“Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lecture, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will”, is the title of Dale J. Stephens book. An interesting read about how one can succeed without an higher education.
If you are still stuck in the mind set that education is linked to employment and success, then you should pull your head out your ass, because this is no longer the status quo. If you only looked, you would probably see many successful people around you who do not have any form of tertiary education, but are however knowledgeable and more than capable of doing their jobs. In the last decade, we have seen various individuals (with no high qualifications) who have made a success of themselves, be it start up businesses, hard workers, innovators, or more modern YouTube & Instagram Stars with their own set of talents. Look at people such as Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Michael Dell, Justin Bieber or our very own Jacob Zuma (jokes!).
While tertiary education is necessary for various fields (medical, engineering, architecture, etc.) and gives you perspective and a start to a profession, a higher education does not guarantee you employment or success. In our generation, we are able to self-teach ourselves many skills through the internet, thus the willingness to learn has become the most important asset. People who are driven, will always find a way. According to Richard Arum, a sociologist at New York University, 36% of students show no improvement in critical thinking over 4 years of University.
“36% of students show no improvement in critical thinking over 4 years of University”
Obviously higher education never goes to waste, and either you pursue what you studied or not, being in a focused environment teaches one valuable lessons, to work hard, work smarter and basic discipline. However, not everyone is privileged to go to University and receive a tertiary education. So before setting yourself up for debt you are unable to repay, give a serious think to what you’d like to do ‘when you grow up‘. I believe education can either be a stepping or a road block in ones path, and it is important to have a flexible path and approach it with an open mind.