What’s your intention? That’s the most important question!
Many people say that college is an investment in your future. Sometimes, it’s true. Sometimes, it isn’t.
Education is an investment in your future, but you must ask yourself these three questions before you go to college.
How much does it cost?
The fastest path to a profitable career is to minimize (if not, eliminate) any educational expenses.
Some colleges (e.g. University of The People) don’t charge any tuition to students, but these schools typically have a small number of degree offerings.
Some colleges don’t charge any tuition if you meet their annual income requirement. Princeton University and Rice University are two examples.
Other colleges (e.g. Purdue University) won’t charge any tuition upfront if you pay a small percentage of your future income temporarily after graduation. This is commonly known as an income share agreement.
There are also massive open online courses that allow you to study specific university courses for free. Some online course providers (e.g. Coursera) will issue a course certificate for a small fee (i.e. $29-$99).
They also offer specializations to master a specific career skill by completing a series of courses to earn a specialization certificate.
How much time does it require?
In addition to minimizing educational expenses, the fastest path to a profitable career is to minimize the time that it requires to become proficient in your field.
Earlier, I mentioned massive open online courses (i.e. MOOCs) as a very affordable learning resource. The advantage of these courses is that they can be completed in a fraction of the time.
For example, Coursera offers a countless number of courses, including (but not limited to) business, information technology, health, and social sciences. These university courses can be completed in 4-6 weeks.
Specializations can be completed in 4-6 months.
What can I learn from this college that I wouldn’t learn independently?
Some career paths may require a degree in most cases. However, other career paths require sufficient competency, which can be acquired without having a degree.
In the below video, I explored the return on investment of an underrated skill by comparing experiential learning and academic learning.
I would be happy to share more advice about finding or designing your ideal career. If interested, I recommend you to follow and/or support my journey in creating my new book, Reaching The Finish Line: How Success Proves Adversity Isn’t Your Adversary.