The options you have outside of college, for alternative higher education!
Do you ever have that urge to quit or skip going to college? Have you thought that it may not be for you? Perhaps the student loans itself was enough to keep you away, or perhaps you just could NOT decide what to major in. Then keep reading because this is all for you.
Two years ago, when I started blogging exponentially more, as I have been since 2011 just not as much as I am now. I would have said in this article that perhaps some people should go to college, and that this article isn?t for everyone.
Now that 2019 has hit, and education is innovating at an alarming rate I stand differently now. I can honestly say that I don?t think anyone should go to college?..that is I mean traditional universities.
You know the ones that cost 60 grand every year, and you go a few 100K in debt kind of colleges. Personally I was never much for the traditional learning style too, like lectures, or general education. It seemed so ridiculous to me, as I never learned that way in school, why would I make it harder on myself by going to a place where it would be even more prevalent. Now I would never say stop learning.
No doubt in my mind that learning is something you should do consistently throughout your life, perhaps exponentially. Meaning when you?re old and gray, you should be learning even more than when you were young. Partially because you can, and secondly because it would keep your mind fresh and young. Always keep learning!
Schools used to be known for getting you a job, or at least into a career. Now you don?t know if you?re gonna get that when you graduate, why take that financial risk?
Education is free online, or at least significantly cheaper. Again it doesn?t make sense financially. A piece of paper doesn?t make you a better person. Learning makes you a better version of you.
#2 Lost Retention:
You often forget a lot of what you learn after leaving school. Most people have it in their heads, even if they don?t want it to be; They have it in their head that once you?re done with school, then you are done with learning.
That causes you to lose what you learn, as you do not continually practice it. Some studies show that medical students often forget about half of their basic science courses within a year of leaving school. HALF (Generalized from multiple subjects)!
The students? scores in the Immunology course dropped 13.1%, 46.5% in Neuroanatomy, and 16.1% in physiology.
#3 Being Able to Decide WHAT You Learn
Perhaps you want to be decisive on what you want to learn. Have more control over what you choose to learn. Not have every course decided for you, as most degrees often do. Interdisciplinary studies included.
Maybe there isn?t a degree for you. I know many people who went the interdisciplinary route because they couldn?t decide. I went the self-education route because I couldn?t find just one degree for my ideal career. I?d have to get three.
#4 Staying Up to Date
Maybe your field evolves too quick. Programming and marketing are prime examples, by the time schools process the information into textbooks the knowledge is practically useless. Maybe not always, but coding languages change overnight. Marketing strategies often depend on ever changing algorithms. Which incidentally are change by said programmers, when new tech gets brought to light.
Perhaps you can?t get into a school, or even the one you like. You should never settle. This is your life we are talking about here, it would be better for you to spend every day in the library for four years reading, than going to a school you didn?t like.
#6 New Age Options
Get a microcredential instead, from nanodegrees to micromasters, there are plenty of options out there for creating a pathway for yourself. Many companies are even looking for those with nanodegrees INSTEAD of college grads. Especially in bleeding edge fields like Data Science.
#7 Student Loans
This is related to the first point that the price of college has dramatically increased. However more specifically that means that for most people they have to take out loans to go to school, and that sheer mountain of debt is too much
I don?t have the source, but this is a point to make: Many economists state that the rising cost of education loans bubble is going to burst worse than the housing crisis of the late 2000?s.
#8 The World is Changing
The future of jobs is going to be VERY different. Not only in the actual fields of occupation, but even in the lack of jobs because of AI.
AI won?t actually take away jobs, but change what positions are needed. It will take out the middleman in many cases, or take up entry level positions.
This is a prime example of why lifelong learning is crucial.
Many people are out of jobs because of automation because they weren?t able to keep up with the change of employment.
#9 Jobs Don?t Require Them
Now this is still a change across the board, and some places stick to their regulations on the matter. However many big companies, especially in tech, are removing the requirement to have a bachelors degree for many positions.
Its growing to be more of a competency based system, as it should be.
#10 You Don?t Learn Much
Okay okay put down the pitchforks! This is solely true if one chooses to go to college for the sake of going. Not for the improvement of one?s life or career.
The actual practicality of sitting in a lecture or diving headfirst into a book is not a very good way to learn. Practical actions like projects, breakout groups, and co-learning is crucial for actual retention of knowledge.
#11 Colleges Are Built for Drones
This is more of a non-conformist mindset, but in the early 20th century big companies like Ford needed capable workers. Since they had a large demand for skilled individuals they had funded many schools, and over time guided how schools should form.
Essentially buying out the schools. This isn?t some fringe theory, but quite factual I encourage you to look into it yourself.
They made it so that people could have generalized knowledge, and some specialty to their work. Over the years the need for occupations like Doctors, engineers, or programmers has made the school system strain. It is under pressure for these highly skilled positions, yet it wasn?t made for this level of knowledge. Nuclear Physicists in plants actually get trained on the job because schools don?t teach them enough to be capable in the field.
#12 Hybrid Careers
Many amazing jobs, and especially jobs of the future are forming from dual specialties. These hybrid careers can be biotech, nanotechnology, neurosurgeon, etc. There are actually plenty that need to still be created and filled at this time. Meaning you have the potential to pioneer an entire field of work.
#13 From Automation and New Occupations
There is no seemingly good way to prepare for the new Industrial Revolution, and IMO the best way to do so would be to teach yourself. Become an Autodidact, so that you can teach yourself to a point of creating your own degree.
I spoke about Microcredentials, however there are other opportunities as well. There are so many choices such as boot camps, vocational training, and even an associates. I know that this list is literally about NOT going to college, but maybe an associates program would be a good option for some. Just leave it at that for the time being.
Good examples are Praxis or Mirasee (Business Boot Camps), Coding Boot Camps (too many to list here, but I made an almost perfect resource for learning to code), or various associates like Foundry College (I am currently enrolled, and I have to say I quite like it) or University of the People (mainly just videos however). I?ve said this a lot, but feel free to reach out if you want a suggestion!
My number one reason for not wanting to go to school is that I am a Polymath by nature. Someone who tends to be more of a jack-of-all-trades kind of guy. This has lead me to believe that my career needs to reflect that part of me, if I am to be happy and fulfilled.
There is literally no school or degree that can do that, and the closest thing would be for me to take multiple degrees. Either at Bachelors or Masters level, and then a PhD. Perhaps that is what I?ll have to do in the long run, but if you?re anything like me then let us decide our own path!
This is why I created the Modular Degree to be my Polymath Degree.
HOW TO START AN ALTERNATIVE
You can truly get started by choosing to do so, for many people often this is the #1 crutch.
All of these reasons above are strong, but if you still feel like going then I quite support you. Knowing what you want is half the battle, and if you still feel strongly about it then by all means. Just do me a favor, and give it all you got.
For the rest of you the best way to get started is by going on google and start researching. You can also use some of the keywords here to help with that, like alternative education, nanodegrees, microcredentials, boot camps, etc.
These will help you because many of them will lead into getting a job, and that is the best way to find out if you are meant to do it?.BY LITERALLY DOING THE JOB. Not sitting in a classroom thinking about the job.
Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash
This is a bit of a longer post than usual, and I hope my writing continues to get better. I?ve been blogging for a better half of a decade now, but I?ve noticed every year it gets better. Despite doing this for so long I don?t have the most well known publications.
It would mean a LOT if you could clap, share, and/or subscribe. Whichever one you feel this piece deserves.
You choose your own pathway, that is best education. Whatever you end up going towards just make sure you take that first step in the right direction. Who knows maybe that one step will become a mile, then two miles. Before you know it you ran a marathon.
Hello I?m Dustin Miller and welcome to the PolyInnovator Publication, my ambition is to to inform and educate a community of #innovators. Innovating Education, Exercise, and Technology.
This post today is a prime example of what Innovation in Education content looks like, and how things will be shaped in the future (Always comment your thoughts on that!).
All of this is just a small fraction of what you have outside of college, for alternative higher education in YOUR life!
Do you see why my opinion or claim that you shouldn?t go to college is so pronounced? Did I miss any detail that would help this piece? If so let me know, but all in all the point remains that college is not for everyone.
Your actionable step is to find one resource that you think will get you going in the direction you want. It could be as small as a couple articles, or as big as Microcredential, or somewhere in between. Whatever the case find something you can use to get YOU STARTED!
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P.S. YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS!
I am creating a new platform for Education Innovation.
The blog on Medium will still go strong, but I am making a new home site that will host it?s own PolyInnovator Blog. The content on all platforms are still: Innovation in Education | Exercise | Technology.
This new site will have a community and academy. Giving people the opportunity to create their own Modular Degree, and talk to peers about their learning to each other.
I really hope you look forward to it, and reach out to me if you have any questions. Keep an ear out for when it launches!