Guide Better Than College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree

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This is the book I've been wanting to read. The theory and the practical are neatly explained in this friendly book. I also have to point out that even though it is aimed at young adults, I think it would be helpful for anyone contemplating change and possibility. Mar 13, Kimberly rated it liked it. Lots to think about. Excellent tips and tools for anyone taking a gap year, or already finished with college. Jul 23, Gina Paffumi rated it really liked it. I think this book was more aimed at those creators who kind of know what they want, but feel like college is something they must do.

If you don't know what you want to do with your life at all, you may want to wait on this one. But I loved the message of this book!! And it's cool to read about a fellow unschooler. Jul 07, Yog rated it it was amazing Shelves: beloved-books. Great book! Although the idea of skipping college had already been in my head for a while, this book made it firmer.

Definitely would recommend to all 7. Aug 24, ESV rated it it was amazing. I wish I read it 20yrs ago. But no matter what age of is a vital reference. Jul 01, Steven Slaughter rated it really liked it.

Lifelong Learning Matters

The title is more provocative than accurate. Rather, he is challenging it as an assumed good for everyone. I think he makes a really compelling case that a self-directed 'unschooler' can learn more, gain more relevant experience, and impress future employers more than just flashing a diploma.

This path, though, requires a young person to be far more disciplined and self-directed and creative. Obviously, certain careers require certifications that are only achieved through formal education, and Boles encourages that path for folks who know they want to do something requiring the degree. One of his ideas that I plan on encouraging for my kids is the structured gap year. A year like this seems, to me, to be a wonderful investment and a powerful path to figuring out what you really might want to do next.

The cost of higher education now is simply too high to get into lightly, yet we are culturally conditioned to believe, still, that without it we would be doomed. But we need to challenge this collective brainwashing. Taking this on casually seems like the height of recklessness. Boles approach seems much more sensible, mature, and exciting.

Jan 13, Kait Florence Butterfield rated it liked it. This was a good read. Boles gives good insight on whether or not college is right for everyone. I like his philosophy that a degree doesn't guarantee that you have actually learned something. He points out that a lot of work is required to make your own imprint on society regardless of a formal education. He provided a lot of references and links to help a reader get started on their self-directed education.

Personally, I did not find them helpful but I might refer to them in the future. What This was a good read. What I did find helpful was the fact that I have been wondering if college is for me for a long time. Even when I was a kid I liked the idea of educating myself, studying things that actually interested me. Unfortunately I lacked the know-how and discipline to learn a great deal on my own. This book helped me see that I am not alone in my doubts about higher education. But Boles does point out that college is necessary for many careers.

I like the emphasis on the importance of taking our time when it comes to deciding not only what to major in but what we really want to do with our lives.


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Boles also talks about the importance of frugality and learning things with the hope that we can one day influence someone for good. In a nutshell, he says we won't get far if our education is intended only for our benefit. The point is to help others. That's ultimately what I like most about this book. Jan 19, James Cripps rated it liked it. I wish these books didn't have to represent themselves as so anti-college on the cover.

Indeed, early on in the book the author writes "make no mistake: society needs college-trained doctors, PhDs, architects, engineers, and not quite so many lawyers If you feel you are one of this "most" crowd, then dive in becaus I wish these books didn't have to represent themselves as so anti-college on the cover.

If you feel you are one of this "most" crowd, then dive in because there's never been a better time. I think this movement is hugely promising. However, I only skim-read because I've heard it all before in similar books "e. Don't Go Back To School". I don't doubt you'd be a better person with a greater variety of experiences. Rather than suffering the factory-line of formal education for too long. But let's not forget the context from which these books are coming - America. Anything can be done with a laptop and wifi connection. This is a rare kind of culture that's slowly spreading globally.

It doesn't look like its stopping, but it's still slow, nonetheless. Many mindsets have yet to be changed. May 14, Melanie Hughes rated it it was amazing Shelves: education , young-adult , revolution , growth. At 42, I have to say that I found this book truly inspiring. People will always need electricians. But these jobs require an education and hard work.

These folks have marketable skills and provide services people need. Many of these jobs also require licenses and certifications which require study and continuing education. As you try to chart your career path, it makes sense to stop and think about whether or not you are developing skills that others will pay for.

For example, a friend of mine has a communications degree and a journalism degree. She managed to turn the knowledge and experience gained through earning those degrees into a successful freelance career. There are plenty of in-demand skills that you can acquire through two-year programs and certifications earned in six months. If you want to start your own business, you still need to have something to offer.

How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree | HuffPost

I discovered that there are plenty of people out there who are willing to pay someone to write on their behalf. This is especially true online. You can do the same if you plan to start your own business. Think about what skills and expertise you have, and how that can translate into a service you can provide for others. If you can offer something that others need or want, you can make money from your skills.

Additionally, professional jobs like those in health care and law, usually require a degree if you want to work at the highest levels. If those are the jobs you want, you have little choice but to pursue a degree. Develop those skill sets with the help of other educational options, and you can start earning money earlier and get ahead of the game , at least a little bit. I am not against college degrees.

I have one and recommend college for many people. If you do decide to pursue a degree, here are some best financial moves for college students. Whether you decide to attend a four-year university or get an associates degree from your local technical school, these pieces of advice can help you get the most out of your education.

Success is rooted in the actions you take to achieve your dreams and goals in life. If that means attending college to receive a traditional 4-year degree, then awesome. Choose the career path which makes you happy, work hard, continue to learn and provide value, and success will follow. Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of Cash Money Life. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. Ryan started Cash Money Life in after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then.

He also writes about military money topics and military and veterans benefits at The Military Wallet. Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free account here. Forget college degree, even masters degree means very little these days.

Good point, Ron. I agree with Craig. A lot of people get along quite nicely without a degree. I have several friends who are making mid 6 figures in sales and never darkened the doors of a college. Conversely, I know many with a degree that are slaving away at menial jobs. I finished my MBA a few years back and I can honestly say it did nothing for me professionally yet? You made BAD grades which is almost impossible to do at US colleges nowadays what with remedial courses, rampant cheating and grade inflation. Oh, and your graduation happened to coincide with one of the worst recessions our country has had in decades.

But good strategy painting yourself as a low-achieving, non-ambitious whiner to all of America through the media. I think it is the responsibility of schools that offer a product like a degree to also provide a disclaimer that the degree is worthless without experience. I was lucky to be chosen to do 3 internships some mutiyear , busted my ass in student jobs for most of my college career, and did a graduate assistantship during grad school. However, since graduating I have yet to find any job besides working in retail, which I only do begrudgingly.

I am still waiting to see soup lines, but I think it is all fake in order to keep people depressed and out of the job market, i. I did learn two things in college: 1. I graduated with a finance degree in May of 06, but I am still waiting because I am under qualified for degreed jobs due to lack of experience, or over qualified for entry level jobs because I have a degree.

Now I am living with family because I am unable to support myself due to student loans, and I feel like my time, money, and effort spent in college was a waste of time. For instance, they should be required to make public the percentage of students who are underemployed, unemployed, etc. Sean, you make a good point. I would venture to guess that the majority of graduates in most degrees are either underemployed or not employed in their field. Those are all well-paid careers with many employment opportunities.

Also, since there are tons of jobs in retail then have another department that specializes in short courses in retail sales or restaurants: cooking, management, customer service, and maintenance. Otherwise you have to make do in retail or restaurants with low wages and hope that someone takes you seriously in the job market with your degree and the fact that most of your experience is in retail rather than that subject.

Being in school does expose you to what academic jobs are like in your field, but those are mostly few, low paying and dull. I also found that most of my professors were completely cut off from the actual non-academic job market, except for the tiny, well-protected niche that they had carved out for themselves. The whole affair is frustrating in retrospect.

I blame myself alone for doing honest work, seeking an improved, honest profession, and wanting a better life. Honestly, my goal is to be debt free, self employed, and self sufficient. I can put up with a little abuse in the job market, but that will always be my goal: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This is better than unemployed or working a crap job and being bitter and frustrated. It is also ideal to be in control of your life and not hand that control over to an abusive employer or government official.

In the end, my education and mental freedom are things no one can take away from me. Sadly this news item is pointing to deeper economic and educational crisis in this country indicating that our whole process of education, training and employment as well as suicidal trade laws are long overdue for an overhaul. Example: I took a six month course at a computer school in Calif. The requirement was that the school had to re-employ graduates at good paying jobs and get them back into the working economy. Sadly the school did not achieve the min.

Trade School vs. College: Drawbacks to College Education

The state pulled funding and th e school went bankrupt. There are many reasons you could find for the failure, but you have to acknowledge that all the groups of people required to work together; government, labor, management, business owners do not work together in this country. Whereas countries like Japan all of them work together, and even have 10 yr plans to take over world markets. They have already done so with cameras, electronics, consumer items and almost the car market. I am also in a similar situation.

Graduated with double major undergraduate degrees, 3. College degrees are no better than the paper they are written on. I made triple the annual salary in a field without a college degree. Sadly, I will be going back to that field. To stop any doubt, I am attractive, well groomed, well mannered, and have excellent work ethics and attendance. My college professors rave about my abilities and have given recommendations. I am not goving up yet, but I am very disappointed.

My advice is that unless you are specializing i. However, if you are getting a free ride through scholarships or grants then it will be a great experience. One last piece of advise, unless unemployeed do not go to college past the age of 35 because that adds to the difficulty of getting a good job. Now I am trying to figure out if an MBA is worth it or not. In addition to supporting these needed changes, Congress must do more to protect students from unscrupulous career colleges that deceive students into taking on debt they will never be able to repay and stick taxpayers with the bill.

We must strengthen, not weaken, accountability in higher education. The FY rates were calculated using the cohort of borrowers who entered repayment on their federal student loans between October 1, and September 30, and who defaulted before September 30, Digest for Education Statistics. Current Population Survey. Toggle navigation U.

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  7. July 27, Press Call. College has never been more expensive Even as a college degree or other postsecondary credential or certificate has never been more important, it has also never been more expensive. Over the past three decades, tuition at four-year colleges has more than doubled, even after adjusting for inflation.

    The Obama Administration has made historic investments in college affordability Since taking office in , the Obama Administration taken strong action to counteract the rising cost of higher education, expanding Pell Grants and making student debt more manageable by expanding loan repayment options that cap payments based on income. In , the American Opportunity Tax Credit will help 10 million students and families afford college. Doing More to Focus on Outcomes Cost and debt are only part of the story — we need increased focus on student success Addressing growing college costs and debt is absolutely critical.

    Through its landmark Gainful Employment regulations, the Obama Administration is stopping the flow of federal dollars to low-performing career college programs that leave students buried in debt with few opportunities to repay it. The President has also called for shifting campus-based federal student aid to schools that provide a quality education at a reasonable price. ACP would also encourage states to continue existing investments in higher education and fund colleges using performance outcomes based on student success, as well as to promote key reforms to increase college completion, including alignment of high schools, community colleges, and four-year institutions to reduce the need for remediation and repeated courses.

    The Obama Administration has proposed regulations to recognize and reward high-quality teacher preparation programs with TEACH Grant eligibility and encourage all programs to improve through outcomes-driven transparency and accountability systems. The Administration has also proposed encouraging students to complete their studies on time by strengthening academic progress requirements in federal student aid programs.

    You Don’t Need a College Degree

    The Administration has greatly increased transparency for students and families so that they can make informed decisions through tools like the College Scorecard and the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet and choose a school that is affordable, best-suited to meet their needs, and consistent with their educational and career goals. A consumer information tool that will be unveiled later this summer will serve as the next generation of college transparency, providing students and families with more data than ever before to help them compare college costs and outcomes as they seek to find the college that is right for them.

    Meyerhoff students were more than five times as likely to have graduated from, or be currently attending a STEM Ph. D program, than students who were invited to join the program but declined and attended another university. Southern New Hampshire University, the University of Wisconsin , and others have demonstrated that flexible, competency-based programs make it possible for working parents, returning vets, and displaced workers to have access to high-quality programs at low cost.