To hear Bernie and even Hillary tell it, we all must get college degrees or else. The or else what is not really specified but it sounds like it’s really bad if you don’t get a degree. Sorry folks but I’m here to call bull**** on that common trope. Do you need a college degree for certain things? Sure you do. But there are lots of ways to succeed in life without one too.

Lots of Successful People Didn’t Get a Degree

It’s likely that you already know that Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft was a Harvard drop out and that Steve Jobs, the cofounder of Apple, Inc. dropped out of Reed College. But did you know there are thousands of super successful people in this country, many of whom you’ve never heard of who didn’t go to college?

Take Anne Beiler for example. You probably have no idea who she is but if you’ve been to a mall lately, you have seen her products. Anne was a high school dropout who created Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Never mind college – she didn’t even finish high school!

Want another example? Check out the story of Dave Geffen. He makes some of your favorite movies from Dreamworks Studios and he dropped out after a year in school. Or what about Leslie Wexner? He’s the billionaire behind Victoria’s Secret. He dropped out of law school and started the company on a shoestring budget with just five grand in borrowed money. Now he’s worth billions.

But I Thought I Need College to Get a Good Job

Listen my friend, if you’re still in the J.O.B. (just over broke) mentality then yeah, you probably want to get a degree and play it safe. For the rest of us though, get a degree if you want it or find it interesting or got yourself a full scholarship. Don’t think that it’s something that is going to make or break you later in life.

Don’t believe me? Hop into a few New York City cabs and start chatting with the cabbies. I guarantee you that before long you’ll come across someone who spent a fortune getting a degree in some fru-fru discipline only to end up driving a cab.

So Is College Always a Bad Idea?

No, I won’t go that far. Joe in accounting needed his degree to get his job and he’s always so stuck up about it and how he went to Harvard and he’s better than the rest of us for it (suck it Joe, nobody cares that you spent a fortune for school in order to get a mid-level job).

Of course, if you want to get into certain professions, you need a degree. Doctors don’t get to practice medicine without years of schooling and lawyers still need degrees in order to screw you out of every penny you ever earned. However, for many of us, college is just four years down the drain because we don’t end up using the skills we learned.

I admit it – I was one of those lemmings who got a degree in the humanities. I had fun and now I’m paying off a mega student loan debt. You know what I do for a living? Well, besides writing for this blog and a few others, I’m a salesman. A damn good one at that.

And the only use my college degree has is to look nice on my wall. The Rolex I earned at work for having the highest sales numbers two years running had exactly zilch to do with my degree.

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