Do You Really Need to go to the University?

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Just a generation ago it was automatically assumed that after you graduated from high school you were going on to get a college degree. These days, though, with the economy in the tank and college costs rising higher every year, a lot of kids – and their parents – are wondering if you really need to go to university. Is it worth the investment? Rather then tell you what you want to hear, I’m going to be honest. Hang on.

university degree

It’s true that a lot of university grads are working at entry-level jobs, if they’re lucky enough to have a job. They’re up to their ears in student loans and it’ll be years before they’re paid off. So yeah, it seems like college is a waste of time and money. And in some cases it is. Just like it was a generation ago.

Most kids right out of high school have no idea what they want to do with the rest of their lives. They’re still teenagers. Going straight into college just because it’s “the thing to do” doesn’t make sense these days. Money is just too tight to waste on a degree they’re not even sure they want.

Now, one of the popular arguments against university these days is the argument that you don’t need a college education to work online. And that’s a valid point – for a number of reasons.

First, anything you learn in college about working online or the Internet is going to be outdated the day after you get your diploma. Technology and online marketing techniques are constantly evolving and there’s just no way a college course could keep up.

Second, you really don’t need a college education to be able to set up a WordPress blog or install an opt-in form or any of the other tasks bloggers perform on a day-to-day basis. And when you do need help there are support forums, and chat rooms everywhere.

However, a generation ago there were also plenty of opportunities for earning that didn’t require a college degree. You could work in a warehouse, or start your own window cleaning company or whatever you wanted to do. Most people got through life just fine without that university education, but their opportunities for advancement were limited. They may have been happy, but they didn’t have the opportunities that the college grads had.

The same holds true today. You don’t need a university degree to work online. But a college degree would increase your opportunities.

Without a degree, you could be like millions of other bloggers. You could stumble around trying to learn how the Internet works, how to use HTML and CSS and how to set up a blog. And then you can compete with everyone else in the Dog Training niche or the mommy blog niche. And let’s not forget, you’re also going to have to learn about marketing.

A college degree would give you an edge. If you majored in marketing then you’d be head and shoulders above most of your competition. Regardless of what most bloggers think, there’s a lot of science and psychology that goes into marketing.

But any field that you majored in would give you an advantage over almost every other blogger on the Internet. Most of them just blog and blog and blog and half of what they say is garbage, simply because they don’t have the education, they’re not really experts or authorities, and they have no idea how to address an audience.

So, do you really need to go to university? The answer’s the same today as it was 10 or 20 years ago. No, you don’t really need to. But that degree opens up a lot more opportunities, whether you’re working online or not.

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Stéphane Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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2 Comments (Add one)

  1. Victor Ordu

    Thanks for a balanced view you’ve presented. This what I tell those I influence – everything in life is there for a purpose. Higher education has a purpose, which one needs to understand, as well as how it relates to one’s life. Furthermore there has to be some sort of balance in one’s life for one to be fulfilled. That is why the world’s richest man, who dropped out of school to build his empire still went back to finish school! Similarly, many academics turn to entrepreneurial pursuits later in life, because they have discovered the need for this balance. My advice to young people is to aim to lead a ’rounded’ life.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      That’s a very good advice you gave at the end of your comment, Victor. Thanks.