Is college pointless?

Almost everybody I know who has gone to college has not had any success in the job market.

I did not go to college, my boss did not go to college, but my co-worker, who is paid the same salary as me, spent $100,000 to go to college. My father retired making twice as much as me (just below 6 figures) and can't even spell. The three most successful people in my family never even graduated high school!

I just read a question where the asker wanted to know what to tell a prospective employer who asked him if he felt he was overqualified for the job, based on his education. The indication was that he was too inexperienced and/or overqualified for everything.

With that in mind, plus the cost of student loans, doesn't going to college provide the same chance for financial success as not going to college?


Frizkerbizkit: I worked as a supervisor at a parole office for a few years. I'm sure you'll enjoy being a parole officer.

I'm going to put this question up to vote, since it really is a matter of opinion and it'd be unfair of me to just pick somebody because I agree with them. Let the majority rule & no cheating by picking your answer more than once with another login please.

14 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I didn't go to college, I didn't even finish high school and I am a very good salary at the age of 20. I would only go to college if you want to be a doctor or a lawyer.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well. Good question!!

    I am in college, but mainly because you can NOT get the type of job I'm going for without at least an AA or AS. I am going to be a parole officer.

    I know that there are "some" states that will give you a job that requires a degree, without the degree, IF you have worked in that position for a certain amount of time elsewhere, but not all places are like that.

    Personally, I think college helps some people but hinders some people as well.

    Like you said, student loans are rediculous. I should know, I have been in school almost 2 years and I have more than $30,000 in them. However, to go to college, you are NOT 'required' to take out loans. Most people CAN go to school just with grants, which do NOT have to be paid back.

    Like myself, most students take out the loans because you get the FULL amount of the loan if your tuition is paid by your grants.

    It's a 'residual' check. I get one every 5-6 months for about 5 grand. So, the loans in the end, help me out since my parents didn't go to college and stuck in dead end jobs too.

    Just my thoughts.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If college is judged solely on finances, then I'd say it **could** be a waste of money. I have a graduate degree, and it has allowed me to achieve my goal of teaching at the local community college. It's not the greatest paying job I have, especially since I am only part-time, but I enjoy it tremendously. If I can get a full-time position, I'll be financially comfortable to say the least.

    That said, I got a little burnt out from teaching, and I decided to try corporate America. I had the worst time finding a job. Most jobs I applied for saw my graduate degree and ran the other way. They all told me I was overeducated and under-experienced. So, my degree left me unemployed for a month. That happened to me after I graduated as well, but that time, I was unemployed for five months. And yes, I still have student loans.

    Personally, my college education meant a lot more than monetary value.

  • Karen
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Yes and no. It seems like a lot of college degrees are pointless nowadays unless you go to grad school. Maybe a nurse or teacher or social worker can get a job with a 4 year degree but only the first job even pays a decent salary. Otherwise, most jobs seem to require a graduate degree: law, MBA, psychology, doctor, etc.

    One of my family members, a computer engineer with a 4 year college degree and 10 years of experience was recently told he should get an MBA or law degree to ensure he can keep his job since they are doing a lot of downsizing!

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  • lyyman
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I wish I'd taken a year or two off after HS and then gone to college. It's often said that a college education now is what a high school degree used to be worth on the job market. If you have a strong math background it will make sciences much easier. If you get a liberal arts education, it by itself doesn't get you far, but if you actually learned how to teach yourself , the degree will get you in a lot of doors. I liked working with my hands, but back problems have me sidelined me. I did fall back on my degrees in nursing and languages.

  • 1 decade ago

    You raise an interesting question that I would believe many to share with you. It is true that there are some in the world today who are successful without finishing their college education. However, most "good paying" careers (notice I did not say jobs) pay you based on your education. In some cases, the higher paying jobs are dependent upon your obtainment of a Masters degree in a specific field of study. Now, some people, who work very hard their entire lives and struggle to create their own business with only a high school education do end up making nice salaries later in their career, but, if you were to talk with them today, I assure you that looking back on their history they would impress upon you the importance of a college education; not only because it opens doors but also because if they had had one it would have made their career ambitions much easier and, possibly, void of the heart attacks, strokes, financial deprivations, and other road blocks that they probably faced to get there over the past 30+ years. College teaches you much more than just how to get a job. It teaches you how to become a professional. How to interact with peers on a higher level. How to be culturally aware, which is good if you are asked to fly overseas to work with clients in other parts of the world. How to address clients. How to write and communicate. There are tons of lessons that college teaches that you will need for your career if you really want a long-term career. Now if you just want a job then this may not be for you. But if you want to be an executive, for example, who pulls in six figures salaries, a company car, expense accounts, travel opportunities, and benefits then you will be required (aka not optional) to have at the very least a Bachelors degree. So, college is not only important but it is imperative. It just depends on what you want out of your life and how hard you want to work for it. Let me put it this way. My mother worked her entire life and never made the salary that I make now as a starting salary because of my Masters degree, so you do the math. The question you have to ask yourself is "what do you want out of your life and what is the path to get there?" If you want to be a CEO then you better get your rear in college. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, writer, artist, graphic designer, programmer, or even a business person then you better get into college. Do you want to be a CEO at age 55 or at age 28? Going to college can determine how fast you succeed, how much you have to retire on, and how successful you are earlier in your life instead of at the end of your life when you spend everything you earned on doctor visits, medications, etc. Better give your life a hard evaluation and then go from there.

  • 1 decade ago

    I know one dude pulling down 200,000 a year (college)

    I know a lot of other people pulling down between 150 and 200 college.

    college opens up doors. can you succeed without college. Yes

    Is it easier to succeed with college I think so. Granted you can't major in underwater basket weaving. You have to major in something that pays.

    Look at ALMOST any CEO of a major corporation. College.

    So I would argue that if you don't go to college you could get lucky and make a lot of bread. If you go to college you could get lucky and make a lot of bread. EITHER way it is up to how hard you are willing to work and what you want to do. I would argue that you have a better chance with the degree.

  • 1 decade ago

    well, years ago that may have been true, there were more opportunities for well paying blue collar jobs. America has been shipping those jobs overseas for years now, and importing low payed illegal labor for the manual jobs that remain. There are some people who will do well without the education, but for most normal people a college degree will give you the edge over those who dont have one. besides, it was fun partying there, and you build up a network of "who you know" for later.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    College has its merits. I went to college but didn't finish because the trade market was becoming lucrative with the retirement of the boomers. I'm still paying student loans from my academic studies.

    I have kids and I'll support them no matter what they choose. If they ask my advice I'd reccomend trade school over 4 year academic study any day.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, I think college is pointless. Whats the point of going to 4-5 years of college and taking all kinds of classes that are NOT going to help you. Too many credits and electives to have to take.

    I think trade school is better. Just concentrate on the things that you actually NEED to know for a job, learn them, and be successful at a job.

    I did not take 4 years of college, instead I took trade school, learned a trade, and it has helped me. And I have not wasted my time in classes that will not help me for the future.

    If I decide to change my career, then I'll just take another trade class. EASILY DONE!

    Take Care and Hugs to you.

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