T.K. has helped young people launch their careers for years. He’s watched them succeed without degrees. He’s seen them impress businesses all over the country with their hustle and hunger to learn. And now, he’s taking on the pro-college debate points that are thrown in their faces:
“College gives you meaning.”
“College will help you find direction.”
T.K. says those arguments are invalid.
1. “You need college to find meaning.”
In response to the growing popularity of college alternatives, the WSJ says,
“What they lack is an accredited degree, the longtime entry ticket to a professional career, and the traditional trappings of college including a full liberal arts education. While alternative colleges can teach a person how to work, they don’t teach their students why they are working. Without that context, graduates of these programs run the risk of becoming well-paid drones.”
TK tackles this argument head-on and breaks down:
- Why taking unconventional paths in life actually requires to more self-awareness and critical thinking than following the herd
- How the real world and the job market requires skin in the game, which is harder to build in the classroom
2.”College is the best place to network.”
“If you stay in college, make sure you learn something worthwhile and work on interesting projects—college is probably the best place to meet people to work with. If you’re really worried you’ll miss some critical social experience by dropping out of college, you should probably stay.”
T.K. breaks down the difference between a horizontal network and a vertical network and why it’s valuable to expand your vertical network early in your career.
3.”College is the best place to figure out what you want to do.”
In episode 3, TK takes on the argument that college is the best way to explore your options and figure out what you want to do. TK argues that if you don’t know what career to pursue yet, college is a far too expensive “investment” and inefficient way to do that.
He responds to this specific Facebook comment he received:
“I would suggest that students who immediately want to opt out of college often have no other direction to follow, not bc there are not other pathways, but because the person doesn’t know what they want to do. College is a pathway that allows people to explore options, and develop a network. I think the business experience that Praxis offers, combined with a couple of years of vocational school (partnership with Praxis) would provide another entrepreneurial pathway.”
Articles referenced in this video:
- 10 Reasons why you Should not Dropout of College
- What students know that experts don’t: School is all about signaling, not skill-building
4. “There are no affordable alternatives.”
In episode 4, TK responds to the argument that if you don’t go to college, your career options are limited to blue-collar fields, the military, or long shot jobs like acting or professional sports, and that there are no affordable college alternatives.
TK gives examples of multiple college alternatives:
Article referenced in this video: “To Pundits Who Claim that College Isn’t Worth It” by Matt Reed
5. You’ll make more $$$ with a degree.”
In episode 5, TK responds to the argument that if you don’t go to college, you are less likely to realize your income potential because degree holders have higher average lifetime earnings than non-degree holders.
Articles referenced in this video:
- College degree is no guarantee of a high-paying job
- First jobs matter: Avoiding the underemployment trap
- College students say they want a degree for a job. Are they getting what they want?
- College degrees with the highest salary potential
6. “No one will take you seriously without a degree.”
In Episode 6, T.K. breaks down the argument that no one will take you seriously if you don’t have a degree. He also gives tips for how to showcase your skills!
Article referenced in this video: The Future of Work Won’t Be About Degrees; It Will Be About Skills
7. “College is the easier path.”
Episode 7 addresses the most common concession people give related to college: “You may be right, but it’s certainly easier to take the college route.”
8. “Dropping out didn’t work for friend X.”
The final episode features the all-too-common argument “But my sister’s friend that dropped out of college is completely unsuccessful.”