I recently read an article about ivy league colleges vs “the rest” and what stuck out to me the most was not the author’s point that it matters not what college you attend but what you put into it and, therefore, get out of it that makes all the difference (thought it was a great point). What struck me the most about this article were the number of commenters afterwards who shared thoughts and opinions along the lines of how a college degree, ivy league or not, is no longer needed at all in today’s information-accessible world.
Citing such points as the high cost of college, the “superstar” executives you hear about who dropped out of college (or never attended in the first place), and the fact you can learn anything you need to these days with a quick internet search; they all agreed a college degree no longer held much value.
I respectfully, and emphatically, disagree with such thinking…as does, I believe, nearly all the business world. College costs are rising, which is why taking advantage of scholarships is more important than ever and an underutilized resource that should get much more of our time and attention. However, despite hearing a few stories of those who’ve made it big without a degree, the reason we hear about them in the first place is because it’s a rarity, an exception, something noteworthy but not something to emulate. And, while Google and YouTube have definitely helped me learn a better way to hang drywall, I’ve yet to find a non-university or college website that can effectively teach me not only the ins and outs of solving difficult financial equations (or lessons from leaders and battles past, or how the great artists of old used each subtle brush stroke to evoke a different emotion or visual effect from their viewer), but also how to apply them in real time throughout my day-to-day business interactions; not to mention the contacts and networking that come from time spent in the classroom.
So, is a college degree still a needed part of your portfolio and a worthwhile way to spend your time and money? I would say investing in yourself, which is what you are really doing when obtaining a college degree, is the most worthwhile thing you can do. Comments? Thoughts? Did you get a college degree and has it helped you in your career as much as mine has me?