. I agree that many of these jobs require training but it may be much less expensive and easier to obtain than a 4 year degree.

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Doug July 24, 2012 at 5:52 AM

Great article and great comments all around.

I’ve been in both the corporate and legal worlds and I can tell you that education and hard work mean little. If you want to get into corporate, you need a college degree (only because HR departments require it). But a college degree is no measure of performance. I know quite a few dim-bulbs that have a 4 year degree. More importantly though, if you want to get ahead in corporate you need to either (1) be physically attractive or (2) know the right people. That’s it. People in corporate ask me if they should get an MBA … I tell them no. Your career will go farther by simply kissing up to the “right” people.

In the legal field, the same rules apply with one additional caveat … (3) you need to get a law degree from the right school. If you go to Harvard or Yale, you will succeed. If you attend anything other than a top 10 school … you are screwed.

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Susan L. July 22, 2012 at 9:21 AM

I agree you don’t need a college degree to make good money. I was working at a major well known retailer while I was going to Tech School. My parents and I both took out loans for my first year. I was moving up in the company as a supervisor while not making the grades in school. I decided to take a break from school for a while. Was best decision ever. I just concentrated on being a great supervisor on my job, treating customers and co-worker great and with respect. I moved up in the company and after a few year became store Manager. It was not without sacrifice though, whenever there was an opportunity that came up, I took it. That meant moving somewhere else if needed. But now I have flexibility on scheduling, not someone always telling me what to do, and I make 100K plus bonuses. I do have to say that I am a responsible person all around. I am not in debt from school loans or credit cards. I bought my first house back in the 90′s for cheap and when I had to move, I sold it and made a profit, then bought when I moved again and resold. I got very lucky with not losing out on the housing market, sold before all the rest of houses took a dump. We all knew it was coming, so I was smart to listen to some great advice and got out. I have money in the bank, 401K, and a pension from job, a great car, etc. Those that say retail jobs don’t pay, ummm only if you don’t work. If you are a great employee and work your way up, I say go for it, I am a great example of what could work. I only have a high school diploma. I feel pretty good when I start to talk with someone I know that lives in an apartment, has school loans up the rear, and they ask me where I went to school at.

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Bryson July 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

I would like to know if being a painter or being a car mechanic would be a efficient job without having a college degree. Im wondering, because these two would be good and also they make a lot of money, and it would be a good start for me.
- Thanks.

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Dawn July 5, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I’m blowed over by the so called educated people on here who have terrible grammar. There is a thing called spell checker. I am a college grad and I use it religiously. Enough with the insults though.
I’m a high school drop out. Got my GED before my graduating class and went straight to a community college on mostly grants. I acheived high honors but did not graduate with only 2 courses left. Why? Because not enough people signed up for those classes. The college I attended wanted me to take basic courses just to graduate. NOT what I signed up for. Not only that I started applying for jobs right away and was given several offers. So I made a choice. Start working and get skills or waste my time on windows 101.
I got lucky. My timing was great. I was young and determined and if people didn’t call me back, I called them. Now, most of my collegues have BA’s, MA’s blah blah blah and make as much as I do and spend their pay check paying back student loans. Some don’t belong here. People in their 40′s and 50′s are still paying.
Life constantly changes and we get stuck because we are lazy creatures of habit. Everyone I know does the same thing over and over and over and complains and want more.
I still apply for jobs so I can keep up with my interviewing, people and job skills since expecatations rapidly change. Will I go back to college? Doubt it, If I do it will be a trade school for extra knowledge but not a 4 year and go in debt when the whole purposes is to have more money for those golden years. I’m not working at 75. Those jobs need to be available for our children.
You got to take the deck of cards dealt to you and run with it and make it something grand. I will never buy a house, take out loans or own a car beyond my means. I use credit cards to earn points but pay off the balance. My stress levels are low because all I care about is basic neccesities. I am 37 years old and people say I look like im 28. My employer allows me to work at home when I want. I don’t have to clock in and out and I can take long lunch hours.
I am a single mother and would do this at a lower pay because I’m not stressed. I live 5 blocks from work so no traffic, if I drive. Instead I walk and it’s great for the body and mind. I think some people are so greedy and norrow minded that they can’t be happy with what they have. I bet there is someone looking at you right now wishing they were you.
My point is the same as the author. Unless you are trying to be a rocket scientist, there are ways to earn an income without a degree.

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James D September 5, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Sounds like you have the perfect life Dawn. Now try being a middle aged white male in the same situation. Bet you don’t get very far!

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TIM ELVIS CHIA June 30, 2012 at 7:30 AM

people say i am a genius for what they see in me. coming from a very poor background and wanting to share my skills. believing to know a lot without completing school. good in english and french. i am confused. don’t know where to start. any form of job presented to me now to help others and to be helped. God created me for a purpose to do his works. i want to do what He sent me here to do from the small job any one can offer me.

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joe shmoe June 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

In my experience, it doesn’t matter if you have a degree or not. What it boils down to is your reputation and who you know. I have a degree and am currently working a job that is not even related to my field, nor does it require one. I previously worked in my field for 1/3 the salary I now make at a job that does not require a degree.

Whether you have a degree or not, honesty, hard work, and connections will get you places.

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jayce graves June 12, 2012 at 5:38 PM

If you think for a second that a municipal firefighter doesn’t have to get degree’s in fire technology, a paramedics license and a fire academy plus volunteer time you are insane. no fire agency in california will even look at you with out that. Don’t believe that for a second!

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Wendy June 24, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Jayce,
I just said that comment earlier!! CNN is misinformed regarding that whole list! Half of those jobs require at minimal an associates degree.
such a ridiculous article!

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Jackie June 10, 2012 at 9:31 PM

I would love to know how to make the transition from teaching to sales.
Every opening i see requires a sales rep to have 1+ years experience with PROVEN sales track.
When i see “entry level” positions they are usually looking for a “recent” college grad. Translation- someone “young”.
I received my degree 10 years ago when i was in my 30s. I went into teaching believing that it would be a satisfying career with opportunity for career growth and higher degree of job security than a typical job. I was wrong.
I would prefer not to go into retail sales since the salaries are so low with poor commission structure.
Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated:)

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Neal Frankle June 10, 2012 at 9:37 PM

First, sales is a great way to get into business for yourself. I will write a post to answer your question in detail. And you are right to stay away from retail sales. You won’t make money there and you won’t develop sales skills. Keep you eyes open for a post on this important issue.

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Jackie June 10, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Thanks Neal-will do. I am always researching;)
Will check back.

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Heather Saab June 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Hi, My name is Heather and i am a single mother looking for a job. Ive been looking for 2 months now and nothing. I would be a great addition to any team. I work well with others, very hardworker, reliable and dependable. I just need someone to give me chance!

Kindest Regards
Heather Saab

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Courtney June 9, 2012 at 5:09 AM

I just want to let you know, I graduated from a very high accredited Dental Hygiene school and in 49 of the 50 states you DO have to have a college degree to get a license as a Dental Hygienist. Alabama is the only state where you do NOT. I stressed and worked my butt off for 4 years in college, took two very hard and challenging Boards as well as other small tests, spent over $2,000 just on the process of getting my license, to get to where I am now. I am offended my job is misrepresented.

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Wendy June 24, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Courtney,
I just want to say Thank YOU!
I read this article and thought that whoever in CNN that wrote that list was not knowledgeable regarding some of jobs requirements. Some of those jobs listed actually do require some college degree, yours included. I think the article was misleading. People think they can just apply for those jobs without any type of schooling and make a bunch of money. And actually now to be a cop/detective, they want you to have your criminal justice degree with is a 4 year degree.. People are so misinformed..

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Nick June 8, 2012 at 7:51 PM

I don’t understand why there are so many arguments as to whether or not it’s a good idea to do the traditional college thing. Bottom line, this world is incredibly diverse and filled with all different types of people. For some, college is the way to go. Others, not so much.

For example, I want to pursue acting. I’m not going to college. The guy next door to me wants to be a lawyer…He’s going to college.

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Jaime June 7, 2012 at 8:03 AM

I am currently in high school about to graduate and get my diploma. I have a 3.8 GPA and after reading all of these posts I feel a bit more skeptical about going to college. My parents never went to college, so they always egg me saying I should go because I won’t get a great paying job without a degree. I love computers and such, so if I were to go to school for a computer science degree, I could make it happen. But I really don’t know if that’s what I want to do. I do want a job though that I can enjoy and make a decent pay off of. I also want to not worry about my bills and have some cash left over for the things I want to buy as well. I just don’t know how to approach that… If anyone can offer some advice, that would be greatly appreciated.

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Neal Frankle June 7, 2012 at 8:42 AM

I strongly recommend you do go to college and get that computer science degree. Work hard and you’ll be able to write your own ticket. Trade school is great for people who want vocations. If you have skills w/computers – leverage it and the best way to do that is to get the degree. That’s MHO.

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Jaime June 10, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Thanks a lot, I’ll take that into consideration. I would love to get my skills required for my job as soon as possible, so trade schools might be the way to go.

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steve May 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

I have to disagree without any qualification getting a job is very hard except the low earning jobs. I left full time education without any qualification manage to get a job stacking shelves and cleaning the shop and within 15 years turned into running 1 shop into 8 grocery stores and when the owners sold the shops i got 20 percent of the cash but know i can’t get a job as a shop assistant or cleaner I have been unemployed know for 6 months and a few employers say without any qualification to them it looks like i have no drive and I won’t be worth training for because it looks like I won’t learn a thing .

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Ana May 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM

I have a problem with this, not the article, but CNN. You have to have a college degree, associate’s or bachelor’s to work as a dental hygienist, you have to have a license to be a dental hygienist. The only people that do not have to got to college to be a dental hygienist is if you were a dentist in another country and do not have the qualifications to be one here. I know this because I just finished my associate’s to become a dental hygienist and you cannot take the licensure exams without a degree.

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John Davis May 24, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Alex is right. A degree does not equate to success. It is what you do with the college degree that counts in the long term. A diploma is a tool.

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Scot May 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM

I do not have a college degree. I manage a team of 25 professionals. All have degrees. Most with BAs. Five with MBAs, and two with PhDs. ‘Nuff said.

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Neal Frankle May 23, 2012 at 10:15 AM

That’s what I’m talking about!

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Cesar November 1, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I am curious as to how you received such a high position with so little education compared to PhDs

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Alex May 22, 2012 at 6:10 AM

A degree does not equate to success. It sets you on a very specific career path. Try becoming a psychologist without a degree. With that said, life experience will count more towards other professions. A fire department won’t make you a paid firefighter with out lots of related experience (i.e. emt training, extensive volunteer hours) and they won’t give a hoot if you majored in psychology. Go to college because you need the degree for your career. Don’t go if it won’t further your goals.

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Chris May 26, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Anyone can reads books to learn how to become a Psychologist… a degree just shows that there was someone to verify you did the studying essentially.

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Josh C May 20, 2012 at 2:07 PM

You may be able to be a commercial pilot without a college degree, but that’s after you’ve thrown down $100K+ in loans for training and have 2000+ flight hours, which roughly translates working 3-5 years making between $10-30K with the most random work hours possible… CNN is showing they really don’t have a very qualified research team, which is probably one of the reasons they are hanging over the precipice of oblivion.

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Tricia M. May 20, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Wow! I am just finishing a degree in dental hygiene. I can’t believe CNN thinks you don’t need a college degree to become a dental hygienist. Apparently they didn’t do any research. They are getting hygienists confused with dental assistants maybe? Dental hygienists give local anesthesia. I don’t think I would want someone giving me anesthesia who hasn’t had an education in pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, and anesthesia. I also wouldn’t want someone scaling my teeth with an ultrasonic and hand instruments who hasn’t had extensive schooling on this. I had a few years of prerequisites along with a 2 year program. This is not one you can’t have a degree for.

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Becca May 18, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Hi Neal,
I was just wondering if you knew how to go about becoming a police detective since it doesn’t require a degree? My husband is very interested in it but when I looked on the internet a lot of other places were saying you did need a criminal justice degree. Have any suggestions?
Thanks!
Becca

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Willy June 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM

You do not need a college degree to become a detective. I was a Police Officer for 8 years, then applied for a detective position and got it. Some departments have started requiring people to have degrees before they will hire them (larger cities and departments) smaller departments usually don’t. However becoming a detective/criminal investigator does not just happen, you don’t just apply for that job you earn it. I have worked with people with criminal justice degrees but in no way see how its benefitted them. To be a good cop or criminal investigator you have to be good with people, have common sense and be able to think on your feet. Trust me when I tell you to be good at it comes at a great cost. In ten years I have only had two Christmas’ off. I have missed Birthdays, school programs, I was absent for my oldest son’s birth and i met him when he was a week old, as I was In training at a Federal facility. Your husband should do more research. The job does have it’s rewards but they are usually very personal.

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Neal Frankle June 15, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Willy, I really liked your response, “you don’t just get a job…you earn it.”

I get tons of comments on this post. Some people expect that just because you can get a job without a degree that it’s easy to get. I don’t quite understand why some folks think that way but thanks for demonstrating that you can work hard and move ahead.

My experience tells me that hard work and sacrifice (with or without a degree) are the main factors of success. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished!
Neal

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JodyLynn May 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Dear Sir, In 2000 I graduated from a Technical Center, this was after three years of hard work. In the mean time that I was going to school I raised our family and took care of our daughter who had cancer, and volunteered at our childrens schools. Not knowing that what I was learning was to be obsolet when I completed their courses. I am now 54 and have only 18 credits towards a college degree , as we know that is nothing. I have been out of work now for 5 years to the day as our family and our daughter needed me.
With all that said, I do not know where to turn in the matter of employment. I thought about going back to school to be stable, I would go back to become a teacher, and it would probably be on line school. This would put me at 58 when I was done. I need some help with what and how to obtain employment as with my age I do not know enough technology. My desire is to work with children.

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DJM May 10, 2012 at 8:24 AM

If more cops had college educations, and I don’t mean those cheap “Criminal Justice” degrees community colleges hand out, fewer people would be savagely beaten to death.

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Joe May 2, 2012 at 10:10 AM

I definitely agree with most people on this thread, but I think college is better suited for someone that knows what direction they want to go in before hand. I am a licensed Civil Engineer, the only way to be licensed is to have an engineering degree from an accredited college. That is what I wanted to do before college and went for it. There is no way to do this without college and earn what I do. However, I have more friends that work in business administration and management that did not go to college, than ones that actually have a degree in business. If you graduate with a very broad degree like business, you will be in a fight with no degree candidates for those positions. There is not one person that can legally do what I do without a degree and that made job hunting much easier for me. Bottom line, I believe that college is more so for those specialized jobs, that one couldn’t get without college.

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Mel May 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I’ve read all of the posts and find it quite interesting. Although the article was simply giving hope to those who have no degree; those with degrees seemed to take it personally as if what they’ve done over that 4 year period is underrated. To offer my two cents, I have no degree and have always found high paying jobs because of the skills I have cultivated through working. The key is how do you learn and what do you want? There are some who need the structure of college classes to learn. I am a hands-on person, the type that people envy because I can buy a 24-hour learn book and actually come away with effective skills. Therefore college classes were boring for me because they weren’t challenging enough. I wasn’t going to spend another dime on something that didn’t work for me.

You also have to evaluate yourself as a person because not all people have the interview skills needed to land some of the positions they desire whether they have a degree or not. It is an art. You have to know what to say and how to negotiate salary. Most people don’t take the time to research or understand this process so they are in the job market too long and allow depression to set in which is reflected in your attitude and answers when interviewed.

I see both sides, but please remember it is truly the quality of life that matters and finding a career (degree or not) which makes you happy and fulfills you as a person without sacrificing financial security for your family is the key. It can be done. I’m proof positive!

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mplo April 15, 2012 at 7:04 PM

For starters, I’d like to add that there’s nothing wrong with going to college. I did…to learn how to be a silversmith, and how to design and produce things in my work that are more original and not just the commonplace, traditional stuff that one sees in jewelry stores, etc. However, I did not get a college degree, but a diploma in my alma mater, and a letter stating that I’d successfully completed four years of metalsmithing studio courses at another school that I also attended. I now have my own living/studio workspace to do my silversmithing, which I’ve had for the past 24 years, and I’m happy about it. Nothing’s wrong with having a degree, but, since I don’t have one, it doesn’t matter.

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Em April 9, 2012 at 1:30 AM

Hello, I just found this post while looking (on the internet which is a bit sad!) for some reassurance that I’m not a bad person for not having a degree. I should have one, and I’m certainly intelligent enough, and I’ve studied, but I just can’t stick it out, somehow I get bored (not to be arrogant, the content is of course stimulating and challenging) but I have changed my field of study a few times and I’ve just had enough. I want to work, earn my keep and invest more of myself in my hobbies, and I know I’d be great at whatever I do, the only problem is I’m expected to earn more than $40,000 per year and my peers wont respect me. Oh it’s a hard life! But if I have the guts to do what I want, I know there are jobs out there and thanks for pointing some of them out :)

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Jem April 8, 2012 at 9:57 PM

…to 60 per DAY!!! Basically, I was told that I needed to “make it happen” and thst I was going to be expected to start traveling overnight for up to 8 months at a time and move to straight commissions and no territory. I might add that the average rep at my company makes about 30K per year to sell our overpriced goods and services thst you can buy online for 5X less! Needless to say thst was my queue that “it was time to exit the building” and move on to ANOTHER field of work. So, I did and I’m weighing my options as I type… Good luck if you want to go into sales make sure you find a company that pays well for your efforts!

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Jem April 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM

I have a Bachelor’ degree in Business/Marketing and frankly, it hasn’t done squat for me as far as I’m concerned (well, except causing me to go into debt :) Also, I feel to some degree I’ve cursed myself by being in outside sales for over 7 years. Plus, because of the fact I was young and presumptous, I settled for high pressure/low pay potential sales jobs and now I am just burnt the hell out of sales! I WANT OUT OF SALES!!! I haaaaate the long hours, the cold calling, the presentations, the follow-up (whuch takes an average of 8 calls before they actually buy, nugh….draining) I just loathe the overall rollercoaster that “IS” sales! MyOverall though, the thing I absolutely despise is the never ending days where you finish all your appointments only to go home and prospect by emil or send quotes, etc. I was told by my boss a week ago that I need to up my face-to-face col calls

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Vergil Dante March 29, 2012 at 6:25 AM

I envy you younger guys who handled your stuff, and making big money at such a young age. Wow. Must feel incredible.

To William, I’m in a similar boat. Pops served in the Navy for 25 years or so, great job, and has high expectations of me. My brother is in the military as well. Me, same as you, 23 year-old college student with minimal units completed, discouraged from continuing school.

I wish I had advice for you, but I too am looking for a way to a happy, and successful lifestyle. It’s one or the other. Do what you love (settle for less/risky job market), or go back to school, get a degree, go with the traditional way and try to find something popular in the job market, but be miserable or just deal with working hard,

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William March 26, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Im 23 years old.
Dad’s a marine.
Im a college student with a GED and 15 credits already.
I can’t land a job anywhere at all.
I get no calls back. When i do. They say i dont make it into a Teir 1 category.
For example. Me and my bro apply for all the same jobs.
He gets all the calls back. With no GED or anything.
I call them back and they say im not qualified. Whats the point in me wasting my time trying to become successful and finish school when they wont even hire me and instead hire a dropout. It saddens me. Is there anything you think i could possibly do to help out myself in this situation. I live in Jacksonville NC. A Marine Core town.

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Neal Frankle March 27, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Williamn, This is frustrating. I am sorry you are going thru this. Don’t give up man. All you need is one YES. Don’t give up. This too shall pass.

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Matt March 22, 2012 at 7:40 PM

You college kids are silly. Even the people with 8 year degrees admitted to the fact that college is not all that great and most graduate are very immature in the work place. I am an Air Traffic Controller Im 21 years old and I currently make 60k a year w/ benifits and I have never stepped foot on a college campus. How did I get my training, good ole Uncle Sam; worked all through high school (work exp), Joined the national guard, got my training and then did a year deployment, Came home, applied and here I am. To me experience is much greater than education, simply because you learn your greatest lessons through experience. Four years from now the last person I want in charge of me is somebody who hasn’t held a real job or any real responsibilty in the last four years. College cant teach you about life… how many times have you sat in your classroom and thought how am I going to use this in the real world. Sure everybody needs some kind of cerificate or degree or at least know somebody in a high place, but this is an article of jobs with out COLLEGE degrees. So lets all stop calling each other ignorant and attempt to learn from each other. “More love, Increase the peace!”

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B March 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Ummm, you have to have a college degree in dental hygiene to be a dental hygienist…….

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Orlando Family Law Attorney March 16, 2012 at 5:38 AM

this is really interesting. i think in many cases experience out ways the degree.

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lola t March 3, 2012 at 7:55 PM

I don’t know about the other jobs but your information about Dental Hygienist not needing a college degree in inaccurate. In order to become a Dental hygienist one has to first complete two years of prerequisite courses thus getting an AA and then completing two years of Dental Hygiene course at which time he/she will get an AS. Whether the person decides to get an AA and an AS or simply getting an AS is a matter of choice; either way, an associate degree is the minimum requirement! And finding a job is another evil on it’s own.

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Bill AP February 15, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Most of those salaries aren’t sh*t if you live anywhere in or near major cities, like DC, NY, San Francisco, LA, Boston, or Chicago. I live in DC and if you don’t make at least $85K as a SINGLE person…you’re going to struggle, seriously.

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Gina February 13, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Both Neal & Stephen make very good points. I always wanted to get my degree however due to various life circumstances I was unable to. I didn’t let that stop me from pursuing the career path I chose. I set my goals, self educated myself and kept moving forward – never looked back. I’ve been blessed to have graduated into the six figure salaries – for the last eleven years.

I’ve also experienced people hired straight out of college being offered much lower salaries. I’ve also trained people with degrees who were hired straight out of college with great starting salaries.

I had to learn how to negotiate exactly what I wanted “without my degree” with employers and be firm. I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to let my not having a degree stop me at all. I love what I do.

In today’s economy I realize it’s challenging for people unemployed and looking for jobs. When I’m challenged and can’t seem to make head way, I start to think “out of the box” and it has worked for me. Networking is also very important.

Hopefully my comments will encourage some of you.

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Tyler June 13, 2012 at 7:31 PM

A lot of these people keep saying they didn’t go to college and make all this money, but don’t say exactly what it is THEY DO! :(

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Jon January 18, 2012 at 12:25 AM

Going to college is a good thing if you know what you want to do. The only people that truly look at a degree are employers, and they are looking for specific experiences to fit the description of their job opening. So make sure you know what you want to do before jumping in what experiences you need to acquire the job you want.

Catch 22 – no experience, no job. No job, no experience.

If you don’t know why you are going to school or what you are going to do with your degree, then I don’t either. And neither will anyone else for that matter.

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Roy January 5, 2012 at 3:00 AM

College sucks. It was the most depression time of my life. I got piss poor grades and I still got an entry level job making 50K in the state of Missouri. While I’m happy to have a job, I wonder that point was if they weren’t going to check my grades or evaulate any other part of my education. I will say this though, I hate my job with a passion, and I hate having to kiss the butts of of all these “white cowboys” to keep my job. I have to “play the game” as they say. I’m rambling a bit, but the point is if you can get by without a degree, do it.

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Stephen January 2, 2012 at 12:47 PM

First off, I am a 21 year old man who makes 75,000 dollars a year as a sales consultant. I highly disagree with the ignorance shown here. College or no college, you will be whatever it is you decide to be. I didnt go to college and I can bet that I make more money then most of you do. Money isnt everything. College should be a place you go to grow and develop as a person. And to whoever said that college prepares you for the real world is as far from reality as possible. The real world prepares you for the real world. College cannot teach you what to do when your stuck choosing between paying the light bill or the gas bill. College or no college, Success is determined and based on how motivated you are. So everyone get off this blog and go get a job. or a degree. Either way, make something of yourself.

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John December 31, 2011 at 4:49 PM

If you can’t afford school, and have no clue what you want to do with your life after highschool, join the military…discipline, respect, work ethic, and motivation alone opens more doors than any degree ever will.

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Spaghett November 30, 2011 at 8:24 AM

You also have to consider the more “creative” people out there. Many artists and people in music/performance art don’t have college degrees. Now some of you could say, “art generally doesn’t pay well” and you’d be right. But there are people making serious money from their own creativity. And guess what. Those people are happier than ever with their careers. I’ve noticed that people that take creative careers less seriously often lack creative talent of their own, so they become a lawyer or a financial manager, something that takes little creative thought to do. I went to college completely unprepared. I had no clear vision of what kind of field I wanted to work in. I ended up changing my major three times, wasting a good amount of money in the process. Then I realized not a single thing my college offered interested me. My heart wasn’t in it so I had no choice but to leave. College is right more some people. But if you are the free-spirited type and aren’t sure of your future, college will only confuse you more. But I won’t knock it completely. I did learn a lot cool and useful stuff in the classes that did grab my interest. Oddly enough, many of my friends that graduated have a job, but most of them are not happy with what they do.

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Lorna November 29, 2011 at 11:50 PM

I would just like to say that I am a current University student, and I am so frustrated with it all I could scream. I am only a sophomore, but already I can see the futility in finishing my degree. What I really want is to get going with a couple of jobs and build a little nest egg, then invest a bit and use the rest to buy a small farm.

The problem with all this is my parents both got college degrees, their parents got degrees, and in most cases their grandparents as well. To make the pressure just a little more intense, my father is a very successful PhD at the university I attend. I have been raised to believe that if I do not finish with at LEAST a Master’s degree, I will be a worthless human and a burden to society.

I already have a job, and i LOVE it. In fact, my boss doesn’t have a college degree, and is highly successful and prosperous. I can’t wait to get out of school and into the workforce full-time. The highlight of my summer aside from family time is working all day.

I guess my problem is that what I want to do in life doesn’t require a college degree, but my family situation nearly does. I don’t really care about riches and fame, I just want to be happy and have a little cash left over for fun.

I am so afraid of what my family would say and do if I were to actually drop out and go straight to work that I can’t bring myself to do so. Even now, as I write this, I should be working on a pointless paper about sow bug behavior in response to stimuli in their environment. Oh well.

Please, if anyone has been in a similar situation or has any advice, I am all ears.

Thank you

I am so frustrated with the situation that

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Spaghett November 30, 2011 at 8:46 AM

I was in a similar situation myself…but not quite to your extent, the opposite really. My parents have good jobs but no college degree. So they wanted me to get a degree really bad. They put a good deal of pressure on me to pursue Pharmacy and I just wasn’t getting it. I failed all mt Chem classes and just wasn’t happy. I sat them down and said “Listen, Pharmacy isn’t for me. In fact, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I want to change my major”…

And they listened. The best way to approach this is sit them down and let them know how you feel. You are your own person with your own dreams. Too often I see parents pushing higher education on their children, and many of those kids don’t want to do what their parents want them to do. Tell them that success is not defined by a piece of paper. To prove that point, rip up your father’s PhD. (You don’t really have to, that’s big move lol) It’s a piece of paper. It does not define him, and if it does, then I’m sorry to say he has lost himself. You define your own success. If working the job you love so dearly is your idea of success, then go for it. Who is to tell you otherwise? Your family? No. They don’t get a say in the choices you make for yourself. If the family reputation is more important than their own child, then consider where your parents’ priorities really are. I can’t say this discussion will end well. I don’t know your parents and from your description it seems they will be less understanding than my parents were in my situation, but that’s a risk you have to take. If you can get by on what you do now, and you enjoy it as much as you say you do, then talk to them. If they want you to finish college, then maybe finish with a Bachelor’s, stick with your current job and call it a day. Sure, you’ll have a degree that you probably won’t use, but that’s your parents’ problem now. And if they get upset saying “We spent all this money to get you into college”, just say “Remember that talk we had where I said I didn’t want to continue college anymore? You implored me to finish, and I did. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to change my mind about what i want to do.”

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J Coffey November 21, 2011 at 1:37 PM

BTW Mom and Dad never paid for my Schooling,never paid my car insurance or even bought me my first car,I did all that myself.

Parents shouldn’t pay for their children when they go to school,they are adults by then and shouldn’t need their hand held.

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J Coffey November 21, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Would you go to a Doctor that never went to school and only did “on the job training”?

I didn’t think so.

People who went to school(and those that paid out of their own pocket) wish schooling actually meant something.

Going to school meant I cared enough to be the best I could be at my job,I have been at Poverty level all my life,raised a child as a single Dad(with no child support) when the odds were against me back then.

If schooling means nothing then maybe we need to close them all.

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Austin February 2, 2012 at 5:14 PM

There are some jobs where college is helpful, even necessary. But not all of us are called to be doctors. I went to school for one semester and was instantly disillusioned. I am in the process of deciding if i want to to return for college or just move on. It’s different for everyone. I want my lawyer to graduate college, but at the same time a degree doesn’t help the firefighter cut away the car and pull me to safety if I have a bad crash. Everyone’s situation is different, some people might be better going to college, some not. Find something you love and put yourself in the best position to achieve it. If that something requires advanced education, go for it. If it requires on job experience, then maybe a degree isn’t the best option. But that’s just my two cents.

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Amanda April 26, 2013 at 11:49 PM

In some states lawyers are not required to go to law school in order to become lawyers. Some states still have lawyer apprenticeship.

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Steven October 28, 2011 at 3:44 PM

@Jess. When the author said you’ll beat starbucks with your iPhone ad laptop you have to understand it’s the sterotypical college student. He means instead of wasting time on a degree your not gonna use why not get ready for a career

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jman October 26, 2011 at 7:56 PM

The way I see it, not that it really matters..college degrees mean nothing except that somebody sat through some classes, memorized a few things for some tests, passed them, or they are good at looking things up on the internet, or both. You can have the common sense of a rock and get through college, but if you have a decent short term memory, or are good at looking things up on the internet, you can get by and even do well. It doesn’t make you smarter, or necessarily more educated, and it sure as hell won’t prepare you very well for a career or how to be successful. How things are done in the workplace may be completely different from the way you learned to do things in college. All a degree means in my eyes is you committed some worthless information to your short term memory that you will probably forget later on, and most likely won’t help you be a good employee in the work force. Also, the quality of a college education is a joke from what I have observed. I became so depressed with it all the last year and completely lost interest in getting my degree even though I was not far away. I barely put fourth a speck of effort, procrastinated and put every thing off to the last second, did ZERO studying, and had hardly a clue of what was going on in my classes. Guess what? I not only was able to pass, but do “well” from what I heard..however I was so depressed with it all I never even bothered to find out what my grades were myself. That goes to show you that the quality of education college gives you these days is garbage. Any idiot can get through college if that is what they want to do. The extensive use of the internet involved practically makes it a cakewalk. I don’t think college makes people any better than the people who don’t have a degree. I still have no idea what I want to do with my life, but as for college I just gave it up, got so depressed that reading the syllabus for my courses gave me a headache. The material was tedious and frustrating, as well as amazingly uninteresting. Half the people in my classes couldn’t even spell or write a correct sentence and still got by. College education is a joke, not to mention public school, which also did nothing to prepare me for the real world which along with my severe depression and anxiety problems is why I have gotten nowhere in life. However, I wish I never bothered attending 1 day of college. I wish I just started working full time right out of high school, saved as much money as I could of, learned to be smart with my money and make some good investments with those savings. You sure as hell won’t learn how to do any of that in college.

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Steven October 28, 2011 at 3:55 PM

@jman I agree with you 10000% on everything you said. I’m in college now and I’m just too lazy to do anything because the teachers are stupid as hell but I love working I work full time and it’s so much fun working with people and becoming social (which by the way public school “is against”). The reason people are unemployed after graduating college is because everyone coming out are anti-social people who instead of talking were shoulder deep in books

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jman October 29, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Funny you mention that the professors are stupid as hell..that about sums it up. True story (this has happened more than once during my experience with “higher” education). I have been handed instructions for assignments and projects by college professors with spelling errors and other typographical errors in them. I have sat in classrooms surrounded by students with laptops open as they surf facebook. The professors are quite ignorant if they believe these students are taking notes. These facebook surfing losers are rewarded with inflated grades and pass, despite not doing shit in class, get by, and in the eyes of some idiotic employers are more qualified for a job than somebody with more work experience. Not that paying attention to what the professors have to say matters, it won’t really do much for you as far as making you a success in life. What colleges want you to know to pass a few tests, and what people need to know to be successful are two totally different things. You won’t obtain the latter by wasting your time and money in college. The only thing that college guarantees these days is debt, not a job. Plenty of college grads working the overnight shift at wally world stocking shelves at 4am for $7.50 an hour.

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Sally October 15, 2011 at 6:01 PM

I remember meeting an English woman who had moved to America and she was so puzzled over why Americans put so much emphasis on their kids going to college as some sort of ‘ultimate solution to all lifes potential problems’. It’s not.

People often forget that colleges are a business. They are in it to make money and tend to align their programs with local employers. That’s only one influencing variable though. Others are trying to get more of the budget money that states get from the Dept.Of Ed., so paint themselves in much higher calibers and golden troughs than they actually are.

There is a snobbery, sometimes overt, about the college education. The person who graduated from Harvard is almost always going to feel somewhat superior to the person who graduated from Lesser Known University. So, even amongst ‘the educated’ there is bigotry.

And that attitude spreads, like a virus, throughout various industries. Are there fields that actually demand a degree? Absolutely. No doubt about that. But not everyone knows from the age of six that they want to be a doctor or lawyer or financial analyst. Somehow people forget that 1) Life is fragile and 2) there is no law that says you MUST be one thing and one thing only until you die. In fact, the more well rounded individuals I’ve met have a couple of things in common: travel and curiosity. They are exceedingly intelligent, vibrant people. I have met people with PhD’s who have all the social skills and interesting personalities of asbestos. But that’s okay, they have their place too and it’s usually very, very specific.

The problem is, investors usually want to see a certain number of degree X and degree Y ( read: PhD’s and Masters with a bunch of Bach’s beneath them in the organization ).

What this has done, the relationship between business and education, is flatten the value of degrees and higher education. There was a time that having a Bachelor’s was a really big deal. Not anymore kids. Sorry. Bachelor’s now are a dime a dozen and there are more PhD’s now than ever in human history.

I think we teach each other the wrong employment values and it’s a subtle process of pressure and persuasion ( usually ), over time. If you think about it: How many college courses did Da Vinci take? Zero. He learned his artistic craft, which he didn’t really value all that much as his other skills, through discipleship. Unforunatley, the mentoring process, sans a degree, is virtually non-existant except in the rapidly dwindling population of skilled trades. Not everyone can be a manager and not everyoen wants to push keyboard buttons all day long or write reports that have deadlines, but no one reads.

A great example of inflated degree value is in the area of computer science. Sorry, but you don’t need to go to college to learn programming or how to be a good one. To be a great programmer takes years and comes not just with experience, but having fantastic mentors. Now, it’s all about the degree or certifications ( vendor specific and hmm…that’s another racket in itself ). And what do we have as a result? A ton of buggy, creaky, and user unfriendly software.

The point is, I think business could save a lot of money if they stopped with the degree filtering process and instead did internal programs and worried about MAKING THINGS THAT WORK. lol The success (profits) of the business would draw investors like supermagnets instead of having to beg them on your knees to invest.

Most people, wether they’re career switching or kids, are looking at upwards of a 100G’s in college debt to pay off because, again, the market is saturated with college degrees now more than ever. If a college degree were so relevant, then everyone unemployed with a college degree wouldn’t be, well, unemployed. So, the four year degree just isn’t worth the investment made.

As for college ’rounding people out’. Again, I’m sorry, but travel can do the same thing, if not better. Saying that the aspect of college, such as living away from home, being one of its valuable aspects is like saying going to summer camp makes you worldly. It doesn’t. It just mixes you with your own peers only in a different state ( maybe! ).

America needs to export something more than military armaments ( missiles, fighter jets, tanks, mercenaries, and drones ). The Chinese are at least two or three decades ahead of us in computer espionage ability. So there’s this big emphasis on computer security personnel. Guess what? That’s right, degrees and certifications are now required defintions of these jobs. Which is just totally absurd. The skills for doing that kind of work CAN be learned OJT. Most jobs can be learned OJT. But colleges are businesses and no way are they going to stand for THAT!

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Rian October 1, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Hi, I think you can still earn online doing things that do not require any formal education at all. For example, you can become a freelance writer for a company. Of course, it would be great to know some rules in essay writing but you can learn that online as well, and skip college.

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Ryan September 27, 2011 at 9:56 PM

I’m just wondering if anyone posting here actually see’s the “real world” for what it is and how it truly affects each one of you. I hear a lot of talk about money, jobs, education, ego and I wonder why all of you think any of these things are actually relevant to happiness, sustainability, intelligence and prosperity?

I make a little over $90,000 a year as a driver within the television and film industry. I work very hard, I work very long hours (which determines my higher than average pay) and I do not have a college degree. However, my career does not define who I am, what my intellectual capacity is, nor does it determine my worth as a human being.

It is what I do outside of work that paints a larger than life picture of who I am and what I’m all about. I am the change I wish to see in the world…in who we are collectively, seeing our planetary society begin to make sense, seeing peoples minds open up and flourish with the possibilities and potential that the countless generations before us have provided, the technical and scientific discoveries and solutions we constantly ignore in favor of an outdated and pointless social system.

Let me help you see the world as it really is, and then let me show you a clear path towards what it could be. Change starts from within! Wishing all of you well. :))

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Stephen January 2, 2012 at 12:52 PM

“Be the change you wish to see in this world”- Ghandi (and i didnt have to go to college to know that). Great point, you are a very WISE man, and in my opinion, wisdom is the greatest of all intelligence. Wisdom does not come from a college degree, it comes from real life experience. Keep working hard, it will pay off.

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Leonardo September 10, 2011 at 6:03 PM

College was always my frustrated dream, but now that I’m 26 years old I started realizing that college it’s another option, but it doesn’t make you better. I always have been an addicted reader, I educate my self constanly in many subjects, I’m not an ignorant because I don’t have a degree. Many people in college only study and know their subjects, but that’s all, they aren’t universal like Leonardo da Vinci. The experience of life is unique, now I learned from my mistakes and I’m being successful i’n my business. I want to go back to college, because I want to be a politician, not for a better income.

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ShawnMon September 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM

So, you’re in the middle of a major city sitting at a four-way red light. Look around you at all the cars and people. Who’s traveling in the wrong direction??
Point is, there are plenty of right directions. Everyone can choose their own, for the most part, here in the U.S. Only each person would know if they are traveling in the wrong direction.
Just figure out where you want to end up, then back track the steps that would lead you there. Now…. Do you want or need a college degree? Then go get it. Or don’t.
Assume everyone at the four-way is traveling in the right direction. Now just make sure you are.
I’m still working on it myself! As are most people.
:-)
No need to come down on either party, right?

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Keri Clearwater August 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Hey Guys, you all have important key points,you don’t have to have a degree to pursue your dreams.But as for me my story may seem a little different, however am thinking about going to college this winter to pursue my education in the field of Health Administration ( but to be honest that’s not what i really want,my dream is to become an actress,model and even a writer.But, at least when i leave college i know that i’ll have something to fall back on, if none of those work(but with my will and determination it WILL work….xxx KC.

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Carol E. August 24, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I think it is an amazing think that there are SO many jobs available for those of us unable to afford college; as well as those whom it just doesn’t work out for. And really when it comes to competition for a job. Just because you have college experience does NOT mean you are more qualified… Real life experience isn’t something learned from a book. May the better qualified person win!

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mike June 28, 2012 at 12:54 PM

unfortunately the person without the degree won’t get the chance to compete never mind win.
If there is Special knowledge required to fill the job even if you have experience a computer doing key word sorting will eliminate all applicants without a degree. OR a HR manger will even NOT hire someone with more experience because they were told a BA or BS was required for the position and not knowing anything about actually doing the job they are reviewing resumes for they eliminate anyone without a degree.
Also the business world is Full of Collage grads who are conditioned to believe the only way you can know what they know or do as good a job as them is to have the same credentials as they do and that is a collage degree. Even most of the jobs listed on this page as being good paying jobs the do not require a degree are hard to get without one. Another problem is sometimes they do not even care what your major was as long as you have a 4 year degree you can get the interview may not get the job but if you did not have the degree your screwed before you have a chance to prove what you know.
Now is that right? NO but you can bitch and complain or you can do what you have to work within that system as you are not going to change it you will only hurt yourself should you try.
I am 46 and returning to get my BS because I was laid off and can not get a job in the same field I was working in for close to 20 years without the 4 year degree. I was told by 3 recruiters in the past 3 days that they had me lined up for a position only to disqualify me because I did snot have a 4 year degree and although I had the experience for a senior position I did not have the degree.

The last job I did get was through a temp agency they needed 3 techs to begin with and once the project was past the roll out they had one permeant position to hire after working for them a year I was let go and the recent grad with less work experience was hired and I was told right out it was because the job required a BS. Sure I got mad hay I proved for a year I could do the job. But instead of just getting mad I am going to do something about it NO I do not want to spend the money at 46 to finish my degree but I can ether complain about it being unfair or I can just go get the degree. I learned n the job the same skills they teach in collage as the applications used today did not even exist when I was in collage and got my AS degree I learned them on the job doing real work not a class assignment. But I do not have the degree to prove it. And in today’s job market you don’t get past the job requirements without the 4 year degree be it a BA or BS and when it comes to jobs in Academia you need a Masters to get past the door. In

2001 I taught some classes at a Community collage (non credit courses) on how to use the latst Web Development apps because NO one who was not actually woking in the field knew how to use them but Now I have to go back and get my degree because someone I taught is more likely to get the job then me because they got a BA and I have a AS. I have more real world experience but without the degree I do not get the opportunity or even if I do some writes up a job requirements that exclude all but those that meet the education level. Not experience. I even have a friend that was asked to apply for his own job after a merger and guess what he was laid off because (or actually they forced him to retire) Because He did not have a high enough education level for his current position even though he was working for the company over 30 years and held his current position for more then 10 of them. he was forced out. This guy worked his way up through the company knew every thing about the business and now there is some recent grad there who has no experience in the industry who took his job. He is older then me and he just gave up looking and finally just retired
Why Because Someone at the corporation that bought his company decided all product managers had to have a collage degree and he did not have one. And to make it worse the success of the product department He managed was the primary reason the corporation wanted the company. Yet they let a good manager go because he had advance above his education level. SAD but this is how it is a not having 4 year degree today is like not having a high school diploma

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DeSean September 17, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Hi Mike,

After reading, i noticed you spelled College, “collage” multiple times. I liked your message, however, you should double check and re-read before posting

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bek August 21, 2011 at 11:00 PM

I agree with John.

I’ve been to college, never finished my degree, got dangerously close, but then got pregnant, and lost my precious daughter during labor and well, just haven’t gone back yet to finish.

But what I’ve seen is that almost 100% of my friends with degrees (mostly women) do not have jobs relating to that degree, they have thousands upon thousands in college loan debt and are frustrated that they aren’t using their degree.

Now.. that being said, I don’t think they regret the college experience at all… but life changed. One of my friends with a nursing degree ended up starting her own business and its very successful, another started a family and isn’t using her education, others haven’t been able to get the job relating to the degree.. others still yet have lost interest in their degree areas.

I’m not knocking degrees, i think they’re great if you can get them, but its great if you can’t get them either. I know very wealthy men and women that don’t have degrees and are very successful. If you work hard and have integrity and determination you can really do anything and make a great living.

thankfully i don’t have any college debt, however i didn’t attend a yale or harvard either :)

good luck to you all…

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Neal Frankle August 22, 2011 at 8:03 AM

bek, So sorry to hear about your daughter. I appreciate you sharing though it must be difficult to discuss.

I agree that most people don’t work in the career they study in college. A degree can certainly be useful in many but not all circumstances. But I think where you get the degree is rarely important.

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DEBBIE HELM March 13, 2012 at 12:05 AM

EVERYONE SEEMS TO HAVE THE RIGHT IDEA. IT MAY TAKE A MILLION OF US TO MAKE ONE IDEA WORK IN THIS ECONOY

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John July 31, 2011 at 6:17 AM

I think the author just wanted to point out, that college is not the only way to get a high paying job. I think the stereotype these days is having a good education or going to school, I think that its only one way to get things done, some people do well on the job rather than in school. I guess what I’m trying to say is that its not to put people who went to college down, rather its to encourage people who can’t go to college or have hard time in school get high paying jobs, or a job without getting depressed or disheartened because they did not get the education

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Kat February 21, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I completely agree. That is one of the reasons I decided to read this article. I, too, am just trying to find a different route for employment, since I have not completed 4+ years of continued education, though I am currently working on it. Those who have come to this page to put people down with words, I just laugh at their smug sense of self worth. It actually seems that most (not all) of the college graduates that are commenting on this page have the most grammatical errors. So much for English 101. My current G.P.A. is a 4.0, and I’m currently not in school. I’m just another 30 years old woman trying to find a job in a certain economy that requires a person to have a BA to work at MacDonalds.

I recently took a trip to Portland, OR to find employment. I got two job offers in that one week of being there and this was at the end of January. I’m back in my home state because of unfortunate events, and I had to turn down both of the jobs. I’m saying all of this because, sometimes you can absolutely find great paying jobs with just a high school diploma. The jobs are there, just don’t give up.

Furthermore, just because you have an expensive college education, it doesn’t make you better, or smarter, or more worthy than anyone else. So, comments like “a trained monkey can do it” just makes you come off as ignorant and small minded. I don’t mean to put anybody down, but that comment was definitely uncalled for. I don’t think a trained monkey can become a Real Estate Broker, which just happens to be my field of choice. I’m just saying…

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Anna July 15, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Neal, thanks for this post. I appreciate your advice.

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Barbara July 4, 2011 at 1:39 PM

There is no guarantee that going to college will land you a great job. That has been a myth for many years. However, college can expose you to a world of interests and ideas. There’s philosophy, anthropology, literature, geology, history, languages, endless subjects to study. College teaches you discipline, creativity, and how to research and explore areas of interest.

If you can work while going to school, that may help to get a job once you graduate. There are also internships available in a variety of fields.

You may still struggle to find a job or your career path. You may find that your job or career path loses its luster. But you’ll never regret your college education, because the love of learning will stay with you all your life.

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mike June 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Barbra you right also getting the degree is no guaranty you actually learned all you could have you can graduate with a 2.0. That right there says to me you can get a degree and still not have a firm grasp on every thing offered. If you are paying to attained collage you should strive to graduate with a 4.0 (not many do) and even even go beyond the basic course work. to get as much knowledge from the resources available to you while there. And I guaranty you if you picked the right field of study and school and then applied yourself above and beyond You will have job offers before you graduate.

Of course you could choose one of the schools and majors that exist only to make the collages money you know them, they are are the ones that a C student can get accepted to can pass with little effort or real intelligence. They do not require any advance math or science they are in fields of no real specific knowledge or are in fields that appeal to many but offer very few really jobs that pay well or because they appeal to a large number of people and do not require any real intelligence (at least to study) there are WAY too many schools teaching them and way too many students graduating with those degrees then there are jobs in those fields.

You know the Art Majors the Liberal arts major, the Phys Ed majors. you can also include all those Majors very popular among collage athletes who’s real major is their sport but they need to be enrolled in a major to play and their best chance of fiscal success is not due to the collage degree they got but to play professionally or at the least turn the minor celebrity status as a collage athlete into a career based more on popularity and celebrity then intelligence.

Hay in a world where Snooki of the Jersey shore can make $100K per episode it is no wonder kids would rather gamble on the rare chance of making money due to celebrity based on celebrity alone and opportunities based more on serendipity then Hard work studying and real effort or intelligence.

It is Not getting a degree that is the key to success it is the study and hard work that it is supposed to represent that is. Unfortunately the education systems have become just as corrupted as the rest of the world and you can get a degree and know nothing and you can not have one and make a million and nether is a example of how it should be.

What should matter is not if you have a degree or NOT it should be do you have a brain and have you applied yourself to learn what is needed to actual produce something of value with that brain.
If you want to work for others you need to pay tuition to prove you learned even though you can acquire the same knowledge yourself if you are intelligent. After all almost all collage courses are based on a text book anyone can buy if you can read a apply what is there you know more then most 2.0 collage grads as they could not even do that and yet they still got the degree. Problem is when the only thing a HR manager is going to see is a resume and them make a decision of how much you know if you have no degree they have no way of knowing you learned it. You could list every book you read every accomplishment but to the HR manager it would mean nothing as they have no ideas what you really need to know to do he job but they know people go toe collages and get degrees to learn it. So they use that as the first criteria.
So yes a C student with a degree is more likely to get a job then a A student that never chapleted the degree due to finical reasons.

I am not saying people who do not go to collage are dumb but they are intentionally making it harder to get a job even if they did acquire the knowledge without getting one and I also know plenty of Collage grads are 2.0 grads who have a piece of paper but not the knowledge it is supposed to stand for. I a perfect world a collage grad would be the more intelligent and we would only accept as many majors in a subject then there was demand for people trained in that field but alas this is not a perfect world.

So instead we have way to many performing and visual arts majors and not enough science, math,technology and engineering majors.
And to risk bringing up the collage the dropouts Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
Today the next Bills and Steves have do not have enough people in this country to create the stuff they would sell. (just so you know Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did not invent nor create anything someone else who did acquire a science, math,technology and engineering degree did it for them.

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DeSean September 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Not to sound like I’m pointing you out, because I don’t mean this in a negative way, however, it’s me helping you.

The definition of collage is, a mixture of pictures.
The definition of college is, a institution of higher education.

Although I understand your what you mean in your message. And you do have good key points. The meaning between the two words, college and collage, are different.

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joe June 18, 2011 at 10:59 PM

This conversation is rediculous! Not one of you mentioned the part of life that really matters, the impact you have on the lives of your loved ones and family. It’s people like you that have sentenced us to a society of progressively dumber children that expect Elmo, Thomas the Train and Bob the Builder to not only teach them the basic principals of morality, but comfort them and be substitute parents while we are on the hunt for more money!!!!!!!!!! Few degrees teach us that we really need to back up.

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Miko February 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM

I decided college wasnt for me and have made over 5 million dollars over the last 10 years. At this juncture in my life, I want to go back to school. Its not always about money, but about living, and being able to communicate yourself more clearly. Its about the personal satisfaction in learning about anything that may interest you. Yes you can learn on your own, but structure can give you a base. Making money is a scam. If you can scam, you can make money. In a period where everyone is pressured to buy, is convinced that they need all of these things, making money is directly related in your willingness to offer false hopes, wether it be to customers, bankers, employees, etc. Nobody who wants to make money sells the whole complete truth.

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tia October 21, 2011 at 5:09 PM

how did you make your money if you dont mind me asking. i am dropping out of school because i can’t afford it anymore and i would like someone who can guide me in a new direction. so, if anyone would tell me other alternatives i would appreciate it.

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Joe February 28, 2011 at 9:41 AM

I am training to be an engineer at college. This means I have to take a variety of calculus and physics. It also means I have to take a lot of programming courses, since I am going to be a software engineer. Let me tell you, if you want to be a manager or want to work on something really cool- such as working for IBM or working for a
private defense company designing missile systems and such, you need a degree. Sure, you could be a technician maybe without a degree, but if you want the big bucks making awesome technology, you need a degree in engineering or computer science or even a degree in Information Technology.

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DT September 21, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Did Steve Jobs get a degree to start Apple? No. Not only that, but from what I understand he doesn’y hitre based on college experience. I know it’s a one-off example, however, there are plenty Jobs-like people in the world.

I think, if you want to go to college, go! if you’re unsure, don’t!

It is usually (and I emphasis usually) the non-college goers who do the creating and the college goers do the sustaining.

Just my humble opinion and please understand it is just that.

I myself didn’t feel the need to go into college and am doing fine. I am also grateful to not have heavy debts.

Time will tell if it was good for me, as I see it now, it was and believe it will be.

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eHead June 3, 2012 at 5:58 AM

Steve Jobs also never personally developed cool software for a defense company. He was not a professional software developer.

This whole thread is really quite absurd. Everyone is attempting to make vast generalizations about the quality and value of peoples lives based on their educational background, which is a silly endeavor if you think about it for even a second.

It’s equally absurd to think that all opportunities are open to everyone, regardless of their education. They are not, or at the very least they are exceedingly more unlikely. Some things you need a college education to do, and engineering is probably one of those things, though surprisingly a lot of “programming” jobs are open to anyone with the proper experience. A lot, but not all, and the field is getting more competitive. A degree in comp. sci. from Berkeley probably isn’t going to hurt you.

There is a large variety of human experiences here on Earth, and life is definitely NOT fair. I’d advice everyone to get over it and make the best of what they have. As for happiness, research suggests it only correlates with income up to a certain point… the point is where you are finally making enough that you are not constantly stressed by bills, rent, health bills, etc…

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mike June 28, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Steve jobs did not complete collage but Steve Wozniak did and HE not Jobs invented the Apple Computer while at the University of California, Berkeley

AND Have you tried to get a job at Apple they turn away hundreds of applicants just for retail jobs never mind Tech jobs.
Apple hires Only the best and their may be a few geniuses out there that are self taught but MOST of those creating the products apple sells where computer science majors, industrial designers and even those now in charge have MBAs so unless you get Really lucky and you NOT going to be the next steve jobs (

Oh and by the way had Jobs not at least attended Berkeley he would not have met Wozniak and he would never been created Apple. Jobs may not have completed his degree but he did attained collage.

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Neal February 18, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Katie,

I for one don’t see the post as denigrating a college degree. I have one and worked hard to get it like you. :) It’s just that it’s not always worth it for everyone. I know plenty plenty plenty of people who earn much more and do much more with no or little college than people with a Ph D.

A college degree isn’t a stand alone product as many students and parents think. It’s a tool to help you do something down the line. It’s also not an extension of high school.

That being said, for the right person, a 4 degree at Yale or Harvard might be worth it. For most of us, it’s not.

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mike June 28, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Well I thought it was not worth it but at 46 I find I am being forced to return to finish my BA (I have a Associates) I found after getting laid off that without a BA I can not even get a interview for jobs in my field I have over 20 years of experience actually doing.
Why because HR managers have made a 4 year degree a requirement to even be considered. Even for entry level designer positions the want a 4 year degree back when I started you could get those with just a big school diploma and a few High school level design courses. And you worked your way up from there. Now if you do not have a 4 year degree listed in the education section of your resume you it gets filed in the bin by a computer using keyword screening on the hundreds of resumes they get for every position. It is a different world today. A Degree no ticket to a job ether but not having one is a huge bar to getting one.

Now if you want to be a entrepreneur there are fields in which you can create your own income without a degree and that is probably the best path to a good income with out a degree as a business owner you are the hiring manager so you are not going to disqualify yourself.
But that path is not avoiding school you are just enrolled in the school or hard knocks as most first time Business owners fail to plan well enough due to a lack of training in just how to run a business even if they may know how to perform the primary service of their business they have little or NO training in what actually running a business involves.
And depending on what type of opportunity you are pursuing you may find someone with a MBA might be considered a better investment should you need to seek funding for your entrepreneurial endeavor Not to mention what you learned in business school would teach you just where to find such investment and how to write a proper business plan before you even start.
SO NO I am not saying that collage Degree is the ONLY path to success and it is hardly a guaranty of success but in todays job and business climate you are starting out with a strike against you if you set out without one and acquiring Knowledge IS NEVER as waste of time and you CAN acquire the same Knowledge outside of academia but the problem is HOW do you prove you have acquired it? that is what the degree says or it is supposed to say. But there are good collages and bad ones after all once they have your tuition they do not care if you actually get the knowledge you paid for. That is up to you to make sure of by choosing what school you attend carefully and then putting in the effort once you get there.
Sure you can get a degree and not have retained the knowledge to succeed or the school you attend did not even care to offer the proper knowledge then you could attend a top school but graduate with a 2.0 sure you have a degree but you never learned half of what you should have and you probably forget what little you did learn.
If 4.0 means you learned everything offered being about graduate with a 2.0 means you can still get a degree but have gotten half of it wrong. SO how much your degree is really worth has a lot to do with how much effort you actually out in while you where there.

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Katie February 18, 2011 at 5:59 PM

I saw this and just had to say something. True, its a stereotype that people in college had it made, but there’s also a lot of us who did struggle and don’t appreciate having our 4 years of hard work and dedication not count as experience. College does count for something. It shows that when you want something, you go for it, and you do it. That degree is proof that you are reliable, responsible, and smarter than your average Joe.

We deserve to get treated with just as much respect and no offense to those of you who did not go to college, but we deserve to score those high paying jobs that are fine-tuned to our specialized training.

However, there are lots of jobs as listed above that any trained monkey can do. By all means. If you can settle for less than $80k a year, do that. Those of us who want to achieve more go to university. :)

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Sultaria August 29, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Katie, I read your post and was just astounded at your ignorance. Get off your high horse and take a look at the real world. It is very rare for someone with a bachelor’s degree to make 80K a year. It is uncommon for people even with PhD’s in many fields to make that much. I went to college and know people who have gone to college getting their doctorates in physics. Even they had a difficult time finding a job, let alone making a lot of money in their fields. I went to college and dropped out with a 4.0 GPA, because to me it was simply not worth it. I came from a poor immigrant family and got a scholarship. So, no, mommy and daddy weren’t supporting me and I wasn’t coasting by on life. I went to college because my whole life my mother conditioned me to believe that without a college degree I’ll be a worthless human being who will one day end up in the poor-house if I don’t become a doctor or a scientist.

A college degree is not proof of someone’s intelligence, hard work, and responsibility. I’ve known plenty of people who were dumber than a rock and completely unreliable and still somehow graduated college. Take it from someone’s whose been there and done that: college isn’t that great. It won’t guarantee you a high paying job or make you better than anyone else. Although for most people, it does create that illusion. If you want to go to college, do it because you’re really passionate about your subject, not because you want to make money, look good, or are just pressured to do so.

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Neal Frankle August 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Sultaria, while I think you are attacking Katie and I’d prefer nobody gets attacked here at Pilgrim, I have to admit you made some great points. When I went to college it was out of fear. I thought it was the only way to go and since I was collecting SSI in order to go, the risks were low. I was actually afraid NOT to go to college. Now, people understand that there are many alternatives.

I’m glad I got my BS and the process helped me. But I am not convinced it was only option looking back.

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queen November 2, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Sultaria,
What is your occupation? And how much do you make a year? You’re the one that’s ignorant by saying,”a college degree is not proof of someone’s intelligence, hard work, and responsiblity.” I’m a college student. College prepares you for the real world which is hard work and responsiblity. No a person doesn’t have to attended college, its their life and they make or break it. But college does help give a person the training for these high paying jobs and also the resources to find them. Maybe your ignorant ass should go back to college it would do you some good hun. Trust me.

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Jonathan January 11, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Okay i am sorry I normally do not comment on anything but this little argument made me laugh. I have an advance college degree and the firm I work for has many employees who have their JDH, and I would say many of them are irresponsible and frankly dumb. In my opinion college does not prepare you for the real world, i think people who dont go to college and make it had a better prep period. I spent almost 8 years and UofO and more money on beer then tuition and I found away to graduate honors. Not sure how but please dont make college sound like something that builds a better person, or can help identify them, because it does not. All it does is show you are willing to put up with a lot of bull shit to get a piece of paper that some people think is cool. Doctors, Attorneys, and a few other are the only things that require a degree. I know many people who are executives who did not finish school. A name everyone knows Bill Gates he was just recently awarded his DR but never finished.

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Neal Frankle January 12, 2012 at 6:47 AM

Which argument is that Johathan?

Joel March 29, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Jonathan I agree with you 100 percent. I am at a competitive college taking some difficult classes and it is all a load of bullshit. Although you do learn a few interesting things here and there, you can never learn anything completely with just facts in a classroom style teaching. Nothing compares to common sense and good intuition. Like every other large scam we are now in an era that makes everyone succumb to the “education bubble”. I am currently starting two different companies while going to school that were not influenced at all by any of my education. It seems there are many trends associated with that of good schools, and that is that most of the people who go to them and do well are those who are either scared by “mommy and daddy” or those who need extreme structure or cannot think on their own. It seems the bright ones are the ones that can think on their own, instead of those who want people to think they are smart by “getting good grades”. I have many friends that go to ivy league schools and also many friends who get extremely good grades. While trying to figure out who I should hire for my two companies these are generally the last of my friends that come to mind while looking for business partners. The people who I have looked for are the ones that can see the”bigger picture” on things and can see how a company will work with a money hungry attitude.

joel

Bobbi September 5, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I graduated from a vocational/technical high school. I knew I didn’t want to waste money on college until I knew for sure what I wanted as a major. I also knew that I would need to work full time while going to school. I graduated high school with the tools needed to become a cosmetologist, I passed my test 2 months after graduation and got my cosmetology license. Two months after that I was made asst mgr of the salon that I had worked in since my 2nd yr in school. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. This all sounds great, only problem is becoming a manager at 17yrs old is quite overwhelming. I lost my passion for cosmetology because I took on too much too soon. The next 3 jobs I had I was promoted to a management position. 2 of those jobs were seasonal and I left the 3rd to raise my niece. After 2 yrs I went back to work in banking, again starting at the bottom! The company had me fill in as assistant manager for 6 months all the while making me believe that I was on a probationary period! One day I came in to be introduced to the new asst mgr!!! I asked the powers that be why I had been looked over, had I done something wrong? Their response…”No, you are a wonderful employee (blah, blah blah) but we wanted to go with someone with a degree!!
I left that bank shortly after, hard to work for a company you don’t respect! (for me anyhow) I had stayed in touch with some of the employees. Turns out the girl with the degree was an alcoholic who opened the bank late and closed early, called out consistently and allegedly stole money! So all the people who say college gives you the tools you need to succeed, guess it doesn’t do that for everyone!!
I have since gone back to school to become an ultrasound tech, I have a good paying job that I hate. I’m stuck here now because, unless I go back to school, I will not find another job making the same salary!
I went from thinking I needed a degree to despising the fact that I have one!!! The exact reason I read this article!! Fortunately I’m a hard worker and I’m willing to work hard to follow my passion (cooking) even if it means sleepless nights and 7 day work weeks!

Marko May 27, 2013 at 11:07 PM

No offense, but you don’t look like an honors student based on your writing.

“All it does is show you are willing to put up with a lot of bull shit to get a piece of paper that some people think is cool.” – Hmmm maybe your attitude is part of your problem eh?

Donnie June 17, 2012 at 8:35 AM

College doesn’t prepare you for the real world. It gives you a lot of knowledge. The real world is about having the wisdom to use any knowledge you have to the best of your ability. Experience in the real world is the only thing that prepares you for the real world. The most basic term to call it is OJT, on the job training.

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Bobbi September 5, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Amen Donnie!!

paramour September 19, 2012 at 8:28 AM

@ queen, Sutaria was Right…. A college degree is definitely not proof of you’re intelligence… So your ignerant for saying she was. For one thing we all know of the tons of people with degrees that have as hard a time finding pay fitting there degree as the average joe breaking his back to find employment. Second is the comment to Katie you made, you’re wrong. It doesn’t matter you’re course Study if you really want talk degrees I’ve seen folks with a degree not haveing a damn thing. to do with there profession or position they were hired but were hired over someone with years of experience with no degree in that feild just because they had a degree period, to be. beat that the person with years of experience had already been working there. So that just goes to show the imbalance of your argument. Now more towards my point. The real shit of this thing is the ability to understand the world and the people in it and how both work together. Because degree or not something. is always happining but when it happens you may not always see or understand it. So suck that up in your mouth and lick it lol evert sorry to be inappropriate.

hired over someone with experience but no degree in that feild because they had a degree period. That just goes to show you the imbalance of you’re argument. Now more towards my point….The real shit of this thing is youe ability to understand

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Chris August 30, 2012 at 11:39 AM

So, let me get this straight. You went to school on a scholarship and dropped out because you didn’t think it was worth it. Basically, you couldn’t follow through and dropped out. You used other people’s money in order to go to school, taking that from someone who wanted to go and wasted the opportunity.. Yes, a scholarship IS someone else’s money. Now, you complain that someone else COULD follow through and are offended by the fact that they find their hardwork to be not worthy of a high paying job?
Just noting this, but if your freinds were smart, when they were going for their Physics degrees, they might have looked up what kind of jobs they will be able to get with that degree. If they are any good, they will find a job that pays them a pretty decent wage and like anything else, you shouldn’t get into a degree program for the money. You need to get into it because you love the work and have passion for it. The degree should be seen as a door opener.

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queen November 2, 2011 at 7:55 AM

@ katie. You are absolutely right katie. College graduates may not make 80k a year, however it is easier to find a job. Depending on your course of study and if your field is in high demand. Today, a individual will have to have an trade or some type of educational training to get a great paying job. Because its few jobs that will want to hire an average joe. End of story.

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Marko May 27, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Not only are you dumb and naive but you need to comment under fake profiles to support your nonsense.

*crazyyyy*

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Skyler November 8, 2011 at 9:22 AM

In response to your dumbass comment, “there are lots of jobs that any trained monkey can do..” college is practically a zoo. Anyone with a college degree is just as much a trained monkey as someone who choose not to waste their time and money.

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brad February 22, 2013 at 1:08 AM

Your right and Katie is wrong. I have a friend down the road from me who had 13 years military experience fixing and overhauling large generators in the navy. He now makes 100K a year doing the same thing working for the oil/gas companies.

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brad February 22, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Don’t assume all people without BA’s are low wage earners and only have jobs trained monkeys can do. You are really into yourself and on some kind of high horse. I probably make more then you. I am a retired military service memeber with 20 years of both technical and supervisory experience. 81k from my current job plus 24K from retirement equals 105K.

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wow May 20, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Wow! You are ignorant. So your saying because you have a 4 year degree you trump someone with 10 years experience, without a degree. Very logical. Now I’m not trying to take away from you Katie, I couldn’t go and get a degree, so congratulations. Truth is school is not for me. I’m never going to go to college, I have chose my profession which is construction. Why i picked this is, you cant beat the money and you can advance without college. But you cant say just because you go to college your better suited for a job, or just because you got a degree your smarter than the average joe. Theirs a lot of average joes with degrees. What you wrote proves this. Your in the clouds lady.

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Marko May 27, 2013 at 10:07 PM

For your first real world assignment, here is a list of numbers:

$100k
$90k
$80k
$70k
$60k
$50k

Now, does $80k fall closer to the top or bottom? The top, good. Now the top three numbers are the salary ranges of the jobs available to non-college grads according to this article, so it’s very possible for someone to make over 80k without going to college.

And it’s almost certainly likely the case that won’t be you. I expect that if you did a study you would find that while college grads may have consistently higher incomes, there are a lot of non-college grads that make it up to the higher numbers sooner and stay up there.

Regardless of that, you’re pretty dumb if you think in today’s economy having university or college is going to give you all that much of an advantage. It’s pretty much required these days for even menial work. Certainly your false sense of superiority is not going to win you any jobs. Like Sultaria has said, you’re surprisingly naive and dumb when it comes to the post-grad reality and you are hanging on to a dream that is not reality and is going to kick you in the ass at some point. If that weren’t bad enough, you’re attacking/belittling anyone on this site that does not have a degree which shows your own insecurity about your position and the need to push others down to prop yourself up. Oh, and I have a university degree and post-diplomas.

Beyond all that you seem to fail to understand that college/university is mainly a ploy to get you into debt so you HAVE to work the crappy jobs to pay off your debt. You really are dumb when it comes to the grand scheme of things. And I’m not saying a university degree won’t help you in life, but it’s certainly not going to get you into jobs over non-grads like you think it will and when you graduate you will see there are plenty of non-grads established in the jobs you want that you will not be able to immediately get into…if ever.

Neal Frankle, Katie is attacking everyone without degrees on this website so I don’t see how you can not address that and go and suggest Sultaria is to blame for attacking someone.

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Brandy B. February 7, 2011 at 5:26 PM

@Jordan,

Oh shut up. Please. Jess was completely right in her argument: while it may be true that some jobs do not require a college degree, it is not necessary to stereotype and degrade those who did go to college.

Your statement doesn’t apply to anything she said.
You’re the one who’s ignorant and your 2-cents worth of run-on sentences isn’t needed. Apparently college could have taught you something: GRAMMAR.

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jason July 14, 2011 at 10:27 PM

You are not simply born a good salesman. Now some people may very well be willing to sell their souls to make money, and then, possibly, you may have a lot to talk about. Robert Kyosaki from Rich Dad Poor Dad lets us in on a little secret: Dont be afraid to fail. That is how we learn. While some people can be naturally better adept initially at sales. A good salesperson has empathy, is driven by success, and strives for balance in their life. These are all skills which can be learned. It is by initiating new behaviors in our life is how we achieve this.

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Neal Frankle July 15, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Jason, you are right that you aren’t born a good salesman – but there are some excellent resources to help.

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Jess October 10, 2010 at 10:13 PM

“Why? Because the other people competing for that job will have had 4 years of experience while you were hanging out at Starbucks with your laptop and iPhone.”

Sorry, just have to say this: Not everyone has mommy and daddy pay for their college. Hence NOT all college students hang at starbucks with an iPhone. I was lucky to even have a cell phone in college.

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Neal@Wealth Pilgrim October 11, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Jess….that’s fair.

Sometimes I get carried away. Apologies…

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Jordan January 18, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Jess please do not be ignorant. As you can see a few were sales, sales manager, and real estate broker. I dont care how much schooling the person next to me has when going for a job in this field because it does not really matter. College does NOT teach you to build relationships have passion for a product or have a gift of gab. These are things you are born with not taught. So please understand that not EVERYONE needs schooling and dont pull a pity party with this mommy daddy crap because you didnt have as much as others and your still upset about it I promise… we dont care. So people reading this article he is correct you do NOT need a college education to make good money. A lot of fields will require it but, not all and these are some of them. Find your dream or find what you love if it happens to be one of them go for it and make yourself the best you can at it!

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Maggie February 9, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Jordan, you are completely wrong. My husband has applied to sales jobs with 5 years of experience to offer in real estate and 2 more years doing other sales jobs. He has applied to over 500 companies and not one has hired him. He is an extremely competent and eager person looking for work. How do you explain this?

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Thomas February 22, 2012 at 12:22 AM

I agree with the fact that college is not needed for a lot of things.

Maggie, in your situation it depends. Do you live in an area where employment is low? How “competent” is your husband? Is his experience up-to-par? There’s a lot that goes in to getting hired for a job. Not meaning to be offensive but it’s true.

I honestly don’t give a crap about anyone who says college IS needed and required because it’s not. College does change you and gives you a broader perspective of life, however, you CAN succeed in life without a degree. Work hard, make connections with people who matter, keep learning and opening up your mind to new knowledge, and be consistent. That’s they key to success.

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mike June 28, 2012 at 9:37 AM

It is not that it is required but is has become a artificial requirement by HR departments for just about any managerial position to have a 4 year degree even if it is just a BA Liberal arts degree. I was even turned down after working for a year in a temp to hire position. I was doing the job for a year and yet someone with a degree was hired and I was let go at the end of the contract because I did not have a 4 year degree. (only have a SA) An MOST of the jobs listed NOW require a 4 year degree ether a BA or BS
MOST police officers and detectives no have a criminal science degrees
So I do not know where the hell CNN got that list from as most of the jobs listed if you find a job listing for a open position in those fields will request a collage grad with a 4 year degree. There may be older individuals out there doing those jobs without a degree but should then be landed off they may find they do not qualify to even apply for the same job they have been doing for years because it NOW requires a degree and someone with less experience be with a degree will be hired before them because Resume’s are key word sorted by computers before anyone even reads them and if yours does not include a BA or BS in the education section you won’t even get a chance to interview for the position.

Chris August 30, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Mike,
No offense, but if your spelling and grammar are any indication, it’s honestly not a suprise that you weren’t kept on at your previous job. I suggest you work on that, because you are judged on that far more often than people think.

Tania March 20, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Maggie, first of all, I am not sure I believe the number 500. That strikes me as pure exaggeration to help you make your point. So let’s just say he has been very diligent about applying to a large number of companies for which he feels his skills and experience would be a good fit. Ultimately I think your husband needs to start considering that there is a reason he is not getting hired. It would be a disservice to his continued efforts, to play victim and blame it on the economy, or his lack of college degree, or anything and everything he can think of to avoid taking a good hard look at himself. Very much like your exaggerated statement to make it appear your husband has made herculean efforts to no avail, which paints him as a blameless victim, I suspect he may have the same mindset and is behaving accordingly, which is self sabotaging his efforts to find a job. So the best thing that could possibly happen is for you and your husband to find someone who has no emotional stake in your success, and will give you their honest assessment of where the disconnect is between your husband and his desired result. Then instead of being defensive about what he hears(because who likes criticism?), just take the hit, seriously consider what is said, and give real thought to making some changes either on his own if he can, or finding someone to help him if he can’t. For example, if it is his appearance, find someone to help him shop for a power suit and get a great haircut and an impressive leather portfolio. If it is his interviewing skills, find someone to coach him. If it is his resume, find someone to write him a new one. There is almost always room for improvement, and if it can help your husband reach his goals, it would be a great thing to be receptive to that idea.

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ElleJay June 19, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Tania, you must live in Texas. In places like California it is very possible to apply to 500 companies and not get an offer. I got so fed up with the job market in CA, that I packed up and moved to Texas. I got a job without a face to face interview at a MAJOR company in two weeks. To those reading, please don’t assume that a person is less than because they don’t have a job. In some parts of the US, competence has little to do with being employed.

Tommy October 1, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Chris I would use spell check before you start jabbing at others for having spelling errors.

Thanasis October 4, 2012 at 5:55 PM

He is probably looking for jobs that are salaried positions.
His 5 years experience in real estate were probably commission based compensation and those are the type of jobs he should be looking at. I have had this same problem in my career. Otherwise, contrary to this article, he should go back to school and get a degree in a field that matters i.e. computers, medical, or energy. Otherwise, its low wage jobs or crappy high pressure sales jobs.

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DEBBIE HELM March 12, 2012 at 11:57 PM

EVERYONE COMES FROM ALL DIFFERENT WALKS OF LIFE AND TRUTH BE TOLD, HOW MANY OF THOSE STARBUCK’S WI FI PEOPLE ARE TRULY HAPPY WITH THEIR LIFE, RATHER THAN FINDING WHAT THEY WANT, THEY FIND WHAT IS AVAILABLE AND THEY ARE NOT TRAINED IN. GOOD LUCK.

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brad February 22, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Stop the yelling/ lazy caps lock. Your ignorant.

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Ryan August 15, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Jess, I am sorry your parents were unable to pay for your college. However, that is PURE LAZINESS! You can pay for your own school. I have so many friends that have and are proud of it. Some have student loans. Some have scholarships or the HOPE scholarship (which doesn’t pay all). They have jobs and pay for rent and living expenses and then take out loans to pay for the rest. Those are the ones that come out of school with $10,000 in loans and pay them off quickly. Jobs are not easy to come by these days but college will teach you so many social skills and I am also in Greek Life which teaches you how to commute in a business manor with other people. There are jobs without college degrees required out there. However, college, in my opinion, is the best route. There is no excuse these days.

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Chris August 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM

How is it that all of these college graduates are illiterate?

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Tim November 2, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Chris, some jobs put far LESS emphasis on english than other skills. I hate to break it to you but almost no Liberal Art Bachelor degree holding induvisual I have met would pass through what I went to college for. That doesn’t make them unintelligent. It simply makes their focus different.

Let me share something with you about what I went to college for. I studied the sciences, not the arts. Engineering is in a sense both a science and an art. However, for collegiate purposes it is a science. Everyone knows who Isaac Newton is right? Everyone knows about the apple that fell from the tree? How many know he is the founder of classical physics and an independant co-founder of calculus? (The other was a mathematician named Leibniz, a mathematician.)

This time fram was roughly the 1600′s. Newton’s and Leibniz’s Calculus were a NECCESITY for 98-99% of all machine or machine made goods. If you can think of something that is not a constantly changing penomena, and you wish to calculate these changes, you need Calculus. (This is a large part of what set Newton apart from his predecessors.)

You are now reading this on a computer. Or someone has used one to print this for you. That ALONE required that level of math. For the transistors in the computer to work on the scale with the speed they need to perform, many, many continually changing items must be accounted for in the circutry alone. But even since the dawn of the industrial revolution, someone need to understand this to design trains, telegraph system, even modern time keeping (as it prevented trains from colliding. Two trains being on a track ‘around’ the same time is a good way to ruin them both and their cargo.)

So now that I have told you all of this… do you need it all YOURSELF to live? nope. But you do need to have SOMEONE somewhere know it. There is simply too much knowledge to be had to nit pick about a tiny detail unless it is CRUCIAL to the function of that job. And I may be mistaken, but some people are so good, they work as proofreaders for corporation or even induviduals. What is the shame of having a weakness if it is FAR outweighed by your usefulness?

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Scott November 19, 2012 at 9:03 AM

To all of the commentators: I thought that this conversation was inteneded to help people. Instead you are merely arguing what great doors will be opened to a college degree. Which of you do not have a college degree? How many degreed tenured employees, engineer’s ect. were outsourced to communist China? Honestly how many of you really use calculus for their job? Have you seen the price of college today or even ITT technical institute? I am 50 years old, went to colllege for 4 years tried to attain a chemical engineering degreee ( who usually end up with a sales job that pays more). I failed to graduate with the Chem E degeee. Being so frustrated I did not pursue any other degree, that was my second mistake. Now I have an hourly job a wife and two children (best thing in the world). How do I afford college, support my family and make the house payment and repairs. I want to create and design mechanical things that make a difference to the world.
Does Bill Gates have a college degree yet? He worked hard to change the world. IBM’s worst mistake was firing Bill Gates. Lionus Francis Pauling was probably a chemical engineer he ceated the molecular orbital theory. He was key in figuring out the cure for sicle cell anemia. That is what I call diversity. Some people are just gifted. Some are stiffled by themselves and by systems that discourage them from achievement.
My advice is to get a degree of any kind it will open a lot more doors. Love your family not your job. Try to be happy with your current situation and strive to achieve more.

Barb Friedberg August 5, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Very important topic. Not everyone is suited to college and you underscored some really important careers; It’s important not to get caught up in “shoulds.” Showcased the article in my round up this week!

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DEBBIE HELM March 12, 2012 at 11:54 PM

GOOD ADVICE.. COMMON SENSE… BUT WHEN PEOPLE ARE DESPERATE, THEY TEND TO DO THINGS THAT ARE THAT WAY

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Jennifer Barry August 3, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Hi Neal, I just wanted you to know I added this post to my link round-up at my blog.

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sueinmi June 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Where in the US is an RN allowed to practice without a college degree?

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Neal Frankle June 19, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Congrats Elle Jay….and that is great advice about not considering yourself less than. I totally agree. Thanks!

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Neal Frankle November 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Scott…..generally….very very good advice. I do think that some people should not waste their time in college but I love your focus on family. Thanks.

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