Why college may not be the best option

Yesterday, I saw a post in my facebook news feed that said, “I always remind myself that education is very important and I must be back at school one day.”

Whilst a positive message, the two points are entirely separate.  Education is important, but going back to school is not necessarily the best way to get an education.

I responded with the following:

“Your statement contains a fallacy. Whilst I have 5 formal qualifications, one does not need to go to school to get an education. In fact, some of the most successful people alive and in history are college drop outs or didn’t go to college (Socrates, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, etc.). 

I support both schooling and education and think both are helpful. But I also think you can get an education without going to school. And I think once you reach a certain point additional qualifications rarely justify the return. 

I looked at the costs when doing my Masters. After the first six months, the remainder of the course was going to cost me $44,000 in fees. But assuming I can’t earn the average Australian wage during that time, and including interest the real cost is over $317,000 in lost opportunity. And this doesn’t even consider the investment of the money saved in stocks or something, whichever could make this difference much greater.

Instead, I decided to allocate some money to travel, bought the recommend books related to my subject of choice and then read and educate myself in my leisure time.

That was my personal decision, but it is still a good question to ask yourself, ‘Will getting this qualification provide me with a greater return on investment than the lost opportunities if managed wisely?’

I recommend reading this article. It relates specifically to law school, but I think it makes some very good points that can be applied to schooling in general: http://tuckermax.me/why-you-should-not-go-to-law-school-3/

Note: this is just my opinion. I’m suggesting an alternative approach because all options should be considered. If you have considered them, fantastic!
Do you feel as though you need further schooling to get an education?  If so, have you asked yourself why and investigated the alternatives?