(FORUM) For most: Is a college education required for success?

The following is commentary intended for discussion. Add your comments.

With the cost of a college education seemingly out of control and rising, even when classes aren’t provided in person, more people are asking the question: is it worth it?

At the same time, there seems to be a growing number of alternatives, from apprenticeships, to learning a trade, to military careers.

In your experience, does the average college degree today leave the student prepared for success in the “real world”?

What alternatives might you advocate for choose, and why?

Let me know what you think. Leave your comments here!

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16 thoughts on “(FORUM) For most: Is a college education required for success?”

  1. College educations for the most part have just become brainwashing of young people at an enormous expense. As a friend once called them “Certificates of Attendance” They need to concentrate on the subject matter for the degree not professors political ideals. From my experience is a Fortune 200 company most people who receive MBAs couldn’t run a snowball stand. They have no planning or critical thinking skills at all. Degrees have been just become a reason someone gets promoted or admired. Unfortunately because they don’t have the actual subject matter experience so they fail miserably when required to actual do anything other than email and drink corporate Kool Aid. People that work in an actual trade need to have real skills. Otherwise your drywall job will look like you did it yourself. Or your house will burn down because it isn’t wired properly.

  2. I used the money that college would have cost for my 3 children (now adults with children) and purchased them a starter home each. They had a small mortgage for the balance. They are all involved in the trades and have leveraged the home equity to improve their lives further. They are so much better off without the debt burden and the brainwashing.

  3. I think we need more trades/training available in America. College has gotten overpriced and the value has definitely gone down. Teaching people to think on their own and draw their own conclusions should be the goal of college yet they are indoctrinating youth with certain beliefs- college has gotten too one-sided including many of the Christian colleges.

  4. When performing technical assessments at nuclear facilities, the more letters I see after someone’s name, the deeper I dig. In my experience, it’s low-hanging fruit. Even worse is the so-called peer reviewer who takes it for granted that the author must be right instead of applying their own critical thinking skills to examine even the basic premise of the work. When one of those letter bearers challenged me during a course I was teaching, espousing the absolute validity of peer-reviewed articles, I reminded him of how frequently those publications come with errata sheets of corrections. To paraphrase an old saying, someone with an experience is never at the mercy of someone with a theory.

  5. As a college-degree holder, I agree that some college educations/degrees are worthless in the real world. Even so, the hiring in many business endeavors is done by people with college degrees, so there is likely to always be an inherent bias in hiring that favors college graduates, even if all other aspects such as training, experience, etc. are equal.

  6. I received my degrees via the US Navy. I went in as a HS graduate and retired with a BS degree from GW University. The cost? Just my time… well worth it and it’s what I would recommend to any young person who has their head screwed on correctly.

  7. What is more important than a degree is willingness to work hard, have an open mind, have critical thinking ability, know that to succeed you must show up on time, work late sometimes, and be an independent thinker. Education today is all about brainwashing. The only thing you need a graduate degree for is engineering, the medical field, etc.

  8. I “earned” my college degree in the late eighties/early nineties. I had a great experience and was fortunate that my parents saved enough to cover all of my tuition. I have to admit, I learned more at my summer jobs in the trades than I did from my college professors. I did learn some things though… self-reliance, responsibility, social and organizational skills. These are things I probably could have learned elsewhere and saved my parents a lot of sacrifice but I got that piece of paper that opened doors.

    Now, my kids are in college and I’m paying for courses like “Social Justice” where they try to brainwash the students into thinking there are more than 2 genders or that the lighter your skin-the more inherently racist you are!

    I think the value of a college education has been dwindling for decades but even more-so now. Yet another institution that the left has destroyed.

  9. I believe that more and more a college education is worth less and less.
    Definitely not needed if you want to go into business for yourself.

  10. I own a company that produces technical drawings for construction trades, been in business for 16 years. In the beginning we hired college grads with bachelors degrees in Architecture and related fields. None of them had the skills that we needed, so we had to train them basically from scratch. Also most of them had very poor work ethic, literally felt like they just needed to show up and get paid. Most of them did not work out (we have one hold over from that era). We started hiring non college grads, people that were already working full time in dead end jobs and looking for a new start. Seeing that we were training everyone anyways figured we had nothing to loose. These have been our best employees. Bottom line better to get someone with a desire to learn the job and good work ethic than someone with a fancy college degree.

  11. If I were an American, I would definitely NOT send my child to most universities in the States, in particular to a liberal arts or humanities programs, which are mostly about brainwashing and indoctrination into the ways of the Left, such as political correctness, critical theories, and cancel culture. Our son has only a high school diploma, is self-taught in information technology and is now gainfully employed in a hospital IT department and will, hopefully, never look back.

  12. It depends on a persons definition of success and the field of work/study. In general though, no a college education/degree isn’t required. Often times a college “education” is a hindrance to success.

    Far too often a person can have intelligence, wisdom and experience or they can have “education”. I’ve seen far too many educated idiots who hold a degree in a field but still know nothing about how to work in the field. They’ll argue till they’re blue in the face that they’re right though.

    I earned an Associates degree 30+ years ago. Back then if a student asked an instructor what would be on the test or if a study guide was available they’d be told to use their class notes and reading assignments, then looked at like they weren’t the brightest people. Recently I went back to college for a second Associates. Study “guides” were routinely given out without even being asked. The “guides” were the test with the order of the questions changed somewhat and the words of some of the questions changed.

    Unfortunately, far too often, a Bachelors degree is required to just get in the door, even if it has nothing to do with the job.

  13. I agree with most of the comments here. Unless you have to get degree in law,medical,dental or engineering ;don’t waste your money. Too many have degrees that are useless in the real world and are being taught BS classes. My brother has 135 IQ and could have gone to college, but chose to be a mechanic instead . He can fix or repair anything and makes 80-90K a year. We definitely need more trades in this country. You can make a good living as electrician, plumber, HVAC , robotic, computer repair etc. My dad hated school [his dad was a Cornell Degreed Math teacher] so grandpa set dad up in business instead as a builder of custom homes. He ended up with 3 more businesses besides and always worked for himself. He taught me the value of a dollar and being willing to work to get what you want.

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