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Is a College Education Worth it?

Posted by on April 11, 2011 in General

Is Going to College still Worth It?

This is not an off the wall question anymore. Too many parents and young adults today will vociferously agree with me. The great American promise of the rewards of a college education have proven to be a curse for many, instead.

My own older children are proof. My daughter has a PhD. in medicine. My son has a marketing degree. But neither earns the income of my youngest son who has not yet finished his Associates degree. Instead, he took his savings as an EMT and became a partner in a new Internet marketing company. – And eventhough I did attend several colleges, I had created several successful businesses along the way. So I do not denigrate the value that education has. But I no longer believe that it is the answer for every American’s future.

Entrepreneurship is what made America great. And it is the option that many of us must consider as perhaps the better option. – My calling is to help US veterans and their spouses to be successfully employed; but, this applies to everyone. – Here is the option of someone with much more credence than I:

Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal. He rose to fame, and his company dramatically increased in prestige and profits when he predicted the tumble of Wall St. and also the real estate bubble bursting. – He saved his company from both and came out smelling like a rose. – So he may be someone we should pay attention to.

Co-Founder of PayPal
The most important “bubble” that Thiel sees as about to burst is Higher Education. What once may have been true, that a higher education would lead to better jobs and a better lifestyle, Thiel would argue is now become largely a myth. He suggests that entrepreneurship would be a better use of many current college students’ lives.

It is difficult to disagree when you look at some of the facts he lists that support his thesis. Young adults by the many thousands are going into a lifetime of debt because of the delusion that “it is worth the cost.” For a great deal of our current graduates, it means years of harassment by the federal government for not keeping current on their payments, audits by the IRS, a bad credit rating, living at home with their parents and the inability to get a job of any kind, compounded by the aforementioned.

Thiel believes in his conviction so much that he and his team came up with this: “Thiel and Founders Fund managing partner Luke Nosek came up with the idea of the “20 Under 20″ program last September, announcing it just days later at San Francisco Disrupt. The idea was simple: Pick the best twenty kids he could find under 20 years of age and pay them $100,000 over two years to leave school and start a company instead.”

This may be a great opportunity for these not-yet-twenties. But Thiel has basically bribed them to do this. And that is not the mettle of true entrepreneurs. — And a true entrepreneur does not need a philanthropist to be successful. — If you are one, then you think about it all of time. — This is just an encouragement to take the first step.

Mark Baird
HirePatriots

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About The Author
Mark Baird

Hello, I'm Mark Baird and I founded Hire Patriots. My wife and I are 'helpers.' We are concerned about meeting the practical needs of our US veterans veterans and their families. We began a job board for local residents to post chores that they need help with. It has been very successful. Thousands of local US Military and veterans partially or entirely support themselves from our website. We are looking for others near US Military bases who would also like to have a HirePatriots.com website for their location. We also hold welcome home parties, military marriage retreats, job fairs and create military family gardens.

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