1. Washington Examiner
2. Fox Business
4. National Review
5. Huffington Post
Long story short, some of the major US companies like IBM and Apple are removing the “degree requirement” from some entry and mid-level positions.
Take heed to this disclaimer, “Academic qualifications will still be taken into account and indeed remain an important consideration when assessing candidates as a whole, but will no longer act as a barrier to getting a foot in the door,” as stated by Maggie Stilwell, Ernst and Young’s managing partner for talent.
Look, I get it!
You’re under 26 years old and the previously mentioned articles are the perfect ammunition to prove your parent or guardian wrong and to flex just how smart and valuable you are regardless of the reflection of your grades and current life situation. I understand, I really do…but check this out…
Your prefrontal cortex isn’t fully developed yet (not even kidding) so you’re most likely acting from your emotions and not fundamental reasoning. I highly recommend taking a little break to read this short and quick explanation by University of Rochester Medical Center (Understanding the Teen Brain). The title says “teen,” but if you’re 26 years or younger then you should read it.
Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s go through this next part together.
Let’s take the next few moments to think through the possibilities of what could happen if you choose to forgo college for one of the previously mentioned job opportunities.
Dropping out of school or finishing just high school and forgoing the opportunity to go to college sounds like a great decision at first, but the reality is that you would be significantly capping your earning potential by not pursing higher education.
What I am presenting to you are all facts and data…if you legit don’t understand how to interpret the plots/figures/data, then shoot me a message or ask someone that you think would be able to help you…that’s real talk.
Back to capping your earning potential…See Figure 1.
Figure 1. Average earnings of US population based on their level of education obtained and the corresponding unemployment rate for those respective populations.
From Figure 1, the first thing that we notice is that your average earnings increase with the more education that you have. This proves that even if you can’t see or immediately feel the benefits, you will more than likely earn more from continuing education. Second thing that sticks out to me is that if you don’t finish high school, then you’re screwed!
There is a large difference in earnings from non-high school graduates to successful high school graduates. After that, there is minimal difference between obtaining a High School Diploma and an Associate’s Degree. Not to discredit an Associate’s Degree…they are a wonderful stepping stone to determine if a 4-year college experience is right for you.
Now after the Associate’s Degree, there are HUGE jumps in earnings at every other step (Do the math…subtract one degree earnings from the other…you’ll see).
The final thing that I am going to point out is the unemployment rate. Understand that the amount of people in each category decreases as you go further up the education ladder so in reality, you are taking a percent of a smaller and smaller number. For example…Let’s say there are 5 million people with only a high school diploma @ 6% that = 300,000 people who are unemployed…now let’s say that there are fewer people who even tried to go to college, 3.5 million people with some college but no degree @ 6% that = 210,000 people without a job.
So at the same unemployment rate, the amount of people without a job is much less. You can actually Google how many people fall into each of these categories and do the math yourself.
The primary takeaway from the unemployment rate is that it decreases from 9% to 1.9% for the highest trained professionals, where the national average unemployment rate is 3.7% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Another interesting finding from reviewing some very recent unemployment statistics is that among the major work groups, here are the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent), adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (11.9 percent), Whites (3.3 percent), Blacks (6.2 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent).
Now on to my next great reason to Take You’re A** to College…
You have a higher chance of living…really??? Yep…See Figure 2.
Figure 2. Changes in your odds of death as it relates to your years of education. More education equates to lower mortality rate.
According to this study by Jennifer Montez from Syracuse University, your odds of death decrease as you get more education. The key is high school.
If you can graduate from high school, then you will most likely experience a large drop in your chances to die. If you continue education beyond high school, then your chances to die reduce drastically (simply compare the slope of the line in Figure 2 before “High School Degree” to the slope of the line after “High School Degree.”
For some reason if you STILL decide not to go to college, Figure 3 shows some excellent jobs that you can pursue without a four-year college degree (many of which can become successful entrepreneur businesses).
Figure 3. 10 Best jobs without a four-year college degree – From “The Balance.”
1. More education equates to higher earning potential. You can live a good life with a bachelor’s degree and a great life with a graduate degree.
2. More education leads to lower chances of death. Graduating high school is the first key.
3. If you don’t go to college, then it’s not the end of the world. You can still have a respectable career.
Before I completely wrap up, let’s quickly revisit the opening argument, “some of the major US companies like IBM and Apple are removing the ‘degree requirement’ from some entry and mid-level positions.”
Let’s just say that you take one of those jobs and you’re feeling good about yourself and your employment situation. The first realization that you need to make is that since the job requirements are less, then the competition to obtain the job is high.
So what does that mean for you?
That means that the potential for job turnover or you being replaced if you’re not the exact candidate that they want/need at any given moment is also high. Now if you lose this job due to uncontrollable job competition, where would that leave you?
Don’t be the victim. Control your own career destiny by controlling your academic future. In an overly simplified way, all you have to do after high school is make a few friends and pass a few tests for four years and you’re done.
So in conclusion…Take your a** to college!