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Is a university degree a waste of money?

I spent many years dabble what should I study and eventually received a prestigious degree from the University of Otago.

Now when I looked back, many of those years were wasted and not spent wisely, many existing curriculum and degree structured with mandatory papers which I was not interested at all and enforced into the system, neither was cool or enjoyable.

Most of the high school leavers go to university without a purpose or plan, they go to university because they think university is their golden ticket to success, their mates choose to do this and that.

on top of that, we are influenced by parents on what we should study and take, not really knowing who we are and what we really want to get out of the university.

According to CNBC report[1][2], Elon Musk, Gary Vee, Google, Apple, IBM, Ernst and Young and many other big firms no longer require candidates with a degree to join the companies and be their top employees[3],

Why is that? I think we are gradually transitting from job/credential economy to skills economy, especially those big tech giants believe and value communications, talents, a track record of commercial projects and real-world problem-solving skills whereas traditional tertiary education does not catch up what is going on how fast technology and tools are changing, at least not in the software development world.

School teaches you to mingle and get along with different people, the knowledge and skills that you accumulate through school will help you become successful.

On top of that, you need a plan to continue to hone your skills and emerge yourself in a real-world project while you in school.

I believe going to traditional university is a huge decision and normally takes 3-4 years of both time and financial commitment of your life,

You need some insights to help you make a better decision when it comes to higher education and career pathway

1. Dont’s just thinking like a student, also think like an investor

As an investor, knowing what kind of financial return in investment, and when you gonna make your money back, most of students are getting into huge student debt, not knowing when they gonna pay this off, it would take them years only if they can actually find a job after they graduate.

Think about what you are going to get out as a result of this training? Dont’s just blindly listening to your friends, families and even university says, do due diligence on the timeframe of the study, tuition cost and living expenses, flexibility of the course, graduate success rate to secure a job, job demand of marketplace and salary guide.

2.Think like a business owner

From job economy to skill economy, you are like a mini-CEO within what you do, imagine you are running your own little business, your skill, knowledge, and expertise are your products, that’s what you bring and deliver into the marketplace in exchange of money so more valuable you are, the more value you can deliver to the marketplace, the money opportunities you have to be financially successful.

Things It’s no longer if you got a good degree or not, it matters it you can deliver real value to the marketplace and marketplace pay you for it, you will ask yourself is what am I learning and what am I doing, is that a need for my skillset?

3. The faster you LEARN, the faster you EARN

It’s not much how much you know since technology is evolving is so fast in these days, what you know and learn right now may not be relevant in 2-3 years, in order to have a security and success before you graduate, think about how quickly I can turn what I know into results and bring values to the marketplace because we all get paid based on values, how fast you can fill in this gap determine how much you can earn.

Is university right for everyone? Yes and No, It depends on what you want to do, society still needs highly specialized professions like medical professionals to prevent disease and treat wounds, engineers to build marvelous architects.

Knowing an university degree is no longer enough, it will not provide you with the security that you are looking for, think for yourself and think like pro-investor and business owner.

if you want to fast-track into a high-income skills via an alternative education provider Industry Connect.  You can reach out to me to talk about high-income skills, Business Intelligence journey and life design in New Zealand/Australia.

Feel free to connect with me through Linkedin and see if I can answer your question.


[1] This is the mindset shift employees need to succeed in the future of work-CNBC

[2]The future of work won’t be about college degrees, it will be about job skills-CNBC

[3]Elon Musk ‘I Don’t Give A Damn About Your Degree-Youtube

Michael Wang
Michael Wang

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