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No Bachelor’s! No Master’s! No PhDs! No Nothing!

A common phrase has been inputted into society’s head: “The more the education, the better paying the job.” Many individuals spend a quarter of their life in school earning degrees. They hope to graduate with at least a bachelor’s (BA) degree, because the value of a high school diploma is no longer worth as much as it was in the past. President Obama claims, “In this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job.” If people set aside this propaganda and expand their thoughts, will they still believe in or agree on it? Nowadays, a wide majority of people who can afford college, apply without a thought. Never do they consider whether college (or whatever they are applying for) is suitable for them. Earning a bachelor’s degree or receiving higher education is not necessary to achieve success in financial and personal freedom.

Reaching for success, people tend to choose a route that does not offer financial freedom. It is propaganda that achieving success requires the accomplishment of a BA degree or higher. How often do people take a step back from reality to decipher whether the propaganda is true or not? Nowadays, students who can afford college, spend their high school years prepping for SAT exams and earning high grades in hopes of acceptance to a good college, which might not be worth the money. Forbes magazine states, “Americans can learn pretty much anything for a nominal fee.” Many parents spend thousands of dollars each year on their child’s college tuition. They want the best for their child; however, little do they know that education actually costs an insignificant amount.

With so much competition amongst careers and job finding, attending college is no longer just a two- or four-year program. Many college students attempt to achieve higher degrees, such as a master’s degree or PhD, which can lead to lifelong debt. Author Ramesh Ponnuru warns readers in Time magazine, “We are pushing kids into college who will not get much out of it but debt.” With so much educational background, one still has to use a large portion of their paychecks on debt, rents, and items: food, gas, and electricity and water bills. The purpose of having a job is no longer a way to earn and save up money for future expenses, but is the only solution of repaying debt. Not only do colleagues graduate with debt, many end up obtaining careers that have nothing to do with the major they have long spent money studying. After all that time, they finally come to the realization that what they have studied and used money on throughout the years is actually not what they are interested in and want to pursue as an occupation.

Author Linda Lee quoted Brigid McMenamin, “At a time when most kids in college say they are there to “get a job,” these kids ... jump in on the Internet business.” What is the point of choosing a major to focus on, when the career choice does not relate to the major. It is not that colleges do not provide a fine job of teaching or providing students with their money’s worth, but individuals’ change in career that leads to the development of an unnecessary debt and a waste of time. People achieve a BA degree or higher just to learn the absence of financial freedom. Not only does earning a BA degree or higher not bring about financial freedom, it also restricts a person’s rights for personal freedom.  

Today, children are taught the necessity to work their way to earning a basic BA degree or higher; following this doctrine, personal freedom diminishes without any notice. Individuals grow up walking down the four stages of life at which they and their parents believe will lead to success: elementary school, middle school, high school, and higher education. Attending college is no longer a choice, but rather a path one automatically takes. Everyone wants to go to college, but college is not for everyone. An article in Time magazine indicates, “Our high college dropout rate—40 percent of kids who enroll in college don’t get a degree within six years—may be a sign that we’re trying to push too many people who aren’t suited for college to enroll.” People follow the trend of attending college, but few actually take time to consider whether they are suitable or actually want to attend it. If a high school student does poorly academically and wants to become a famous football player as his career, yet earns and accepts a scholarship to the University of Southern California (USC), he will lack freedom to focus entirely on sports, because a portion of his time must be dedicated to academics. Attending college may seem like a custom; however, people forget that some of the most inspiring and successful idols in the past and present never graduated college. They accomplished much achievement due to one possession: personal freedom. Introduced in World Net Daily, idols starting from George Washington to Bill Gates are ordinary individuals who “did extraordinary things without degrees.” Though these geniuses did not finish college, they had the opportunity to do what they favor and excel in. If society was less strict in obtaining college degrees and people focused more on their hobbies and talents, more geniuses may come to picture. Attending a four-year college and using much time to finish their GEs (general education), students lack the time to do what they want and what is beneficial for them in the future.

Oftentimes, achieving a successful career requires experience more than education. Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM) instructor, Ms. Darlene Tuzet-Blanchard is an individual who graduated FIDM without a BA degree, and through hard work and determination, now owns three successful businesses. In a previous interview with Ms. Tuzet-Blanchard, having asked whether education or experience is more important, she answered, “It is my belief that industry experience outweighs a higher education in the fashion merchandising and marketing arena. A surgeon can read about being a surgeon, but it is only with field experience that makes a surgeon an expert.” Unless trying to achieve degrees for such a lawyer or doctor, many occupations do not require a college degree, but rather experience or pure talent. Success is not about earning a handful of money, but pursuing what motivates one to wake up each morning and start their day doing what they enjoy. The achievement of a BA degree or higher, does not necessarily come with financial or personal freedom.  

Obtaining a BA degree or education, is propaganda people believe will lead to success. Many individuals pay thousands of dollars for college tuition to earn all three college degrees to be hired for the highest paying jobs and excel amongst others. The mindset is understandable, yet too optimistic. It is not a guarantee that the colleagues with most education will find a good job or will stick to their major, so as for the ones who are fortunate, they still have a large debt to pay. High school students apply for college without considering whether that path is suitable for them. They attend college for one purpose, earning a pocketful of money in the future; however, they lose the personal freedom to study their interest. Earning a BA degree or higher education is not necessary for success in financial and personal freedom. Should society continue encouraging people to attend college, or should life be made easier for the ones who lacked the opportunity due to financial difficulties?