Wednesday, April 27, 2016

From Our Millennial College Graduate Agent in the Field

A relatively recent college graduate wanted to report about how his attendance of college had NO bearing on his future life.  This is a guest post written by him and I do want to put the emphasis on MILLENNIAL.

The Reality of Post College Graduates

The reality of college in today's modern world is this: college doesn't do a whole lot.

I'm a living and breathing example of this. In December of 2012, I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in economics. In February of 2013, I took a job as a computer engineer. In February of 2016 (with one additional job in between), I am now a guy who makes his living off the Internet, whether it be via my blog, books, web design, or whatever else floats my boat.

I recently reactivated my personal Facebook account after several years, because I'm now living in Eastern Europe (it's huge here). I was missing social opportunities, so despite my usual protests to engaging in any personal social media, I jumped back into the fray.

When I logged back into Facebook for the first time, what do you think I was greeted with?

Profiles of old friends who were kicking ass in life, using their degrees to their fullest potential and maximizing their college investment?

Or...

Profiles of old friends were who still meandering in the same jobs they had in college, or had become baristas after realizing that their worthless degree was not even worthless - but actually a negative return on investment for their life as a whole.

If you guessed the first option, then go back to reading your Liberal Arts textbook, I wish you the best.

For those of you who chose the second, allow me to elaborate on my story a bit.

MY STORY


I'm now 24 years old, and as I said, I have a degree in economics but ended up working as a computer engineer. This is the first red flag that the collegiate system in America is broken.

In what world can some 21 year old kid with a degree in economics start working on 1 million dollar+ computer systems as his first job? They say it all comes down to connections, and this was exactly the case for me. I had a great friend and mentor in high school - when I started working in a computer shop at the age of 14, he was the head salesman. We struck up a fast bond and he is still one of my best friends to this day, despite a ten year age gap.

He talked me up to his bosses at the engineering job, and I walked into the interview knowing it was mine provided I didn't come off as a total moron.

Needless to say, I got it.

I never was asked what my degree was in. Not once, in a two hour long interview, with four panelists. The piece of paper that I had invested the last three and a half years of my life (and $100k, give or take - and I went to a public state school!) did not matter one bit.

Yet, my entire life I was indoctrinated to think that it was. I should mention that there is some truth to that - they may have not given me a shot if I didn't have the piece of paper proving that I could take orders and listen. However, the proof is in the pudding. You don't need a degree to start a career - but the real lesson to learn here is that you should never get a worthless degree.

To illustrate that, let's look at a few of my other friends.

SARAH

Is a very cute, now 24 year old girl. She left the original university where we started college together after a year and a half to return to her hometown, which is a big tourist hotspot. In school, she was studying Journalism and Media Studies.

In her hometown, she took a job at a large hotel as a check-in clerk. She was making $15 an hour, give or take. Five years later, she has finally finished her degree, and still works in the hotel. She now makes $22 an hour, give or take.

Despite her dreams of being a sportscaster and a writer, I can promise you that I write more on a daily basis than she likely has in the last year.

MAX

Was a good friend of mine for several years. He was a Marine Biology major, and a pretty good one at that. He had strong grades in all of the hard classes like organic chemistry, physics, etc.

Max started working at Petco during our junior year at school. At 24 years of age, after 5 years of study - he still works at Petco.

SUSAN


Is someone I still keep in pretty consistent touch with. She got a Sociology degree. Right after graduating, she moved back home. She then found a job that paid her about $14 an hour as a social worker. She hated it and said it was "too hard", so she took a job at a coffee shop instead.

It was, in her words, "Less stressful and more fun."

Now, she is engaged to be married and will tie the knot at the end of this year. Most likely, she'll be pregnant within a year and never work another day in her life again (provided her future husband has a degree worth that provides more than a barista job).

This means that she threw away all of her parents money and their Sociology for a job making coffee.

WHAT DOES THE BLUEPRINT LOOK LIKE?

Even those who have strong personalities are not immune to society's shames and methods.

From a young age, it is quite clear to any young person growing up in America that you must go to college. Especially as a man - you are made to believe is the only way you can get a girl, the only way to provide, that you are far less of a man if you lack a college degree.

In reality, having a silly Liberal Arts degree in LGBT Studies makes you less of a man.

I'm not going to preach that you should or shouldn't go to college - but what I will preach is that you should think very carefully about throwing down six figures or more on a piece of paper that won't get you a job beyond making a latte (also remember: a Civil Engineering degree from a random state school is likely more valuable than a LGBT degree from Harvard). In addition to that, even if the job is has some prestige and sex appeal to it, if it only pays $18 an hour - is it really worth it? There are plenty of options out there that pay far, far better, won't require four years of your life, won't require a ransom worth a 20% downpayment on a new home, and won't suck you into the system designed to keep you in debt and working for the rest of your life.

Because it doesn't end after the college degree. Next comes the house, and it best be in a good suburb. Then you need the nice cars to look good in the driveway, even if you only drive down the street to work. Then comes the kids and the private school, then ultimately - their college education.

I started to get sucked into this after I started my first job. I bought a nice car, that, coupled with the insurance payments, cost me $600 a month (plus premium gas!). I considered buying a condo that would have meant a monthly mortgage equivalent to half of my take-home salary.

Why?

Because I was told that was just how it was. That this is what it meant to be American.

The best advice I can possibly give to anyone is to think for themselves. Look at me now. I'm now living abroad, writing this from a cafe in Poland. I make my living running my own business. I am my own free man.

And that piece of paper that says "Bachelor's in Economics" has nothing to do with it.

Now that's true freedom.

If all these kids had read Worthless, none of this would have happened....I also want to know if Susan is hot because I have a job for her that pays more than $14 per hour.

10 comments:

Jim Scrummy said...

Smart guy. He didn't wait for someone to help him, he helped himself and busted his posterior. Plus he didn't torch himself with that four letter word...debt. Even though he believes his degree may not mean much, he did learn the universal language of the world...math. As I tell the youngins', be good at math, it will help you start a career, and hopefully keep you gainfully employed either working for someone or having your own bidness. As someone who has worked in the trenches for 25+ years, having two STEM degrees has kept me gainfully employed (along with hustling my posterior off). But, I have to give this guy kudos for starting his own bidness. Youngins' that is the way to go now and the foreseeable future, your own bidness. Look at how much fun our humble host is having with AHC, his own business! Go that route as soon as you can in your careers. Working in the corporate world these days, sucks. Period. Cappy has some good books to start with, to get you on your way, such as Bachelor Pad Economics. As this guy who's figured it out and one of my favorite sayings (from the British SAS) "Who Dares Wins". This guy is winning!

Anonymous said...

Over the last 50 years, attending college has become the largest generational scam in history; corrupt baby boomer administrators OUTRIGHT STEALING from naive Millenials. Please show me a dean or head administrator at even the community college level who makes less than $400K annually. Corruption is not just rampant, it's standard operating procedure for college administration and all the money flows to the top. Janet Napolitano is the president of the California University system for God's sake. Do I need to go on?

The scheme is vast, and is multi-generational in nature. We all grew up being indoctrinated into thinking that college was the only ticket to success, and that success after attaining a college degree was guaranteed. In the year 2016, nothing could be further from the truth. For most people, especially those who borrow large sums of money to pay for it, college is a major net loss; not to mention a giant waste of time and energy. The opportunity costs of attending college, as well as the actual financial costs, are simply staggering for the average person. The return on investment for MOST college degrees is not zero, it's negative. From an economic standpoint, almost nothing about attending makes any financial sense.

But the college lie is deeply ingrained in the American psyche. Try telling a young person the truth about college. They will never listen to you. Never. I've given up trying to tell any of them the truth. They just look at me like I'm some dumb old negative fool, and suggest I vote for Bernie Sanders. They need to learn it for themselves. Crippling debt and all. It will take at least one more full generation for the brick-and-mortar college scam to completely die, despite the toxic social environment on most campuses. Even the internet cannot defeat the college scam. It will take lots of time, and MANY broken lives, before the scam bottoms out.

David Suspended said...

Sarah, Max and Susan actually aren't doing that badly compared to myself and some other people I know.

Mark Matis said...

The one thing he fails to note is that if one is a Preferred Species, that piece of paper can become very meaningful. There are plenty of AA jobs in this country where the employer HAS TO hire a quota with a degree. So if one is Black or Hispanic or Homosexual or Muslim, the rules are different. Even if that degree is in LGBT Music Theory.

john smith said...

I graduated engineering school in 1983. After spending my career in electrical design and construction I can unequivocally state that I should have majored in business. Engineers can be right one million times in a row but make one mistake and that is all that is remembered. It is much better to be the business major cutting the ribbon for the newspapers, even though you have no idea about how it works, while cashing big checks in anticipation of laying off the engineers. After all, they are a dime a dozen. I should know. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Mark Matis:

You make a good point. However, there are only so many positions that are available for all the freaks of the world. True, corporations and Govt are totally required to meet their dead weight quotas. But, and it pains me greatly to say, there are significantly more of these "preferred species" job candidates than there are jobs available for them to fill. Govt can only create so many worthless jobs, and corporations are even more limited because they have to be productive to stay alive. These losers you speak of tend to be more of a cancer to a corporation, one which must be managed carefully.

Robots are the future of labor. No HR depts and no lawsuits from the freaks.

Love this Blog! said...

this lady explains the opportunity cost of "Women's studies". The comments section in the video is good too...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mgVxl1dd-I&feature=em-uploademail

manuel hernandez said...

$18 was how much I started making as a roofer when I got out of technical school. At one point I was making $24 and hour, and hails I not joined the military, would have learned sheet metal roofing and made up to $32. My point is, $18 an hour starting wage is not bad at a trade of you only have a high school diploma, but are willing to put the hours and effort. You won't 've wealthy, but you can make a decent living as long as you don't squander your money. $18 as a 4 or 6 year college graduate? Meh, not so much.

Joe Richards said...

Nice post. I agree, choose your degree carefully. Not sure I agree that a business degree the way to go, as there are probably 99 business degrees in a boring dead end for every 1 success.

My kids friends with criminal justice and poli sci degrees working as insurance adjustors and candy store managers, and those are the successes.

alpha_rez said...

ay fuck you captain capitalism im torrenting your books
- alpha_rez