Forbes magazine on why your kids should think about skipping college

Over on they have an article from Forbes Magazine titled “Five Reasons to Skip College” which I think every parent and teen should read. The article points out that while there is a correlation between a college degree, particularly from a top school, and earnings, this should not be taken to be a causative relationship. If you’re smart and ambitious enough to get into a top school, or even to pursue and complete a degree from a more run-of-the-mill college, you’re smart and ambitious enough to be successful without a college degree. As the article points out:
“in truth, most professions – journalism, software engineering, sales, and trading stocks to name but a few – depend far more on “on-the-job” education than on classroom learning. Until relatively recently, lawyers, architects and pharmacists learned their trade through apprenticeship, not through higher education.
Certainly some jobs – medical doctors and university professors – require formal education. But many do not, and between the Internet and an excellent public library system, most Americans can learn pretty much anything for a nominal fee.”

Of course without a degree, one needs to do something else in order to demonstrate proficiency and competency. This is one of the areas where homeschoolers really have an advantage. Since our kids aren’t constrained by the demands of a typical high school career, they can do things like start a small business, create portfolios, volunteer, internships, even devote themselves to solving some problem in a particular field or any number of other things which involve actually practicing a particular endeavor. The frightening thing about it is that many employers use college diplomas as screening devices to weed out weak candidates, so the fear is that one will never be able to get an employer to take you seriously without a degree. However, it does seem to me that our slavish devotion to getting our kids into and through a college degree program might be worth taking a second look at.

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