I was asked the other day why a person needs a University or College Education when people like Bill Gates, Stephen Jobs and Mark Cuban, among many others are all Billionaires yet college drop outs. This person, a young female just out of high school and already making a good wage, certainly had a valid question. I told her honestly that a college education is not required to earn a good living, but is the gamble worth it? Gambling your future on a “chance invention”, or a batch of good luck, is not the way most successful people became that way. Undoubtedly, it is possible that you could think of a way to be successful without a post-secondary education but the odds are slim.
A successful person always has a backup plan in case their path to success and riches takes an unexpected U-turn.A post-secondary education is a great backup plan. A post-secondary education is a permanent record of achievement. Would you go see a Dr. that didn’t have a PhD, yet was considered a brilliant surgeon? Of course you would not, because such a person could legally not exist. Credentials go a long way to making a person who he or she is.The Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world, had great ideas that made them massively successful, but thousands more had great plans that left them broke and frustrated.
Without a post-secondary education, you risk low pay and long hours at dead end jobs. While a post-secondary education cannot guarantee you success, it can lead you to a brighter future.Taking two or more years out of your adult life to attend a college or university WHILE you plot the next great invention or awesome business idea is not a bad career choice.I told this young person that when I was 27 years old, I am now 57 that I wrote a novel that got published. I was all excited. I had great plans to buy a nice house and a car. I had visions of money flashing before my eyes. Then, the first royalty cheque came in the mail. The cheque was for the massive amount of $325.00. I was devastated. I sunk into depression. I spent 4 long years writing the novel and another 2 years trying to get it published. All told, I made just under $11,000 on the book. Four years for $11,000! Of course I continued to write, as the bug never goes away, but I also enrolled in University. I got a degree. I got a great job as a teacher. I was happy.I took a chance on what I believed in, and it didn’t work out. I told her to take her chance BUT while attending post-secondary in case her big dreams didn’t work out.I am not sure she will take my advice, but I hope she does.So, no you do not need a post-secondary education, but is it not better to be safe than sorry? A good job is a happy job especially one that you studied hard to get. Trust me, a steady pay cheque with money left over is much better than “I’ll be the next Bill Gates”, and a big bank loan.