I Didn’t Go To College and I’m Proud of It

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About Yashar Ali

Yashar is a Los Angeles-based blogger, commentator, and political veteran whose writings about women, gender inequality, political heroism, and society are showcased on his website, The Current Conscience. Please follow him on Twitter and join him on Facebook.

Comments

  1. Just cannot understand what is there to be proud of in not going to college??? Is college some kind of prison that one would feel good that he never went there??

  2. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS ARTICLE. I feel the EXACT same way. I could have written this, without the field being politics. I am successful in the field I decided to dive into and people are asking ME to help them get in. They wave their degree around thinking that they are God’s greatest gift to man because of it too. They feel entitled to have a higher position or the position I have. I beat out over 300 MBA grads with degrees for the position I hold right now and it’s only entry level.

    I’m damn proud to have not wasted any time. Could it have helped? Sure it could have. I always love learning, but I learn on my own. I read countless amounts of books, blogs, articles, etc. I am self taught without going into debt.

    Many people will come out of college and be proud of that piece of paper they have. I don’t understand that just like people don’t understand what we have to be proud about for NOT going to college. Keep doing your thing Yashar! I’m with you! Thanks again for this wonderful post!

    Making waves every single day and LOVING life!!! Thanks again!

    :)

    -Andrew

  3. Higher education is great but it’s no the end all and be all for success. Through the years in the corporate world, I interviewed countless college grads who “expected” to be hired simply because of their education. A lot of college grads are disappointed that their education isn’t an automatic. A lot of competition out there and a lot of people to pick from. Many positions need employees can get up to spead fast and sometimes that isn’t always a college grad.

    Yashar, there is no dowubt that your father taught you well in many ways that have nothing to do with formal education. You appear to have great work ethics and a drive to be successful. Good job young man. @ you too Andrew

  4. wellokaythen says:

    College instructor here, so I’m perhaps biased by my own self-interest. (Lower enrollments could cost me my job, so everybody please keep the peer pressure going….)

    But, it seems a little extreme to pay someone to NOT go to college. Why not give the entrepreneur $100,000 and allow him/her to spend some of the money on courses if he/she wants? If I take the money and sign up for an accounting class, do I lose my eligibility? Is the scholarship committee going to monitor my laptop to make sure I don’t secretly take an online course in my spare time?

    I wonder if there’s an age restriction. I have a few degrees, but for 100K I’m willing to underreport my education level and say I never went to college….

    Seriously, though, I would agree that in terms of entrepreneurial experience, college is often not very useful. Most of my experience is at the 2-year level. I can tell you that for many if not most professional/technical programs and community colleges, the main approach to preparing students for the “business world” is to train them to be entry-level corporate drones. The main goal is to make sure the student is ready on the first day of work to do exactly what the boss wants, or to be a reliable employee for a business owned by someone else. That is NOT necessarily good training to be your own boss or start your own business or be self-employed. Hell, it’s not even good training to be a low-level manager.

    I’ve seen programs where you get a degree in repairing John Deere tractors or running diagnostics on GM cars or fixing Rolex watches. You learn what the big company wants you to learn, based on the textbook the corporation publishes, because they’re funding the classes. Hardly conducive to thinking outside the box.

    Corporate capitalism and entrepreneurial free market capitalism are not the same animal. Preparing you for one does not necessarily prepare you for the other. Colleges tend to be better at preparing you for success in the former but not the latter.

  5. wellokaythen says:

    I went to Reed College, Steve Jobs’ “alma mater.” The good news there is that even if you don’t finish your degree, if you become rich and famous the school you hung around will still consider you a valuable alum. Like Jobs and Gates, you could even become a higher education role model without ever completing a degree. Best of both worlds.

    Heck, become rich and famous enough and you can skip grad school completely and get an honorary doctorate or two. Go really far and schools you decided not to attend will name buildings after you, for the small price of a few dozen million dollars. Obviously being a long-term college success is pretty independent of whether or not you graduated from the place….

  6. Interesting article. I’ve read on some websites “10 reasons not to go to college” and a lot of very valid points were brought out. One in particular I found very cool was that the money invested in college could be invested into starting your own business or even real-estate! I have PERSONALLY spoken with people who either going to college, went to college, or are presently in college. My cousin who went to college said they basically teach you how to learn. My other cousin, went to college for a decade and she’s having a hard time finding a job. I would rather invest that into something else, like a writing career, self-publishing my own book, starting a small business and so on. College isn’t the ultimate answer.

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