Mythomania about college has turned getting a degree into an American neurosis. It's sending parents to the poorhouse and saddling students with a backpack full of debt that doesn't even guarantee a good job in the end.
The notion that education pays and that better education pays better is taken for granted by almost everyone. For college professors like me, this is a very convenient idea, providing a high and growing demand for our services.
Self-knowledge is a huge career tool, but most people find it onerous and try to skip it. The problem with skipping over self-knowledge is that people hit a career ceiling, not because someone put it on top of them – we put it on top of ourselves by not knowing who we are.
While the idea that you can skip four-year college and still get a higher education may seem nuts, Blake Boles is writing Better Than College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree, a book on how to do just that. Below is an excerpt from the book where Boles shares six propositions to help you see why Zero Tuition College —the alternative learning method described in his book—holds just as much life-changing potential as traditional college.
"...what if [software isn't] a science? What if it's more like a craft? Or even an art? If you wanted to hire somebody who could be a great craftsperson, you wouldn't look for somebody with a PhD in that craft."
If you start looking into the benefits of a college degree, you'll see this phrase a lot in the articles extolling their virtues: "... people with professional degrees earn more/have more rewarding employment/satisfy more sexual partners on top of a Ferrari." What does that mean, exactly? Can you even get an amateur degree? You can get a professional degree in the Liberal Arts, right? Like ... like a professional Theoretical Sociologist?
Three out of four college students officially qualify as "nontraditional" in some way: They have no high school diploma, enrolled more than one year after high school, are independent from parents, work full time, or are parents themselves.
The times they are a changin’, and in this essay, I’d like to suggest they are changing in a way that has massive implications for education: sources of credibility—once the domain of expensive degrees--are becoming democratized, decentralized, and...