I loved my four years at TCU. Honestly, you couldn’t have had a better college experience than I did. I loved my classes, my professors and my fellow students. The university was amazing and I have the fondest memories of my time there.
It was kind of like a four-year vacation.
When you ask me what I learned, I won’t say that my education prepared me for a better career. Certainly, what I learned in four years of liberal arts and journalism classes helps me today as an entrepreneur.
However, what was more important were life skills: how to plan a schedule for your day, how to study responsibly, how to do my own laundry.
While these things are useful, none of them are the reason that I’ve had so much success as a business owner. There are a bunch of reasons why in today’s world you really don’t need a college degree to accomplish true wealth.
The Internet Has Changed the Workforce
Thirty years ago, it was far more difficult to be an entrepreneur than it is today. Most businesses had an actual storefront so that people could find you to buy your products or services.
Today all of that has changed and there are thousands of internet millionaires. Just about anyone can launch a website or sell courses online. You don’t even have to have your own product; you can become an affiliate and earn a great living selling someone else’s products. You can also become a paid consultant simply because you are good at something.
Let’s say you have a knack for being neat and tidy. You’re that person whose closet or home office is perfectly organized and completely empty of clutter. You don’t need a college degree to sell your services consulting for others who are naturally messier than you are.
You Can Educate Yourself Online
Another way that the internet has changed America is that you don’t have to go sit in a classroom to educate yourself. You can google just about anything you need to know today and find hundreds of articles and videos that will teach it to you for free or for at least a whole lot less than $50,000 college education.
So yes you need an education but you certainly don’t need a university to provide that education.
Entrepreneurship Requires True Grit
My background in journalism has helped me to become a better marketer. However, none of that marketing would matter if I hadn’t spent 5 years cold-calling to get this agency off the ground. Tenacity and perseverance are far more important when it comes to succeeding as a business owner.
I didn’t learn that in college. There were no courses in how to work hard. You either have that drive naturally or you develop it because you have the willpower to create your own wealth.
Six Figure Jobs are Everywhere
Many people will tell you that a college education is critical to making great money and I’m here to tell you that it isn’t. Take the insurance industry for example. This industry requires you to pass a licensing exam and that’s it. You can take a three-day course in person or online. Then you pay a fee to go take an exam. That passing grade is all you need to go out and get a job as an insurance agent.
You don’t have to start an agency either. There are tons of insurance carriers out there constantly looking for salespeople or representatives. Many of these jobs come with a base salary and commissions that make it entirely possible for you to earn six figures. It’s not the degree that helps these agents hit six-figure incomes either: it’s whether they are willing to bust their ass to get there.
Real estate is another lucrative profession offering a similar opportunity for wealth. You study and then go get a license and you’ll find plenty of companies that will hire you on to show and list houses.
Essentially sales of any kind, whether working for yourself or another company, can offer excellent opportunities for income.
Bottom line: none of these opportunities require a degree.
Degrees are Ridiculously Expensive
One of the things that we regularly turn down job applicants for is student debt. Getting that four-year education is insanely expensive and not everyone has rich parents who pay for it. Far more students take on significant debt to get their degree and this puts them entering the workforce upside down.
I often ponder this when it comes to teachers. You can spend years getting a degree or even a master’s degree in education, and it won’t guarantee you an extra dime. Teaching is a profession with notoriously low pay rates, so who wants to spend $50K or more so that you can go out and get a job that pays $40,000 a year?
My own industry is another example. Defaulting on your student loans can make it really hard to get appointed with good carriers. State insurance departments don’t want to put you in front of consumers who are writing checks for insurance premiums when you are so broke that you can’t afford to eat.
You can absolutely ditch the debt accumulation and instead invest in your own self-education or solopreneurship.
Your Degree May Be Obsolete in Four Years
I can remember when getting your MBA was really important for opening doors into the business world. However today the fast pace of changing technology could mean you spend years getting an education on something that is completely changed by the time you graduate.
It’s Easier to Stand Out Than You Think
Recently we hired for a brand-new position at our agency. I had planned to hire only one person, but among all the qualified applicants, there was a young lady who really stood out from everyone else. It wasn’t that her resume was awesome, or her skill set was the perfect match. In fact, she had very little experience in what we were seeking. What stood out to me was that she wrote a personal note to us about how much she wanted the job and how she would work harder than anyone else if we gave her the chance. She convinced me that she could absolutely do the job if she just had the opportunity to show us what she is made of.
You would be totally surprised at the hundreds of applicants we get that do no such thing.
In the end, we hired the specialist we wanted AND we extended an entry-level offer to the girl who sold herself the best. In fact, we created a job for her because she so impressed me, and she does not have a degree. It hasn’t made the slightest difference because she works as hard as she said she would.
It’s entirely possible to find a career with solid income potential without having a degree. Having that piece of paper simply communicates to prospective employers that you are a responsible adult. So if you are wondering whether college is really for you, ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish and then see if you can maybe accomplish that without the degree in hand.
You’ll never know until you try.