Mailvox: on the college scam

JP points to the recent Forbes article underlining the obvious for the benefit of those who haven’t been paying attention:

I have personal experience with this. I have one brother who graduated from St. Cloud State two years ago with a Business Admin degree who is currently waiting tables at Olive Garden in Maple Grove. I have another one who is getting ready to graduate from the Cloud this year who wants to go to Hamline for a law degree. He will have to use student loans as the folks said he was off the tit after St. Cloud. It is ironic because I went in the Navy after High School then went to work at a utility and worked my way up into management and make over $100k per year with no college. They both asked me how it was possible to do what I have done without college.

They do not understand that the degree just gets you a cubicle and that once you go to work you have to provide value. My answer was that I have created millions of dollars of shareholder value so in other words I am an earner for the company. They just sit there with a puzzled look on their face as if they never heard that one in any Business Administration courses. The one interesting observation is that talking with these guys and their friends they are pretty pissed that they bought the line from parents, school counselors, the media, et al that getting a degree was a ticket to the land of milk and honey and they are finding out it was BS. I told the one guy waiting tables to go to North Hennepin or North Harvard as we call it and get an HVAC ticket so he could work on furnaces and Air Conditioning units and he could probably make $80k per year. My stepmom got pissed and told me to mind my own business as her baby went to college and wasn’t going to be a working man. I laughed and shook my head.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a university degree. But it’s not the Magic Vellum Ticket to effortless riches that so many people dumb enough to go into debt to pursue them assume it to be. The irony is that if you’re intelligent enough to figure out that you don’t need a degree in order to be financially successful, you’re probably smart enough to take advantage of having one. And vice-versa.

As numerous observers have pointed out, the college bubble should be the next to pop.