Friday, November 4, 2011

Could the key to making millions be dropping out of college?

As our curriculum narrows and students are all shoved down the same same road to college, many are questioning the assumption that college is necessary for the path to success for everyone.  Most recently, Michael Ellsberg, author of “The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think and It’s Not Too Late" questions the "College for All" mantra with a NY Times Op Ed piece "Will Dropouts Save America?"  In the piece, Ellsberg points out that in many cases, college grads earn more because typically colleges attract more motivated students and historically, those who attend college came from more affluent families than those who do not. He also points to the fact that there is no evidence that those who attended college would be less successful had they chosen a different path.

Ellsberg explains that many of our nation's millionaires are college drop outs. He shares that you don't learn to be successful by being crouched over a desk studying for multiple-choice exams. You learn it outside the classroom, talking to fellow human beings face-to-face.  The degree-free men behind Apple, Twitter, and Facebook all know this to be true.  Ellsberg points out what most of us already know.  Our current classrooms, geared toward tests on narrowly defined academic subjects, stifle creativity. If a young person happens to retain enough creative spirit to start a business upon graduation, she does so in spite of her schooling, not because of it.

Ellsberg reveals what the millionaires and people like me (who acknowledge that school didn't help with achieving success in life) already know. You don’t need a degree (and certainly not an M.B.A.) to start a business and create jobs, nor is it even that helpful, compared with cheaper, faster alternatives. You can read the complete article here.
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