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A Better Way to Go to College: Don’t Go. Stay Home.

Written by Gary North on November 14, 2011

In the good old days, when I was a teenager, college was the way to job security. But, with each new batch of graduates, the value of a degree in the liberal arts goes down. Graduates compete against each other.

The main source of job growth is new businesses: 5 years or newer. These are start-ups. They are started by entrepreneurs who put their money on the line. They have gifts. They think they can forecast what future customers will buy. They make money if they are correct. They go out of business if they do not have this skill.

Today’s college, like college in (say) 1150, is staffed by salaried bureaucrats who are not entrepreneurs. They do not know how to create jobs by creating firms. They teach different skills. Yet our brightest teenagers go there to come into adulthood.

Where will the next generation get the skills they need, and the motivation they need, to start businesses? From wherever their predecessors got this. Colleges have never taught these skills.

College puts smart people in contact with each other on campus. About  19 million a year attend. But these people look for salaried positions after graduation. I ask: Offered  by whom?

Years spent writing term papers and taking  exams have little to do with starting a business. Apprenticeship does. By emphasizing bureaucratic skills, colleges train people for jobs that will not exist for long. What we need is men with experience in helping young people learn about business.

This was discussed by the New York Times in a recent article If the liberal Times has figured it out, then it’s late in the process.

My advice: get through fast and cheap. Use CLEP exams and AP exams for the first two years. Use distance learning for the last two, unless you’re majoring in engineering. It is possible to get an accredited degree for under $15,000, total. Why pay more? Stay at home, apprentice for part-time, and take exams to get the degree.

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3 thoughts on “A Better Way to Go to College: Don’t Go. Stay Home.

  1. Your article states what I have had in my gut for the last couple years. Knowing I wouldn't have to make the decision (or support it financially) for my oldest child for several years, it hasn't been at the front of my mind.

    I can't help but think that the ability to make decisions and learn from them can only help a person to become a better decision maker. I would sure rather have someone like that at the helm of a company I worked for instead of someone who has been playing it safe for his entire career. It is only common sense.

  2. No exception need be made for engineering. Non-degreed engineers are making a comeback after my generation of college-trained engineers nearly destroyed American manufacturing in the 1970's and giving rise to the consumer movement because of their shoddy, unreliable products. Non-degreed engineers are former technicians who have learned their craft through on-the-job experience.

    My children are also bypassing the college route to earn nursing degrees by taking advantage of a program for army medics and navy corpsmen that allows them to test their way through the course work and go directly into clinicals in preparation for the nursing board exams.

  3. Can someone verify this. I remember, years ago, speaking to my grandmother, and she said that to go past the 8th grade, you had to have, first, the grade point average to go farther. You had to have approval of teacher, and approval of your parents. You weren't entitled to an education, you had to earn it. After you graduated from high school, if you had the grades and a letter from your teacher, you could go to college. The problem is many bought their way into college, and over the years, that mentality has replaced the students…and the teachers. Now you have 'tenure' teachers, with no fear of losing their job, teaching agendas and immorality. The only way you get rid of corruption, is by shining a light on it and canceling it out. Unions know this, and will fight to keep the corrupt, corrupted, liars and thieves in, and you can see that mentality all over 'OCCUPY.'

    Our education system is a scam bigger than our housing (Freddie & Fannie) scam. Compared to scams, Global Warming, environmentalists, Congress and HOPE&CHANGE!