8 Reasons You Need to STOP Going to School

The education system is broken. It’s about putting people in boxes. It’s about defining you and confining you. It’s about trying to shove you in between someone else’s lines.

It’s about what grades you make, not what difference you make. It’s about how well you mimic and mime and memorize, not how much you craft and contribute and create.

It’s about chasing degrees, not launching careers. And right now, it’s hurting more people than it’s helping.

A lot of people are too afraid or too invested to admit this, but the honest truth is sometimes SCHOOL is not the best place to LEARN.

And where this is crystal clear is America’s college system. Elevated for generations as the ultimate in achievement and the unquestioned gateway to a lifetime of success, college no longer meets that mythical bar.

Parents, educators, students and politicians need to come to the stark realization that most of us learn way too late:

Higher education is no longer the bastion of knowledge, learning and discovery that’s been beaten into our heads since birth.

On the contrary, choosing to go to college more often than not leads to a lifetime of rework, rebuilding, and remorse. High school? Sure, the basic building blocks are important. But after that….

You need to STOP going to school. Here are 8 reasons why.

1. It’s going to cost you too much money.

The cost of higher education has increased more than 500% over the last 30 years, making this the most expensive time in history to get a college degree. Most states have decreased their per-student spending on public higher education, and while Federal aid has risen, it’s not enough to make up for the state cuts and enrollment increases. Tuition has gone up far more than inflation, and the ripple effects of that outrageous sticker price reach into nearly every aspect of our daily lives. To make matters worse, the proportion of undergrads classified as “low-income” has increased to 49 percent over the last 10 years. The average cost of Community College – which spend less on their students than many public primary schools, where nearly 50% of the students are low-income, and where graduation rates are some of the lowest in the world –  is nearly $20,000/year. At the other end, private universities cost nearly $50,000/year.

2. You’re going to have a TON of debt.

Last year was a record year of student debt at $1.3 Trillion. It’s going be $5 Trillion in five years. And everyone knows, student loans have awful terms. Most people spend their whole lives struggling to pay off that debt (more than 40% of borrowers can’t even make payments), limiting their professional choices and compromising their personal happiness. And worst of all, the people who have the least are feeling it the most — 60% of people who own student debt have a net worth of under $8,000.

People of all ages and races and backgrounds are being crippled under the weight of student debt.

3. It’s going to take you too much time.

It takes people an average of SIX years to finish college. And even at flagship universities, only 36% of students actually finish a four-year degree within four years. Obviously, the more time spent on campus the more financial burden and impending debt, but the hours alone may be the most damaging expense.

If you love what you’re studying then great, that’s time well spent. If the coursework rightly correlates to practical skills you can unleash in your chosen career, even better. But sadly, for most of us, that’s just not the case.

We spend so much time sitting in classes we don’t care about, to get a major we never plan to use, to get a job we never wanted in the first place! Imagine how good you can become at what you REALLY loved if you spent those six years focused on it. Grinding on it. Cutting out all the distractions and diversions and devoting yourself to discovering your passion or improving on it. If you spent those six years working with inspiring mentors and talented experts and trusted confidantes who could teach you and help and guide you… How great could you become?

4. It’s not going to get you a job.

More than 4 out of 5 college graduates don’t have a job when they graduate. And that doesn’t even take into account the millions of people who are UNDEREMPLOYED — meaning they have accepted jobs that are well below the expectation of their hard earned and high-cost education (more than half of recent college graduates feel they are underemployed). This is even true for fast-growing fields and “attractive” majors, including Business (85.1%) and Engineering/Technology (81.6%).

The abysmal employment rate for recent college graduates is due to a number of factors, including passive ‘career services’ departments, irrelevant coursework and outdated curriculum, and little to no substantive connection with hiring employers.

But the core issue? Skills. There are nearly 6 Million job openings in the U.S. right now, the most in history. So, why are there 7 million unemployed people and why are 80% of college grads jobless when they get their diploma? Because only 20% of of applicants have the SKILLS needed to get those jobs.

The gap is clear and compelling.

5. Even if you do get a job, you’re not going be ready for it.

Even though 96% of Chief Academic Officers at colleges across the United States believe their school prepares students for the workforce, only 11% of business leaders agree with that statement. That means nearly 9 out of 10 of YOUR FUTURE EMPLOYERS don’t even think that pricey education was worth it! That’s crazy. Most of what we learn in college classrooms is not used, or useful, in work or life.

Training and re-training of fresh grads and new hires is historically one of the top expenses for employers across every industry, and the lack of connection between ‘majors’ and ‘curriculums’ with actual real-world job work is finally reaching its boiling point.

There is not a jobs crisis. There’s a skills crisis. And colleges are the #1 culprit.

6. Sometimes the entire school itself is a scam.

Several of the leading for-profit and vocational schools have gone out of business OVERNIGHT for scamming students. Hanging hundreds of thousands of people out to dry with a collective $12B in debt, and a degree that has no merit. The list of for-profit colleges that have shut their doors in the last few years is staggering, including household names like ITT Tech, Everest College, Corinthian Colleges, Brown Mackie and Globe University. Even vocational and trade schools like the Art Institutes and Le Cordon Bleu have closed their doors. DeVry and several other for-profit schools are facing hundreds of million dollars worth of lawsuits and intense government scrutiny for misleading ads and predatory tactics.

7. And maybe most of all, you need to stop going to school because it’s just NOT NECESSARY.

Nearly two-thirds of the jobs that are available in the United States do not even require a 4-year degree. And many entry-level jobs in high-growth industries — with promising career paths — provide complete on-the-job training.

And as someone who’s spent nearly 15 years hiring people in both the corporate setting and the startup space (Procter & Gamble, GoPro & Besomebody), I can tell you firsthand that employers do not care what classes you took, what your major was, or even how great you groomed your GPA. We care if you can think and communicate; if you can analyze and anticipate; we care about what skills you have and how passionate you are to join our team, serve our customers, and fulfill our mission.

And NO… Online Learning is NOT the answer!

I know, online learning is exploding right now. The #1 e-learning site has over 20 MILLION students — more than the entire enrollment for U.S. colleges in the Spring of 2017. And yes, venture capitalists love it and they’re pouring money into it. Last year was a record year of Ed Tech funding at over $2 Billion. They love it because it’s quick to build and easy to scale — which means it’s easy for THEM to make money.

But online learning doesn’t work. Even the biggest and best online learning sites — called “MOOCs” — have over a 90% dropout rate! And most importantly, online learning cuts out the most powerful part of the learning process: the human connection. It strips away the face-to-face with amazing teachers and inspiring mentors, the true heroes of any learning equation. That in-person interaction is where true learning happens.

And this is something even the academics can agree upon. Princeton University’s entire learning philosophy states that says 90% of learning comes from experience and mentorship — only 10% from “formal” (i.e. classroom or online) training… so that 90% online dropout rate makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?

Now before you ask, yes, I did go to college. I was part of that earlier generation that was told there was only a one-way road to happiness and success. My time in college most definitely set me up for the opportunities that led me to where I am today. But I actually started working at Fortune 20 Company before I even got my diploma (making pretty good money too). And I can honestly tell you, I did not learn anything in a classroom… The College EXPERIENCE taught me a lot: the organizations I was in, the part-time jobs I had, the relationships I made, the cultures I was exposed to, the late-night conversations and the real life lessons. THAT is where and how I learned, and THAT is what we need to preserve.

Oh, which leads me to the final reason for you to stop going to school.

8. Some of the most successful people in history are college dropouts.

I am just gonna leave this short list here.

Mark Zuckerburg
Bill Gates
Oprah Winfrey
Steve Jobs
Elizabeth Arden
Ellen Degeneres
Ralph Lauren
Russell Simmons
Brad Pitt
and Lady Gaga

Not to mention the founders of Dropbox, Spotify, Twitter, WordPress, Whole Foods, Jet Blue, Dell, Mattel and Hobby Lobby.

To name a few.

And most of those people were in school years ago. This is a new time, with new technologies, new challenges and new opportunities.

The college degree that once was a prerequisite of the American Dream just isn’t required anymore.

We need a new path for learning — one that starts with what you’re passionate about, and ends with a job that you love. A Path that is affordable, and accessible, and exciting. A Path that’s taught by experts who’ve been there and done it. One that teaches you the skills that you need to succeed.

An experiential, employment-driven Path.

And we are working 24/7 here at Besomebody to build it. We’ve launched our Learning Paths this month, and are conducting pilots with a select group of top Employers in high-growth industries like Healthcare, Energy, and Hospitality. The premise is simple: start with Employers and their open jobs, determine the SKILLS needed to succeed at those jobs (and at THAT company), find the best industry pro’s in that area to teach those skills, and then source the best candidates who are passionate about that industry. Our ‘product’ is a powerful enabler and tool (especially for employers, who get realtime ratings and reviews of how Candidates perform on specific skills and against specific core values), but the true power is in the PEOPLE we are bringing together.

Please check out our Paths and let me know what you think. This is new ground, and we need (and appreciate) all the help that we can get. If your company is in need of passionate, talented, skilled employees, please let me know. We’d love to try and help (there is no cost for companies chosen for our pilot.). If you are unemployed, underemployed or unhappily employed, we are building this for you.

So, at Besomebody, we’re doing all we can to not just talk about the problem, but to be a part of the solution. We believe we can crack this, and with your help, I know we will.

But in the meantime, you need to STOP going to school.

And start going to learn.

#besomebody.

ps – to learn more about our solution to this problem, check out our Learning Paths here: besomebody.com/paths; Other ideas on how we can tackle the student debt and skilled worker crises? Comment below, or send me your thoughts here: kash@besomebody.com. THANK YOU.

Kash Shaikh
Kash Shaikh

Founder & CEO, Besomebody, Inc.

KASH IS AN AWARD-WINNING BRAND BUILDER, ENTREPRENEUR AND SPEAKER. HE’S THE ONLY PERSON EVER NAMED BRANDWEEK’S “MARKETER OF THE YEAR” AND PRWEEK’S “40 UNDER 40.” HE WAS A LEADER FOR PROCTER & GAMBLE AND GOPRO, TRAVELLED TO 45 COUNTRIES, AND CREATED THE ORIGINAL BESOMEBODYBLOG IN 2011. HE FOUNDED BESOMEBODY, INC. IN 2014, LAUNCHING THE BESOMEBODY ‘EXPERIENCES’ APP THAT SAME YEAR, GROWING IT TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF USERS, AND SELLING IT IN 2017. NOW HE IS WORKING TO MAKE EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT MORE ACCESSIBLE, PRACTICAL AND PASSION-BASED WITH “BESOMEBODY PATHS.”

30 Comments
  1. I find your article very interesting and probably more true than not. My son is 20, and without that piece of paper how does he even make it through “the process” to land a job at a place like P&G? This is the dilemma of a Mom who wants to encourage her kid to chase his dreams yet be able to provide for himself and a family should he choose that path. I guess that’s the great news; it’s his choice! Thanks for the article!

    1. Thanks Mh. You’re completely right. Currently, the system is stacked up against people without “that piece of paper.” While I actually started full-time at Procter & Gamble as a junior in college (finished my last 9 hours while in Cincinnati, and graduated from U. of Texas ‘in absentia’!), I wouldn’t have even made it through the computerized screening process without checking the ‘college’ box. But nearly every manager/leader – 9 out of 10 – at Fortune 500 companies will tell you that new hires aren’t prepared for the job. And at startups – even worse! So people know the system is broken but we’ve yet to find a way to fix it that serves all parties involved. At Besomebody, we’re working hard on a solution, starting with vocational jobs in high-growth industries like Healthcare, Energy, and Culinary. You can check it out our Learning Paths here: besomebody.com/paths. Would love to know your thoughts (and your sons as well!).

      We believe with our Learning Paths, passion is still where it all starts. And I believe you’re doing the best thing for your son by encouraging him to follow his. I am not a parent, but my mom still worries about me today as I follow mine. 🙂 The thing is, once you earn enough to be above the poverty line (about $15,000/year in the U.S.), there is absolutely NO correlation between money and happiness. Meaning, toiling away to make $200K/year in a job you hate vs $60K in a job you love, may give you more ‘stuff’ and more security, but it sure as heck may not make you happy. I was in that boat and I finally jumped ship back in 2013. I believe if we focus on what we’re passionate about, and commit to it, then we can find, learn and create the skills and connections needed to be successful.

      Oh btw, we are piloting our Learning Paths with 3 Fortune 20 companies. The positions are entry level. So, who knows… I believe we can and will create a P&G Brand Management Path one day. I am sure going to try. Thanks very much and best of luck to you and your family!

  2. I disagree.
    Education is successful way out of poverty.
    Education doesn’t lead to advancement? Bull.
    I had two graduate in last 8 months. Both are employed in their chosen career path.
    One male, one female. Daughter graduated at 20, mechanical engineer, makes 6 figures.
    Son construction management, yes 6 figures.
    Yes expensive, but I didn’t make 6 figures till age 40.
    Your article should have been on useless degrees…

    1. Higher education is not the answer for everybody. It’s definitely a good way to put people into poverty. People are ending up homeless trying to pay student loans, the sugar daddy industry is booming thanks to high tuition and student debt. The statistics speak for the large majority of what our nation and young people are feeling. Unfortunately, one isolated story does not capture what is going on for most people. I went to college and dropped out after I realized I wasn’t learning a thing that was relevant to my career path. Experience has always impressed my prospective employers far more than a college degree.

      1. Thanks for the comment Jessica. You’re right, the cost of college is hurting more people than ever. And that debt is no joke. I applaud your courage for realizing you were in a situation that wasn’t right for you, and making the tough choice to pursue a better path. In my life, personal and professional, experience is the way I’ve always learned and I for sure would hire someone with great experience (and results ;)), rather than a great GPA. Keep going and good luck!

    2. Thanks David. Congratulations on your kids’ success. That is awesome and I am sure you are a very proud dad. My parents are both engineers and have been for the last 40 years down in Houston, TX. My mom would wholeheartedly agree with you. She’s passionate about her work and she’s made it to the top of the totem pole at a company that just this week was voted “One of the Best Companies to Work For” in Indeeds recent poll. Dad followed a similar path, but honestly, wasn’t passionate about engineering and has a much different take. It was a “job” to him and it enabled a lifestyle that, as you said, led him out of poverty (both my parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1974, with nothing but a college degree). If he could have done something (art is his true love), he would have.

      Now, your kids are kicking butt, but they are for sure the exception to the rule. I did well in college and got a job at Procter & Gamble as a junior. Made $50,000 in 2003 and that was more than most of my Business/Communications Major friends. My older brother went to med school, toiled for 18 years, and is now head of Cardiology at a major hospital in Austin. He was passionate about medicine. My twin brother dropped out of college, ended up wasting $30K at ITT Tech (as you see above, total scam), and had trouble getting a job that rewarded his talent. He is a self-taught software developer, graphic designer and videographer. He’s more talented than anyone in our family, and he’s now the Chief Design Officer at Besomebody. College just wasn’t for him, and he’s still saddled with tens of thousands in debt.

      The poverty line in the U.S. is $15,000 for 2-person households. The average starting salary for college grads is about $45,000 vs $28,000 for those with just a high school diploma. The average difference in DEBT is $30,000. In order to pay off $30,000 of student loans within, say, three years, the monthly payments will total about $923.57, based on a 6.8 percent interest rate for 36 payments (We can nerd the numbers for any debt situation; I was actually pretty good at math in school :)). So nearly $1000 a MONTH for the college grad vs $0/month for the high school grad… Forget math, who do you think has more spending money? Who is saving more? And most importantly, how fast can that high school grad CATCH UP in salary? For careers like engineering and medicine, you’re completely right, there’s still a chasm. But for the 63% of all job openings that don’t require a college degree, my money is on the high school grad with no debt.

      And for fields like software development – the #1 job in the country – college rarely if ever matters. Our former CTO made $170K/year and was a college dropout (Zuckerberg makes a bit more :)).

      I am guessing based on your children’s success, they went to reputable schools. And honestly, I still do believe that TOP TIER colleges – public and private – still provide unrivaled education. But what about the 25% of students in community colleges? Only 39% of them will even graduate after about $40K spent over 6 years (on average). And what about the millions of students in vocational schools or the now defunct “for-profit” schools? As shared in my article, those are getting shut down.

      We need a new Path that helps more people. The top tier colleges will continue to serve an important, talented crop of kids (like yours). But for those who can’t afford it, or for those who are passionate about careers that don’t require it, or more importantly, for those who can find those skills through experts and experience – we need a new path.

      We are working on creating that new Path at Besomebody. Please take a look when you can, and let me know what you think. besomebody.com/paths. Thanks very much David, and congrats again!

  3. But what about Jr. College? Getting a certificate usually takes 2 years . I think your article is great, but short sighted.

    1. Hi, Christina. Thanks for the question. Depends on the junior college, the field of study, your goal, and your passion(s).

      If you’re speaking about traditional two-year community colleges, the huge issue is with graduation rates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 13 percent of students graduate in two years. Overall, only 34% of all community college students graduate with a degree from a two or four-year college. Only 3 out of 10 students who start at community colleges full-time graduate with an associate degree (supposed to be a 2-year program) in three years. The numbers are even worse for minority populations. Only 19.2 percent of Latinos between the ages of 25 and 34 had earned an associate’s degree or higher—less than half the national average of 41.1 percent and the lowest of any major racial or ethnic group.

      There are other two-year programs which have similar graduation rates (15-35% range), but the cost is outlandish. We’re talking $25-30K a year for an Associates Degree. And in the VAST MAJORITY of those cases, those Associates degrees are not even required by hiring employers. Quite honestly, at Besomebody, our Learning Paths are targeted to people who traditionally would be limited to Community College or other 2-year programs. Our goal is to be 10x less-expensive, 20x shorter-duration, and 100% focused on practical skills training. And, most importantly, a guaranteed job when you complete the Path. We’re still in the early days and are working pilots with a handful of Fortune 25 companies in Health Care, Consumer Goods, and Hospitality. We work with leading employers to determine what skills are needed for specific jobs. Then we find the best local experts (industry professionals) to teach those skills through our experiential Learning Paths. Then we invite a select number of Candidates to take those Paths. Those who ‘graduate’ on time with the equivalent of a “B” or higher are guaranteed a job with that endorsing employer. Full-time, salary, with benefits.

      You can learn more about our Paths here: besomebody.com/paths

      Thanks again, and let me know if you have any other questions!

  4. I don’t think the problem is with higher education per se, but rather, with the current incentivization structure. For-profit colleges are TERRIBLE, a total rip-off. The majority of people who default on student loans attended a for-profit college. That said, there are problems with “public” and “private” colleges too. Tuition at public colleges is getting higher and higher to pay for bloated administration. When my parents went to school, you could work your way through college. Now public schools can cost over 20K per year. The educators do not see any of that – only 25% of educators in the United States are tenure-track (and salaries vary greatly by school and discipline – there are English professors making 30K). The rest are adjuncts, making perhaps 1500 per class (it varies greatly by school). Many adjuncts are on welfare or wondering how to feed their families, while college presidents are bringing down millions. Add to this the fact that adjuncts have NO job security, and you see them stop taking risks in the classroom. Taking away tenure (as Missouri, for example, just proposed) would mean that no faculty would feel safe to teach risky subjects or in risky ways. We’re moving straight toward teaching to the test. In my opinion, the only way to fix higher education (and yes, I think it needs to be fixed, not eradicated) is to make it affordable again and to make educators less afraid of losing their jobs if they say the wrong thing.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jaye. 100% agree with everything you shared. Very well said, thank you.

      In our new Paths program, the part I’m most excited about is Instructor pay. By cutting out ‘the middle man’ and eliminating most overhead and expenses (venues, labs, books, etc etc), we can keep costs low for Candidates and pay high for Instructors. We are currently piloting a few Paths now in Healthcare and Wellness. Please let me know what you think: besomebody.com/paths.

      Thanks again.

  5. Hi Kash,

    I enjoyed reading your article but also puzzled in a way. Parts I agree and parts I don’t. I noticed you talked a lot about for profit institutions and lots of debt and I agree that when you go into a focused program that provides only a narrow set of skills you are sort of screwed when that avenue slims down. However when I went to school -there was no choice being the child of immigrants – I went to “learn” not to prepare for a job. Shoot I have been a hotel maid, waitress, bartender, nanny, steel worker, because no job was too menial to pay for the journey. Yes there has been struggles but we all know that NO your dream job making $70,000+ a year is not going to be waiting for you when you graduate. You have to put in the time and earn the employment credit. Use the advantages in your institution or agency to move forward with the skills you did learn in school. You are right – if you are not ready and young with no clue: DO NOT GO!. Work those menial jobs and pay rent to parents. Volunteer. Join the military. Guidance counselors in HIGH SCHOOL are critical for that. Kash I am over educated and I love it. I am paying my student loans but I use what I learned every day to do my job, work on community task forces and provide career insight to my students. I am a traditional undergraduate professor at a university with 6 degrees. No one will pay me what I am worth but I am ok with that because I love working with students as they figure out who they are and what they want. I don’t feel that is a waste of money for those who fully embrace that experience. Also – I am strongly against online education unless you are a 40 year old adult with multiple responsibilities who has a grasp on time management. So in total agree in part but invite you to come to spend a day with me and see what I do before you lump us all into one group. Best regards.

    1. Thanks very much for the thoughtful comment Michelle. Your story is inspiring. I can totally relate (son of immigrants), however you for sure are much more educated than I am – I stopped at one degree from UT Austin! You’re right there are a lot of details, nuances and storylines here. A lot of context. It was important to me to get this conversation going, and, just as importantly, to be a part of the solution. We all know the ‘talk’ about these topics has been echoing for ages. If this election season taught us anything – no matter what side of the aisle you were on – it’s that education and jobs are paramount for every single person in this country. And we have some serious issues to contend with, namely the student debt crisis and the skilled worker crisis.

      I agree that many Universities are helping millions of students learn and prosper. I am more worried about the Community Colleges who have abysmal graduation rates, the vocation schools that charge outrageous tuitions, and the for-profits that literally scam students. We both know that online learning isn’t the answer (even though Silicon Valley is trying to tell us it is). I believe there’s a sweet spot that we can – and must – create that can complement the great work that professors like you do at larger Universities and enable a broader base of learning for all demographic and socioeconomic groups. People who can’t afford college or don’t have access or don’t want that financial burden. That is what we are looking to build (we need help!) with our Learning Paths; besomebody.com/paths. Would love your thoughts, ideas, criticisms and guidance. Excited to hear from you.

      Also Michelle, I really believe that people like you are the true heroes of the Education System. Honestly, it’s just not right that you’re not compensated adequately for the lasting difference you make EVERY DAY on people’s lives. You’re shaping the future of this country – and world – and it’s crazy there aren’t programs to help educators defer or even ‘forgive’ your own student loans. Teachers and professors are underpaid and the tenure system needs to be reexamined. In the Paths we’re creating, one of the things I am most proud of is the Instructor pay. Our goal is to be the best in the industry – 150% of typical pay. We have a lot of work to do, much to prove and even more to learn. I hope you will help us along the way.

      Thanks again for the comment, and thanks for all that you do Michelle!

  6. One of the many many benefits of my college education is that I can recognize weak arguments, cherry-picked facts, and spurious conclusions. Number 8 is particularly embarrassing. I know many college and high school dropouts through my job. Sadly, most of them are on government assistance and living, at best, week to week. I’ll be sure to remind them that Oprah doesn’t have a degree either. I am sure that will help.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Most definitely am not recommending dropping out of high school.Though can understand how my chosen headline, designed to pique interest, may have initially conveyed that. As you saw by reading the article, my point is to show that – no matter which way you slice it – the education system isn’t working for a vast majority of people. These facts actually aren’t cherry-picked, they are littered everywhere. One key stat I left out but did mention in the comments above is that you’re right, college grads make about $15K/year on average then those with only a high school diploma. However, college grads also have upwards of $30K in debt. To recap what I shared above, in order to pay off $30,000 of student loans within, say, three years, the monthly payments will total about $923.57, based on a 6.8 percent interest rate for 36 payments (We can nerd the numbers for any debt situation; I was actually pretty good at math in school :)). So nearly $1000 a MONTH for the college grad vs $0/month for the high school grad… Forget math, who do you think has more spending money? Who is saving more? And most importantly, how fast can that high school grad CATCH UP in salary? For careers like engineering and medicine, you’re completely right, there’s still a chasm. But for the 63% of all job openings that don’t require a college degree, my money is on the high school grad with no debt.

      The problem is there aren’t enough solid options. So yes, TODAY, it’s more advantageous for people to burden themselves with that debt than choose another route – i.e. no learning, or subpar learning. That is why, as I shared above, WE NEED A NEW PATH FOR LEARNING.

      We are working hard with some of the world’s leading Employers to try and build a solution. Would love the help, feedback and criticism from passionate people like you. We can’t build it alone. Please take a look and let me know what you think: besomebody.com/paths. Thanks very much.

      And ps – As for the dropouts you know, I understand how tough that must be to witness, and how frustrating and disheartening it can be at times. For you, and of course for them… So yes, please tell them that Oprah started off with nothing and became the most famous and wealthy woman in the world. Tell them that Damon John worked at Red Lobster and sold his FUBU hats on the side on his climb up to be worth $100 Million dollars. Tell them my former CTO dropped out of college and learned to code from a mentor and now makes $200K/year doing what he loves. Tell them my brother dropped out of college, fell into the ITT Tech trap, wasted $30K there, and then finally found his passion and calling as a graphic designer and creative artist for our company, as our Chief Design Officer at Besomebody (he’s still paying off that debt, though). Tell them that I have had a pretty successful career and whether its at my small startup now, or a bigger company in the future, I would not think twice about hiring someone who didn’t go to college if he/she had the right mindset, work ethic, skills and passion (maybe even without the skills, as I hired about a dozen inexperienced production and marketing people at Besomebody in 2014 and taught them on the job)… And if you have access to ANY of those dropouts, please tell them to email me – kash@besomebody.com – because I would love to help them out by getting them on one of our initial, invite-only Learning Paths. We have jobs as Nutrition Technicians, Pharmacy Techs, Dental Assistants, Nurses Assistants and Chefs. We will get them trained by top industry experts and working full-time with great employers in 6-12 weeks (depending on the Path). Seriously, before you unsubscribe, please connect me with these people. The people who the current system isn’t/doesn’t work for is who we want to help FIRST/MOST.

      Thank you.
      Kash

  7. Totally left out that those 8 who dropped out, rely heavily on people with degrees to build and maintain their wealth. Of course you could just hire an accountant who dropped an learned what they needed through experience and mentorships.

    1. Great point, Herb. If we poll all those people that work for these billionaires – the marketers, the sales people, the software developers, the customer support people, the creatives – if what they learned in college classrooms enabled their success, what do you think they would say? If we ask them if their experience and on-the-job training was a driving force, what would they say?

      Of course, they ‘needed’ to go to college to get the opportunity (in many cases). But that’s exactly the problem I am highlighting… WHY? Seriously Herb, if we/people aren’t learning things that are needed to be successful in their careers (and life), why the heck are we ok with forcing people down that path? It’s not your fault. Not my fault. Not the fault of the students or teachers. The system is at fault, and I’ve realized that the only way we can right the ship is if we get hiring employers onboard to be a big part of the solution. They have many vested interests to help out – namely, the millions of dollars companies spend on training, re-training and recruitment.

      Please check out our Learning Paths, and let me know what you think: besomebody.com/paths. I believe we can create a new path that is cheaper, faster, better, and that puts people in jobs, not just hands out degrees.

      Thanks Herb.

  8. A list of a few lucky people who made it after dropping out doesn’t convince me to drop the progress I’ve made towards a degree. Seems worth it to me to meet connections in college and explore topics through classes to further explore interests. I can see what you mean about the education system being rigged because of money and everything, but you can’t say there aren’t better opportunities for college graduates in the job market.

    1. Hey Madeline, thanks for the comment. I addressed some of your points in the comments above/below, so please do take a read when you get a chance. But I did want to say let’s not kid ourselves – while I am sure an element of ‘luck’ played a factor in these people’s success, if you spend some time researching all of them (including the companies I mentioned and countless other people), you will see that these people succeeded due to an intense focus, drive, faith, HARD WORK, failure, and passion. They learned by DOING. Which I believe is the best way to learn.

      You should always do what’s best for you, and my personal belief is that you should focus on what you’re passionate about, not just where you can make the most money. Money is a symptom, not a purpose. And once you pass the poverty line ($15K/year), there is no correlation between money and happiness. I am honestly living proof, as are countless others in our community (the Besomebody community reaches 10M people in 180 countries).

      What you mention about connections and exploration is 100% spot on. I call that “the college experience.” At top/leading universities, that’s very valuable. But there are millions of students in community colleges, commuter colleges, vocational schools, for-profit schools, associate programs, and online tracks that do not benefit from that ‘experience’ and still incur tens of thousands of debt paired with low graduation rates and even worse job placement rates.

      What are you passionate about? If business, communications, sales and/or entrepreneurship (my field of work for most my career), I would say go find great mentors and internships and startups and jobs – learn by doing (Come work with us :))… Classroom curriculums wont add much value. If you want to be an artist or musician, well, you know the answer to that one. 🙂 If you’re into software and technology, a large % of developers do NOT have college degrees, including 4 on my payroll (especially with online bootcamps and training programs nowadays). Doctor, lawyer, engineer? Schooling at a great college is still the best option. Let’s see how that evolves in the next ten years.

      Thanks again for the comment, and please do check out our Learning Paths at besomebody.com/paths. Would love to know what you think. Thank you!

  9. Totally agree with this mentality. College didn’t work out for me mainly because I couldn’t find anything I was really interested in. I was more into a hands-on type of learning where I could focus on what I actually like doing, instead of wasting time in classes I didn’t care about. I learned from watching other people in person and then trying it out myself. Listening to someone lecture or reading about it in a book doesn’t work for me. I think college and higher education can be beneficial for some people, but definitely not all. It’s a shame that our system is setup to mainly look at people wth degrees over people without, when really all that should matter is their skill and experience.

    1. Thanks Jack. I totally agree. The current system is setup to ‘reward’ degrees without truly understanding the depth of skills. I knew how to cram to ‘get the grade’ in college, but i didn’t learn anything in a classroom that helped me succeed in my career. I learned from great mentors and experts and leaders who helped me, guided me and pushed me. It’s all bubbling over now, though, because business leaders are more frustrated than ever with the skills gap and the incongruence of college learning and career proficiency. Couple that with the cost of college, it just doesnt make much sense to a lot of people. Glad you found your own way!

  10. Enter the coding bootcamp, and bootcamp model in a variety of subjects. Thats why devmountain.com and other bootcamps have seen a huge influx of students. Traditional ed is on shaky grounds.

    1. Exactly, Tyler. You guys and similar camps/programs are doing great work and serving a much-needed segment of the market. As shared above, I don’t believe online learning is the best way to learn for most fields, but for software it actually works well. And camps that enable in-person instruction and access as a complement to videos and online coursework are kicking ass. Thanks and good luck to you guys. (ps – we are hiring badass java/angularJS developers. :)).

      Please check out our Learning Paths and let me know what you think. besomebody.com/paths

      Thank you!

  11. I totally agree with this. The system isn’t for everyone. It’s great to see insights coming from a company focused on solving the problem by providing real solutions, based on people’s passions (not dean’s list or $ signs).

  12. Indeed! It is becoming a pain.
    Instead of college we should invest that amount all at once to a start up plan, and get a smaller technical certificate’s.
    Now is the time of certification course’s.

    1. I agree Zak, i think alternatives to traditional degree plans are definitely a strong option for people. That is what we are looking to create as well. I would love to know your thoughts on our new Learning Paths: besomebody.com/paths

      We believe we can help people quickly and cost-effectively get the skills they need for jobs they are passionate about.

      thanks Zak!
      kash

  13. Am totally agree with this article, In our Era the Fee debt increasing day by day and people are opening the door of troubles which lasts forever the life .
    Yes! Education is a great thing but modern education is not . So stop going to school start #learning And never forgot #besomebody You have the passion to do anything and you can do it even without a piece of paper so called “degree”

  14. Kash,
    Love what you are doing! PASSION is the foundation for success and happiness. As your many videos illustrate, our fears and hang-ups often prevent finding our passion. I totally agree that schools and the cookie-cutter approach to education is a poor substitute for finding what we are meant to do. I did not know what I wanted in life, I too went to UT-Austin and then more. NOW, I spend a great deal of time helping students get accepted into medical school. I’m sure you have seen the statistics that more than 50% of physicians would not do it again. They hate medicine and what they do for a living. Personally, I see no bigger tragedy than college, med school, residency, debt and then, finally, a job that sucks. Sad. On the other hand, many physicians love what they do, love helping people and being of service to others. The difference between these 2 groups is PASSION. Those docs who love medicine have found their passion. Unfortunately, the problem today is getting from point A to B without going through our educational system (premed to med to doc). It can’t be done, although I have thought about this problem for years. The system is rigged against producing “passionate doctors,” as much as the med school committees try to so select. Historically, mentoring was the way to becoming a healer – i.e. your concept – however, our medical system is tied in knots and that no longer works (as much as we want it to). Once a student enters residency, then mentoring is again the basis for learning, but I say – by then it is too late for 50% of the “chosen ones.” Nonetheless, what you are doing may help many future doctors reevaluate why they want to become docs in the first place and either change or grind onward…. I call it the meat grinder system for producing doctors. Some of us got very lucky and love what we do! Others, not so lucky. I’m glad to see that you found your passion.

  15. i totally agree with every sngle thing in here. i been 8 years in college now. i stopped 2 years ago, then i studied again and a year and a half to graduating. But still on my 2 months and having a lot of absences already. i pity my parents and my sibling for spending for me. My mother has an issue she requested me to finish just 1 year and a half more so i could be safe socially. Here in the Philippines, there is great oppression towards people who have not finished college and people around me do not want me to experience that. i am in a state of confusion now. i in no way interested in going to school but i am pretty sure my family will have a broken heart if i stop. I have already explained to them but they are ore concerned with people judging me and i too was being judged. It’s very hard for me to sit inside a classroom and sit and force to listen to things i cannot resonate with. They are all religious and academicians (they are teachers) in the family. and my sibling graduated with cum laude in our country’s top university while i am struggling to finish something they think is easy. I am a tattoo artist, i had a studio and i also design wallets and bags, and i paint as well. But everybody thinks in the family that i am just playing around and i have no where to go and they say to get a “REAL” job. HELP

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