5 Benefits of Skipping Out On College

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You’ve always heard that college is important, right? Well, what if I told you that that was a load of B.S.? You might be taken back a little bit by this statement, but I firmly believe that college is not for everyone. Sure, it is immensely important for those that want to be doctors and no collegelawyers, but what about those high school students that want to go into plumbing because it interests them? Do they have to go to college in order to be a successful plumber? Let me ask you this in a different way, have you ever had a pipe burst in your house, you call the plumber, and then proceed to ask him which college he went to for his degree? Of course not! If he put in the proper time and received his certification, then he can most likely help you with your situation. Not everyone needs a degree.

All the parents out there always fret about what will happen to their child that didn’t go to college. “He’ll probably never be able to make it on his own,” they might think. But, in actuality, your non-degree seeking child might actually be better off than your scholarly child that’s pursuing his/her degree. You might think I’m pulling your leg, but if you stop and think for a moment, you’ll realize that I’m speaking the truth! Take a look at the benefits I have outlined below:

Benefits of Skipping Out On College

1) They Won’t Incur College Debt

Do you realize that the average student loan debt from a graduate today is over $25,000? Then, these new grads most likely can’t pay off the loans immediately and are forced to make the minimum payments for the next 10, sometimes 20 years!

2) They Get a Head Start With Their Income

College students typically handle their student loans in one of two ways. They either (a) work 25-30 hours per week at a job they hate to keep their student loans manageable when they graduate, or (b) they don’t work at all and just let their student loans pile up because they think they’ll be raking in the doe right after graduation. Either way though, the child that chooses not to go to college and begins working right away is earning a consistent income. At the very least, they will earn four years worth of income before the college grad even starts to earn theirs (not to mention the college grads have to put most of it toward their student loans).

3) They Mature Faster

For most, college is a place to experiment and have the time of their lives away from home. There really aren’t any bills to pay (since mom and dad typically fill in whatever the college loans do not) and there is no one to care for except yourself. In my opinion, there is not a whole lot of maturing going on during those college years.

On the other hand, those that immediately go out and get a job understand the importance of a paycheck. They might decide to live on their own, which gives them a taste of what it means to pay rent (on top of their clothing, food, and fuel expenses). If you would compare a college grad to a veteran four year full-time worker, I bet the employee has a much better handle on life.

4) They Might Earn a Larger Retirement Income

If the worker immediately starts putting away $500 a month with their new-found income, they will have five extra years to invest compared to the college grad. By investing early, this modest investment will yield $4.7 million by the time they are 63 years old. If the college grad doesn’t invest their $500/month until 5 years later, they will earn $1.5 million less!! That’s right, there’s no typo there. They will earn more than a million less because they waited five years to invest.

5) They Might Earn More Money

There are so many degree options today, and some of them make absolutely no sense. These students go to school and earn a degree that will set them on a path for making $30k a year. Meanwhile, their debt is $40k. They might have been better off learning a trade out of high school. Take a look at the jobs below and their average salary.

Jobs Table

There are also other jobs not listed above that could have tremendous upside.  You could start working as an executive assistant and experience some of the top executive minds in the world. This often leads to managerial positions if you play your cards right. Insurance salesman also earn quite a nice living if they stick to it (I know of a few that make over $100k a year and have no college degree). Finally, there are plenty of people that own their own business and earn quite a nice living that way.

Bottom line is, you don’t have to go to college to survive in life. Sure, it is getting more and more difficult to get by without one, but if you already know what you want to do and you can earn a decent wage without going to college, heck, you may find yourself years ahead of your friend in maturity and financially.

What do you think? Should every student really be striving to go to college?

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Money

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

13 Comments

    • Isn’t it crazy to think that a college grad could earn over a million dollars less in their 401(k) though? Just because they are starting their lives 5 years later. I know quite a few people that are in a much better position by not going to college. It probably gave their parents a heart attack at first, but they are doing quite well for themselves now.

      • I guess I find it highly unlikely that while kids are in college for four years, their friends who didn’t go to college actually have a job with a 401k and if they do…that they are magically making enough as a high school graduate to afford to contribute to a 401k and pay rent, etc.

        I have a freshman and junior in college and their friends who didn’t attend work on horse farms or in retail. They are living with their parents and they are not putting money in a 401k because they don’t work at jobs that offer 401ks. Even if they had jobs as a plumber’s apprentice or another type of skilled labor, they would not be making enough after four years to necessarily consider they are that much further ahead financially.

        I absolutely believe that college isn’t for everyone, but I think it is important to be realistic about what those kids are really doing, what they are earning and how much they are spending between the ages of 18 and 22.
        Betsy @ ConsumerFu recently posted..Top Ten Grocery Coupon Sites

        • I guess it all depends on the parents’ influence in their finances. I had a friend who was brought up with extensive financial knowledge from his parents. He started investing in an IRA at the age of 16. Sure, it’s not likely, but it is possible.

    • Very true Nick. If they want to work in a corporate world, then missing out on that piece of paper can sure make thing difficult, but not impossible. However, if they want to start their own company, then that degree really means nothing. They can get much better education from personal encounters with those that have entrepreneurial experience. Heck, they could probably get a better education by reading a few books by the greatest minds that have lived on this earth. A college education will teach you how to get a job 99% of the time.

  1. If you found something worth doing–you’re really good at it, pays well, and quite stable–it’s okay to skip college, but if you’re planning to work in a company and rise up the corporate ladder,you need to have a college degree.
    Beat The 9 to 5 recently posted..My Monthly Income Stream Report – September 2013

    • Yep. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, then a degree is extremely important (that’s the route I’m on actually – finishing up my MBA soon). But, if that doesn’t interest you at all and you want to work in a job that doesn’t require a degree, then there’s absolutely no point in it. Thanks for the comment!

  2. I want to work in finance and most places require a degree in order to even be considered. I guess it all really depends on what you want to do career wise. One of the biggest problems I faced is that when I started college I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. It kind of forced me to figure out something worthwhile that I probably wouldn’t have picked if I had just skipped college and thought about my future career.

    Honestly I want to be a farmer…which you don’t need a college degree for (necessarily) but you do need a farm 🙂
    Levi Blackman recently posted..Buying your First Stock

    • Hi Levi! Very interesting perspective! And actually, we sound quite similar. I decided to get my degree in Finance and I am intrigued with farming (because I love being outside and working, plus the technology nowadays is fascinating! If what you want to do requires a degree, then yup, you should go to college and get it. If not however, there’s really no point in getting that piece of paper. 😉

  3. I hate how society places so much emphasis on college and if you don’t go, you won’t amount to much. That is complete BS. Not everyone is made for college and that is perfectly OK. There are many jobs that pay well that you don’t need a college degree for. Don’t just assume you have to go to college. Figure out what you want to do and then find out if college is necessary or not.
    Jon @ MoneySmartGuides recently posted..The Round Table – October 26, 2013

  4. Interesting that you used a plumber as your example. My father is a plumber. While he did go to college, it probably doesn’t help him much in his job. He makes significantly more than your average plumber numbers above; probably around 3-4 times that, but he has his own company and it is just him. However, he works his tail off and has a great reputation so that helps. But you are right, you can make a great living if you have a trade skill. Even more to be made if you want to own your own company or shop and have the motivation to do so. He is just now retired with a few million in the bank as he started saving early.

    • That’s awesome to hear Brian! I wish parents didn’t push all their children into college. Your dad is living proof that someone can make a great living by owning their own business.


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