A lot of people are skipping college these days for many reasons but we’re here to say sorry, but there’s still no substitute for a college degree. Steve Jobs dropped out of college and then went on to create the most successful computer company in the world ever known. Bill Gates did the same thing, and even years after retiring from Microsoft, he is still the top three wealthiest people in the world.
The lesson seems clear: if you want to get ahead in life, skip college. It’s a waste of time that only holds you back.
When you peel back the curtain a little more, however, you find a different story. Sure, there are examples of exceptional college drop-outs – many of which went into the tech sector – but there are many more stories of the failures that you never hear.
Every year, millions of people avoid going to college, believing instead that they’re better off starting the career directly from school. With the costs of education on the rise, it seems like a prudent decision. Avoid debt and get on the career ladder early so that by the time you get to your thirties, you’re ahead of the pack.
The truth, however, is that if you want to get into any lucrative sector of the economy, you need a college degree. Over the last fifty years, the types of jobs available have bifurcated. There are plenty of entry-level positions in retail and hospitality, and lots of high-end jobs in the tech sector, but fewer in between. Unless you go to college, you stand the risk of gravitating towards the lower end of the spectrum, earning much less overall than your potential.
The Best Jobs Are In Sectors That Require A Degree
If you look at all of the sectors offering the best jobs for graduates, they all require a college or university education for entry. If you don’t have a degree to your name, you stand little chance of success in these areas. The investment, though, is arguably worth it.
Take healthcare, for instance. As the University of Southern California points out, the work available for people going into the health sector is going to explode over the coming years. The aging population, combined with high levels of immigration, is going to put pressure on the system and require more people to take on roles. These are major demographic shifts that are already “baked in,” meaning that pretty much nothing can prevent them from taking effect.
Another area is computing. Traditionally, people didn’t need degrees to enter this sector of the economy, but with more graduates available than ever before, hiring practices in tech firms are changing. They now often seek out people with qualifications. Those without are the exception.
What about the biotech space? This industry will grow tremendously over the next few years, but employers won’t even review applications that don’t have a degree behind them.
The writing is, therefore, on the wall: if you want to get ahead, you still have to obtain a degree. Examples of successful drop-outs are the exception, not the rule. Unless you have a fantastic opportunity right in front of you that you can exploit, getting an education is usually the best investment you can make.