It’s been hammered into our heads ever since we were little that the only correct path to success in life is to graduate high school, graduate college, and go into our life-long career.
But anyone who has ever done that knows that it’s easier said than done, graduating high school is one thing but going into college feels like getting thrown into the deep end of the pool and being expected to swim.
For me, high school was a breeze, I don’t like to brag but I was able to pass it with flying colors and with no studying done whatsoever. College was a different story, I struggled in the first semester, due only to the sheer work load and not because it was challenging.
I quickly noticed that a lot of what I was being forced to learn in basic studies still had no real world application and was not even relevant to my major.
I had no idea why all my classes were just giving us meaningless busy work, I guess to make us think we were getting some sort of bang for our buck.
But I just saw it as the college trying to get some extra money out of me for a couple semesters. Maybe it’s different at other colleges but the excuse that basic education is important to be a well-rounded adult sounded like bull to me.
This is question I kept asking myself during that first semester. For me the answer was a resounding NO, I was paying money to learn things I had no interest in and also the college was nickle and dime-ing me every step of the way.
There was no way I was gonna put up with 4 straight years of this.
So this is the problem, if you see that college is basically a sham that everyone’s boughten into, what are your options?
I’m sure this question plagues most people who are in the college system but they have no idea what to do.
There are only a handful of options but I’ll get to those in a bit, the article is after all titled why a lot of educated are still poor.
One those reasons is like I said earlier, the college system is designed to suck every penny out of your wallet and then suck up dollars you don’t even have.
You pay to get in, you pay to take classes, you pay for the books (which are written by the professor a lot of the time, so they’re getting in on the screwing as well) and pay for the equipment you’ll be using depending on your major.
If that wasn’t enough, you have to pay to park your car, you have to pay for the computer software you’ll be using, you have to pay for tests (and if you fail you have to pay again), if you decide to walk on your graduation you have to pay for a cap and gown.
I’m surprised they don’t make you pay for the campus air you breathe.
Yes some of this is subsidized if you did good in high school, but for everyone else they are paying out the wazoo.
Also if you can’t afford to pay for things you can always go into debt which you need to pay off soon after you graduate. Oh, and if you go bankrupt don’t worry about that, government doesn’t care that you did and you still need to pay back your creditors.
It’s really one of the biggest legal rackets of our time.
Now it seems that all of this paying is fair and necessary if you get a good paying job and career. Well, as long as you are going into Science, Technology, Engineering, or Medicine, this is true. As long as you have a good career, your mountain of debt seems like it’s worth it.
Heaven forbid if you go into something like liberal arts, or music. You must be really passionate or from a wealthy family if you get a worthless degree.
I’m not trying to offend you if you got a degree like that but it’s such a waste of time and money from those specific perspectives.
So far we’ve realized that college takes up a minimum of four years for a bachelor’s degree and a ton of money if you go to a reputable school; from anywhere between $40,000 to $250,000 in total.
A bachelor’s is now the minimum requirement for a career job and if you have an S.T.E.M. job that’s how it should be. Any other job that isn’t science, technology, engineering, or medicine, you usually can just build experience in that field and you can have a solid career after a while, no college necessary.
But let’s say you want to make a lot of money, have no debt, and not have to wait four years to get your career going, what can you do?
Well a lot of people go into the military for this reason, good pay and benefits, you just have to sacrifice 4 years of your life (or in some cases you are actually risking your whole life if you have a combat role) then they pay for your college were you can get a degree for basically free after using up nearly a decade of your life and starting your career close to 30.
If you don’t mind all the downsides (lack of freedom, individuality, a decade of your life, and no choice of placement) then cool, you should be in the military, they give you great benefits and you have the prestige of being a veteran. Just make sure no to go into college after cause then you are right back where you started but without the crushing debt, be in the military for a career then you can retire around 40.
Another college alternative that’s popular in my area of the world is working on an oil rig, billion dollar conglomerates will pay top dollar to train you and place you on a rig where you can bust your butt to the bone everyday, give yourself unbelievably painful back problems, and kill all your brain cells with toxic fume inhalation.
Again with this one you sacrifice a lot, you don’t have a choice of placement, they just tell you to uproot your life, say goodbye to your friends and family and move to where they tell you. Also not every job on an oil rig takes a massive toll on your body but a lot of them do, I know 20 year olds with the back problems of 80 year olds.
So great pay, little freedom, and not a lot of people know this but usually in the places where oil rigs are, the prices at local restaurants and retail stores are jacked waaaay up since all the residents who live in that tiny area work for the oil company. What’s the point of having more money if you don’t really have more buying power?
I also have a good friend of mine who works as an electrician for a big construction company, and theirs is similar pay to a rig worker but less toxic fumes but the back problems are still there and you can fall from really high up if your project is a multi-story building, usually they don’t really have walls or stuff like that done yet.
So yes you can definitely fall off the building and it’s not that uncommon, my friend has seen a handful of people gravely injured or dead over the course of just a few years in his profession.
Hands down, the number one alternative to the college grind / racket is starting your own business!
Once you have one established, you are making tons of money, you aren’t risking life and limb, and most importantly you have freedom to live wherever and do whatever you want.
You can start at any time under any circumstances, in our day and age all you really need is an internet connection.
College was a good investment in past generations because it didn’t cost a lot back then and the overall cost of living was lower, heck even if you didn’t go to college you were able to support a family on minimum wage.
This sentiment has remained because this is what the older generations teach us.
But times have changed, wages are stagnant while inflation increases, so forget about a minimum wage job (it’s basically slavery) society has decided it’s for high school kids and ex-cons.
And skip college, sometimes they help you get a job, but a lot of the time a degree is the equivalent of a “I survived Splash Mountain” t-shirt and you have to fend for yourself.
I could even go into how career advancement is super unlikely if you don’t play office politics and because everyone else is trying to climb the corporate ladder, there’s only so much room the higher you climb.
Or how since so many people have degrees these days, they’re gonna be worthless soon. Supply and demand.
But this article is getting pretty long already so I’ll wrap it up.
Educated people are poor because, they’re in debt, have average earnings, and almost no career advancement.
If you are currently in college or are feeling the financial pain of owning a degree, it is 100% up to you whether college is worth it or not, it is a unique life experience but can the price be justified?
Some people think college is totally worth it, they have no desire to have more money than their degree gets them, and they’re okay with having some financial problems down the line.
Although if you asked me, if you pay that much for a piece of paper then you should be guaranteed a perfect future.
But life isn’t perfect so the best thing is to take full advantage of all your opportunities and resources to build a sustainable business that will support you financially and allow you live the crazy life that you dreamed being an adult would be like.