Has Society Tricked Us Into Attending College?
We’ve been led to believe that a college degree is the only means to a successful career. But what if this isn’t the case?
by Faaiz Ansari, Jun 9, 2021 1 p.m. CST
Start with grade school, take the SAT & ACT, earn a top 10% GPA, major in something that will supposedly pay out well, walk into a new career and then live happily ever after…sound familiar? This script gets repeated on a rinse and repeat cycle to the majority of human beings, but where does it stem from? It almost seems like we’ve adopted this framework as the only path to success, but you might be surprised to know that this isn’t the only road to a high paying, fulfilling career.
It all started when we were kids…
Ever heard of the illusory truth effect? This phenomenon is essentially the propensity for people to begin believing incorrect information upon repeated exposure to that information. If you tell someone that grass is not green, they most likely won’t believe you. If you get 100,000 more people to tell that same person that grass is not green, the tide may begin to shift. Initially, they may resist and just call those people crazy. Over time, however, that individual may become more and more likely to actually believe that grass is not green. This won’t be occurring as a result of them actually being shown proper evidence to support this blasphemous statement. Rather, it would occur simply as a result of them repeatedly being told the exact same sentence, over and over again.
Have you been told that a lasting, high paying career is simply impossible without a college degree? Have you been told that you need to attend an Ivy League School in order to impress future employers? Have you been told that people who deliberately elect to forego college are set up for failure? If you said yes to any of the above, then we’re here to tell you that you’ve been fed blatant lies.
By this point, you’re probably wondering to yourself…”This article claims that I’ve been lied to my entire life, yet everyone I know who when to an Ivy league school is now earning tons of money.”
This is a very valid statement, but we have the rebuttal right here: Earning a degree from an Ivy league school will surely impress future employers and set you up on a path to a successful career, but the notion that people who forego college altogether are “set up for failure” could not be further from the truth. Don’t believe us? Check out how one of our instructors, Farhad Ahmed, is now well into a lucrative tech career, despite the fact that he never studied software engineering or computer science in college.
In fact, many of our own instructors never studied technology or coding in college, but are now extremely successful in their new careers. College can be very expensive, and you often end up taking courses that have no relevance to your chosen field of study. Why take Composition 1301 or PHED 2302 when you’re looking to earn a Computer Science degree? If you’re not in the proper financial state to afford tens of thousands of dollars per semester in tuition, do you really want to risk going into piles of debt that could end up handcuffing you for decades? On top of that, not everyone is in a position where they can wait for four years to complete a degree. If you’re looking to blitz it and gain knowledge/skills as quickly as possible, universities are not great options.
What is college?
We’re not here to tell you that college is a scam. College is simply a means for attaining knowledge and skills. You attend classes in order to learn information that you hadn’t previously been exposed to. You study and re-read that information so that you can retain it for the long-term. Then, when it comes time to use that knowledge at your job, you apply what you learned in order to improve your company’s bottom line.
College is merely a tool in the toolbox, but there are plenty of other tools out there. YouTube is a tool, Google is a tool, free courses are tools…the list goes on and on. There are a countless number of ways to seek and attain knowledge, and to say that college is the ONLY way is downright wrong.
Ok…so how do I get around college?
We just want you to realize that college is just one means for gaining knowledge, and that there are plenty of other effective means that are readily available. If you’re looking to learn coding but can’t afford to study computer science at a traditional university, you can absolutely get started with YouTube videos, codecademy, freecodecamp.org, books, bloggers and other free resources across the internet. You’ll need to be more disciplined, as you won’t have a professor who takes account, but it can definitely be done. If you’re looking to take things a step further, coding bootcamps are an excellent option. You won’t be paying nearly as much as you would for a university education, but you’ll get all of the technical training that you need. You’ll also have the flexibility to choose from full-time and part-time options, so you won’t have to quit your day job to finish a coding bootcamp.
Knowledge is not bound by classroom walls…
Many people make the mistake of assuming that seeking knowledge is a road that comes to a screeching halt, as soon as you receive your degree in hand. Seeking knowledge is something that you should be doing for the rest of your life. Technology is ever-changing, and the only way that you’ll be able to keep pace with everyone and everything around you is by learning new skills. Take courses, read books, watch YouTube videos, network aggressively, invest in yourself…there are so many things that you can do to further your education. If you’re at a point in your educational journey where you really want to take further action, but are just confused about where next you should go, check out our courses. We offer a wide variety of courses to help equip you with the most in-demand skills of today’s rapidly evolving tech ecosystem. All of our instructors are top-notch industry professionals with several years of collective experience, and they are eager to help you get started. For more info on how to to apply, check out the apply page.