You’re a 17 or 18 year old kid just starting your senior year of high school. It’s a big year. You’re on the cusp of a major change in life, the likes of which you’ve never yet experienced. In one year’s time, everything you’ve known, your entire lifestyle essentially from the time you were 5, will be turned on its head. You’re also facing one of the biggest decisions of your life, certainly the biggest you’ve ever faced so far.
Should you go to college?
You’ve certainly been told you should. That pressure has increased over the last year, as you’ve no doubt been taken to college fairs and college tours, and received many brochures from universities asking you to apply. You’re no doubt feeling the pressure, and it adds to your overall confusion.
You have a big decision to make. Unfortunately, your decision will not be as clear cut as mine was when I was going through it ten years ago.
The main argument that young people should go to college is that if you do not go, your career prospects will be dim. As you’ve seen in the other article, there are ample reasons to believe this, as unemployment is significantly higher for those who do not go to college and earnings are significantly lower.
But as we’ve also gone over, the results of a college education are a mixed bag. Enrollments are up, so you’ll be competing against a large pool and wages of college graduates have not grown.
As a matter of fact, it’s often the case that to get a really well-paying job now, a master’s degree is required. That means two more years and thousands of more dollars.
And here’s the overriding question you need to contemplate. Is it worth the cost?
It seems an obvious question, though I’m not sure it gets emphasized enough. It’s probably less dogmatic than it was when I was in the application process, but I think a lot of people assume that it’s just a given that you need to go to college. Again, we’ve been told we have to since we started going to school.
College is not a rite of passage. It’s not a natural part of life’s journey like we’ve been led to believe. You will be spending a lot of money and probably go into debt to do so. It is first and foremost a financial investment.
I want to be crystal clear with you on something right now. Just because you went to college, it does not mean you will find a job. In most cases, your education means little, at least compared to two much more important things – your experience and who you know.
Not your college education or degree – your experience and who you know.
Apply to jobs today and you’ll notice that even for the most menial of menial office jobs, the ones that typically require a college degree, a certain amount of experience is usually required. Some employers do specifically cater to recent graduates but that’s only a minority and usually then experience is often required. Yes, I’m talking about online applications, which is where most open positions that couldn’t be filled by anyone at hand in the employing firm itself are now posted.
But this is a bit of a dilemma. How do you get experience if the entry level positions require experience? Now, some of this is undoubtedly plausible deniability for employers to fire people for incompetence and not risk any discrimination lawsuits, but some of it is not.
College is not experience.
My experience as a recent grad:
I got my degree in 2011 (though I actually completed all my coursework in December 2010). I was actually somewhat directionless. I applied to jobs but didn’t get any, despite my good GPA in my major and some relevant experience in my teenage years. Of course, my failure to find employment did not stop the student debt from beginning to demand payments, though I was fortunate that I did not have much to pay per month.
It was not until February 2012 that I found employment. And, you guessed it, the job came as a result of a connection.
It’s still bad:
One could say that at the time I was applying (2011-12), the economy was worse. Unemployment was higher. Technically, that’s right, but I don’t think the major outlets are really describing the truth of the situation. Remember that modern journalism is first and foremost a method of spreading propaganda.
Though I don’t need other employment right now, I always look at more promising possibilities in my niche. Truth be told, I do want to be earning more money at this point in my career, and I have gone on some interviews recently, but no dice thus far, despite my college degree (and more importantly, my experience in the area).
Point being, it’s still hard even for college-educated professionals like me to get a job without first knowing anybody. Is such an economic atmosphere worth the expense of college?
It’s about what you do (but do be warned):
You could say that my degree is worthless. That criticism is not entirely wrong. Regardless, even the “ideal” degrees are not always a sure-fire thing. My cousin, who got out a year before me, has an engineering degree. He has not worked a single day in an engineering-related job.
There is a harsh truth about the STEM degrees that seem to be so heavily in vogue right now – there are now more STEM graduates than STEM jobs available. To compound this problem, it is now a fashion for tech firms to dump you and hire H1B workers that work for cents on your dollar. The goings-on at Disney was a famous recent example.
In other words, even if you get a good paying job as a STEM graduate, that good pay will incentivize your employer to fire you for a much cheaper H1B worker. This problem is not just confined to the United States. I recently had a Skype conversation with a 17-year-old kid who’s on the cusp of going. He’s in Canada:
[9/13 9:37:39 PM] Me: basically, i don’t think many young men need to go to college and it is in many cases a scam
[9/13 9:37:57 PM] Him: Look forward to hearing your full thoughts
[9/13 9:38:26 PM] Me: but at least you’re going for a real degree
[9/13 9:39:19 PM] Me: in america though there’s more stem grads than stem jobs available
[9/13 9:39:42 PM] Me: and it’s compounded by the fact that they now import all these indian tech workers with h1b visas that work for cents on your dollar
[9/13 9:39:55 PM] Him: Which is bullshit
[9/13 9:40:05 PM] Me: dont know if they do it in canada
[9/13 9:40:45 PM] Him: There are even more here
[9/13 9:41:16 PM] Me: shit
[9/13 9:41:24 PM] Me: well as a nafta country im not surprised
[9/13 9:41:28 PM] Me: but what does that say to you
[9/13 9:45:12 PM] Him: Not sure what to think about it really
[9/13 9:46:28 PM] Me: i mean if you’re gonna go into that market you have to be aware of it, obviously
[9/13 9:49:41 PM] Him: And I am. Not much we can do about it unfortunately.
Just be warned. Even with a STEM degree, you may not wind up employed in the field and you will be competing against a large pool of cheaper foreign labor.
You probably won’t work in the way you intended:
Though I’m working in a job related to what I was educated for, most people don’t, including those with STEM degrees. You might go to college thinking you’re going to be a great (blank) in the future by majoring in (blank). It usually doesn’t turn out that way. Ask my cousin. This is a contributor to the phenomena of college graduates working mediocre jobs at best or downright menial ones at worst.
Just because you major in something doesn’t mean you’ll work in that field.
One might ask: so why bother?
Your plans might (and probably will) change:
At 18, I thought I had it all figured out.
I was going to become a lawyer, hence my choice of major.
That’s still a possibility, but not a serious one at this point. There are a lot of reasons why I don’t particularly want to be a lawyer now.
This experience is far from unique. You think at 18 you know what you want to do. You don’t. You know what you’re definitively not good at (maybe) but that’s about it.
Point being, you really need to consider very hard what you’re going to college for and what you want to do. You must take note of the fact that your plans can easily change and consider multiple different career paths based on what you’re best at and what skills can make you the most money, and choose accordingly. Tunnel vision is common at that age, but most of us don’t even realize we have it. Beware! Such tunnel vision can cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars!
College campuses as laboratories of insanity:
This was always true to an extent, but it has become far truer even compared to the time I was in college. Sadly, college campuses are currently ground zero for the idiotic postmodern leftist agenda, and if you’re a young man considering or about to enter college, you need to understand a few things about this.
- If you are a man, you will be presumed a rapist. When I entered college, I had to take a mandatory online course in alcohol and its effects. Now, you may be required to take at least an online course in “sexual assault and rape” so that you’ll “learn not to rape.”
- If you are a white man, saying anything that is deemed politically incorrect can warrant severe consequences including expulsion. Your peers are easily triggered.
- Any sexual encounter you have can easily be construed as rape. You probably know this unless you’ve been living under a rock.
- They will attempt to indoctrinate you with Cultural Marxism by promoting the idea that you either have privilege and should therefore feel guilty and give someone something, or you are a victim who essentially can’t succeed until some social construct is destroyed, which encourages anger, social division, and defeatism.
- You will be dealing with many, many, annoying and self-righteous people that have been indoctrinated into the cult.
Just to name a few things. Be careful.
The use of college:
I’ve been pretty negative. I think I’ve had to be, because going to college is, again, seen as a rite of passage rather than an incredibly important economic decision in a young person’s life. People treat it as a way of delaying adulthood. I did.
What is the overall use of college?
The use of college is as a security blanket. If your goal is to get a stable white collar job that pays enough to live on, a college degree is going to be required in almost all cases. You may not get such a job, as mentioned above and in the other article, but you most assuredly will not be getting one if you don’t have a degree.
Are there other options?
Yes. Another cousin dropped out of college in his last semester. Was it a wise decision at that point? Probably not. But he made a smart move. He’s doing an apprenticeship now and attempting to join the local union of electricians. We’ve been trained to scoff at these kinds of professions by the narrative because they are supposedly “low status” (ie: they aren’t office drone typist jobs), but electricians, plumbers and other such skilled laborers get paid well and have handsome union benefits. You’ll have to pay your dues for training and to the union of course, but you won’t need to shell out tens of thousands of dollars over many years.
Then of course there is the potential of the internet, which could easily allow you to have your own business and profit handsomely. That is a harder and far more uncertain path, and it is not meant for everyone, but everyone should at least be trying it since the cost to operate a website or joining places like Fiverr (in the form of their commission) is peanuts. Needless to say, this path does not require college. If you have skills that you can market, people value the content you create, and your subject matter has a demand, there’s no reason you can’t make money from them.
For instance, another website I own, outskirtsbattledomewiki.com, is widely known and gets 1,000+ unique visitors every day. At its height, it got 6,000+, but certain…complications arose with our old host.
All this is to say, even comparatively silly things like that website, which is geared toward fictional characters, can have a large demand, and if you can figure out how scale it financially, there is potentially a lot of money waiting on the table.
What should you do?
If you are going to go to college, your goal is to get in, get good grades, make the right connections, and get out. It is not about “finding yourself” or some other such nonsense. I’ll relay the conversation with our aforementioned 17-year-old friend that gave me the idea for this post:
[8/21/2015 8:02:13 PM] Him: Hey man, wanted to ask you something
[8/21/2015 8:07:29 PM] Him: Whenever you’re on at least.
[8/21/2015 8:50:02 PM] Me: what is it
[8/21/2015 9:19:52 PM] Him: late response, sorry
[8/21/2015 9:20:39 PM] Him: Trying to decide whether or not to do an early application for college right now to get in quicker. I have all the credits I need My main problem with it is that it’s binding
[8/21/2015 9:20:58 PM] Him: Meaning that I have to go to the first one that accepts me and can’t submit any applications afterwards.
[8/21/2015 9:21:13 PM] Me: depends on what you want to do
[8/21/2015 9:21:19 PM] Me: what are you going to college for
[8/21/2015 9:21:20 PM] Him: Computer programming
[8/21/2015 9:21:31 PM] Me: ok, that’s good
[8/21/2015 9:21:38 PM] Me: you won’t be wasting your money on a useless degree
[8/21/2015 9:22:09 PM] Me: the next question is, is there anything you might be missing out by doing that
[8/21/2015 9:22:16 PM] Me: is the opportunity cost of early applying going to be high
[8/21/2015 9:22:29 PM] Me: will you be missing out on a more prestigious school?
[8/21/2015 9:22:40 PM] Me: is there such a thing as prestige in that industry, school-wise?
[8/21/2015 9:22:59 PM] Me: law for instance in the US, is extremely snobby, if you don’t go to a top 30 school it is probably a waste of time
[8/21/2015 9:23:09 PM] Me: is the computer programming industry that way
[8/21/2015 9:23:25 PM] Him: I have looked into it
[8/21/2015 9:23:41 PM] Him: Programming generally takes one year to learn no matter where you go
[8/21/2015 9:24:15 PM] Him: There are a few (and I do mean few) spots that are known for their prestige in computer science
[8/21/2015 9:24:28 PM] Him: Programming and other technology related courses not so much really
[8/21/2015 9:24:37 PM] Me: it’s not a matter of how long it takes, but whether the name of the school gives you a leg up
[8/21/2015 9:24:49 PM] Me: somebody that went to harvard law has an instant leg up, for instance
[8/21/2015 9:24:57 PM] Me: i dont know if the programming industry is the same way
[8/21/2015 9:27:59 PM] Him: Researched some places detailing it
[8/21/2015 9:28:32 PM] Him: To be a highly ranked school for teaching computer programming, a college doesn’t even have to be in the top 50% of colleges reviewed in the country
[8/21/2015 9:30:52 PM] Me: ok, what is the main benefit of applying early
[8/21/2015 9:32:46 PM] Him: TBH, I just don’t want to waste another year in high school if I don’t need to. I don’t feel that any of my classes are teaching me anything of value and I already have enough credits to get in.
[8/21/2015 9:34:13 PM] Me: oh shit
[8/21/2015 9:34:13 PM] Him: Also saves time and expense of submitting multiple applications.
[8/21/2015 9:34:16 PM] Me: that is an amazing benefit
[8/21/2015 9:34:21 PM] Me: for sure
[8/21/2015 9:34:38 PM] Me: if it’s to a good school that will give you a decent enough leg up i would say yes
[8/21/2015 9:34:50 PM] Me: yeah, not wasting anymore time in school is a great benefit
[8/21/2015 9:35:10 PM] Me: the only other consideration for me would be male/female demographics and which school has the hottest females
[8/21/2015 9:35:53 PM] Me: but A) i don’t know how motivated you are by that, and B) i’m starting to think it is advisable for men going to school now not to date or hook up with any girls on campus
[8/21/2015 9:36:05 PM] Me: feminist bullshit is just too entrenched now, and i’m sure it’s even worse in canada
[8/21/2015 9:37:11 PM] Him: Yeah, been hearing about incidents way too often and I’m not really desperate to be committed to a relationship at the moment, not until I am financially stable at the very least.
[8/21/2015 9:37:32 PM] Me: i was talking for casual sex or relationships
[8/21/2015 9:37:41 PM] Me: you don’t need to have money to have a girlfriend
[8/21/2015 9:38:00 PM] Him: Right, thought you were speaking more in the long-term.
[8/21/2015 9:38:03 PM] Me: but still, a girl can easily burn your ass if she’s jilted and she won’t be held responsible
[8/21/2015 9:38:46 PM] Me: one girl here lied about a man raping her and even though the university’s own kangaroo court found him to be innocent, she got away with her victim status and making his life miserable
[8/21/2015 9:39:08 PM] Me: and this guy had pretty solid evidence in his favor, i can’t imagine what it must be for guys that are less fortunate
[8/21/2015 9:39:25 PM] Me: and canada is basically sweden-lite for feminism at this point, unless you’re in alberta
[8/21/2015 9:39:40 PM] Me: what happened with roosh a couple of weeks ago was just insane
[8/21/2015 9:41:59 PM] Me: so yeah, based on that, i’d say do the applications for schools that are considered prestigious for your field and go for it
[8/21/2015 9:42:08 PM] Me: i wish that option were available to me, fuck the school system
[8/21/2015 9:42:19 PM] Me: look for one with good female demographics and hot women secondarily
[8/21/2015 9:42:40 PM] Him: Thanks a ton for your advice man, I have until November 1st to decide. Will let you know of developments I may have
[8/21/2015 9:42:50 PM] Him: And sorry to hear it wasn’t. Yeah, fuck school
[8/21/2015 9:43:05 PM] Me: but you can apply to more than just one right?
[8/21/2015 9:43:29 PM] Me: and i’m sure you can always transfer if you’re unhappy with the place?
[8/21/2015 9:43:50 PM] Him: Yeah, I can apply to multiple
[8/21/2015 9:43:57 PM] Him: Just have to go to the first one to accept
[8/21/2015 9:44:06 PM] Him: Transferring should be a viable option, not 100% sure
[8/21/2015 9:44:13 PM] Me: got it, so make damn sure all of them fit your criteria before you do it though
[8/21/2015 9:44:19 PM] Me: and look into the transferring as well
[8/21/2015 9:44:38 PM] Me: im sure you have criteria for what’s acceptable to you, write it down
[8/21/2015 9:45:04 PM] Me: obviously the most important is prestige in your industry – but contacts and connections between your school’s alumni and career services are just as if not even more important
[8/21/2015 9:45:09 PM] Me: so look out for that as well
[8/21/2015 9:45:26 PM] Me: alumni and career service connections with your industry
[8/21/2015 9:45:40 PM] Me: education really doesn’t mean shit, it’s all about who you know in this world
[8/21/2015 9:45:48 PM] Him: Didn’t consider alumni. Will definitely look out for that
[8/21/2015 9:46:00 PM] Me: yes, see about A) prestige in your industry
[8/21/2015 9:46:20 PM] Me: and B) if your school’s career services and alumni are well-regarded for its connections in that industry
[8/21/2015 9:46:25 PM] Me: those are your top two criteria
[8/21/2015 9:46:38 PM] Me: put your other criteria down after that, and make sure the schools you apply to meet most of the checklist
[8/21/2015 9:46:50 PM] Me: that way you win no matter what and get out of another year of high school
[8/21/2015 9:47:00 PM] Him: Sounds like a good plan
[8/21/2015 9:47:23 PM] Me: yep, that’s how it’s done
[8/21/2015 9:47:31 PM] Me: also make sure you hit the gym hard in school
[8/21/2015 9:47:38 PM] Me: you’ll be able to use it for free as a student
[8/21/2015 9:47:43 PM] Me: that’s a big regret of mine
[8/21/2015 9:47:52 PM] Him: Already have a membership (cool) Haven’t been going as much due to school lately though
[8/21/2015 9:47:58 PM] Him: Wait it’s free in college?
[8/21/2015 9:48:00 PM] Him: Damn
[8/21/2015 9:48:02 PM] Me: yes
[8/21/2015 9:48:07 PM] Me: or it should be, at least
[8/21/2015 9:48:11 PM] Me: you’re paying tuition after all
[8/21/2015 9:48:17 PM] Me: mine was
[8/21/2015 9:48:26 PM] Me: i didn’t take advantage – big mistake
[8/21/2015 9:48:39 PM] Him: I see
[8/21/2015 9:48:43 PM] Him: Thanks for the heads up on that
[8/21/2015 9:49:01 PM] Me: you’re at the best age to start building muscle right now
[8/21/2015 9:50:04 PM] Me: also you are likely going to come across feminist bullshit of varying kinds
[8/21/2015 9:50:12 PM] Me: try to keep your head low and just grunt through it
[8/21/2015 9:50:40 PM] Me: don’t pick fights, stay away from that shit, your goal is to go, get educated for your industry and build the proper connections, and get out
Hopefully you’ve read all of that. The grammar of course is deliberately bad because it’s an IM log, but it carried into all the big points. If you’re going to college, here’s what you should be doing:
- Envision multiple possibilities for your career. You probably won’t be doing the one thing you thought you were going to be doing.
- Choose a school that is well-regarded and more importantly, has good career services and connections, such as alumni, in that overall field. Who you know is everything.
- Your school’s gym will probably be free. If it’s not, it should be much cheaper than any other gym. Hit it hard. There’s no better time to build a physique than in your college years, as your natural testosterone will be at its peak.
- In the past, I would have advised you to pledge to a frat both for the networking and because it will be easier for you to get laid, but the current environment on college campuses is decidedly hostile to both getting laid and fraternities.
- When it comes to getting laid, male/female demographics are the most important thing, and I would say to go to a school with a decidedly female demographic, but this is becoming less important due to political developments.
- Make sure you save all text-based communications with the women you date and have at least an audio recording of any sexual encounter you have (provided your jurisdiction is a single party one). You may wish to avoid dating women on campus entirely.
- Understand that as a heterosexual man, you are hated, especially if you are white. There will be propaganda and stupidity from your peers. Don’t pick fights. Now’s not the time. Remember – get in, network, get out.
Don’t confuse college for education:
Quintus Curtius wrote a timely post about education, and much of what he says is true. Whether you decide to go to college or not, an education is absolutely essential. You can’t succeed if you don’t know how. Whether you’re going to college, opening some business for yourself, or doing a program like my cousin is doing now, you’re in some way going to need to be educated. Even if you’re just reading about how to scale online businesses like I am now, you still need to be educated. You cannot make it all on your own.
Quintus is also right that people learn best in a classroom-like environment. If you really need such an environment to learn, or even if you don’t, it is recommended. The mistake many people make is that they assume a formal place like a college is needed for that. It’s not. There are some tremendous places you can go, sometimes for free, usually for a very low price, to get education in business. I’ve gone to numerous SCORE seminars and met with some of their counselors, often for free.
No matter what, you will need to be educated.
I know that this post was very lengthy, but this is an incredibly complex topic. Again, if you want a low-risk, low-hassle, stable white collar job, you will in all likelihood need to go to college, and perhaps even beyond. In addition, college offers a social, networking, and dating life that only comes around once, along with a tremendous opportunity, and arguably the best, to get a lean, muscular physique. These are all very important considerations.
However, colleges are increasingly becoming insane asylums, especially at the cost of men, will set you back tens of thousands of dollars, and do not guarantee that you will get the job or the career that you want or educated yourself for.
Should you go? You need to weigh your options carefully and have numerous clear paths to follow that will make it valuable. College is not a rite of passage. It’s up to you if you want to go, after thinking about it carefully, preferably with the right kind of advice from people that have shit going on, and not your parents that believe the lies or teachers or college counselors that are part of the education industrial complex. All I’ll say is that it’s an expensive myth that you absolutely must go.