Monday, January 31

Is College Worth It?

I was interviewed last week by "Shine for Yahoo" for an article about the value of a college education. "Is it still worth it," was the question at hand. Does it really help you in life? I surprised myself that I didn't have the automatic response that I would have imagined.

Maybe it's because I am right in the thick of it with my daughter who is a high school senior. Now I went to two amazing schools for my undergrad and then grad degrees, so clearly I believe in a good education. It was the experience of a lifetime, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But as we analyze options for my daughter, and look at the sky high costs, it does give me second thoughts.

Is college for everyone? Is college worth it? For my daughter, yes. She is not sure what she wants to do, really, so college will give her the chance to explore options and create a network of forever friends. She is very studious, loves the academic side of things, and will soar at college. The experience will serve her well I am sure.

But I don't think that is true of everyone. At least not anymore. If you have a skill or a dream or a great idea, college may not be the place to pursue it. The investment may not pay off compared to other avenues. And that's all right, really.

We have friends with very specific skills who are going places to fine tune them. We also know entrepreneurs who are going to spend their time developing a new business. The college experience will just slow them down and take them off track. $50,000 a year won't pay off like just jumping into it will.

I think the economy has changed how we think about all this. There is no longer just the tried and true path to career success. We each need to make our own. If college is a part of it, then go for it. If not, that's perfectly fine.

If you'd like to read the article that I was quoted in, you can find it on Yahoo here.

What's your experience? Jim


  1. A college education has other benefits besides the tangible one of a high salary. Some people enjoy learning for the sake of learning; it exposes you to new ideas and concepts. Not to mention the fact that connections can be made in college which can be useful later on in one's career. A degree also shows prospective employers that the candidate is tenacious and has the ability to set a goal and execute it.

  2. So very true, so very true. I am still reaping the benefits of a Cornell education. Just got together with 30 of my friends this past Saturday ... 30 years later! Jim.