For many, the idea that college is not useful anymore is still a shocking thought, especially if you are not from the developed world. It is for most a contrarian thought. But not on Twitter.
In the virtual streets of Technology Twitter, it’s a commonly debated topic. And there is a bullish trend for the argument ‘college is no longer worth it’.
The rise of debate and validity for a bullish trend make the most sense if you put it in the context of United States education system, where student loans have become a huge burden and most of the non-technical & non-STEM degrees are not having expected outcomes.
Going to college is the biggest investment decision for a young adult. It is also the first big investment decision.
All standard investment principles are known and well documented. But the actual steps that result from the application of these principles are different and are a function of the individual’s context.
Like any investment advice making a decision to go to college must be looked in to not just at a principle level but what the investment principle means as a specific step for the individual.
Principles mostly remain the same their interpretation & implementation is where the real trick is.
For example, consider the principle of compounding, every investment book will talk about its importance. Because it’s important.
But the implementation of this principle changes from being a value investor to a growth investor. It changes if you are in the U.S or if you are in India. It depends on what investment opportunities you have, what markets you have access to. And if you are at the start of your career, the only compounding you can do is learn and compound your knowledge.
This is true even if you don’t have the capital to invest or just getting out of poverty. Self-improving habits are the only things, that you are in control and can compound.
So yes compounding is important, but to use the principle and the actual step to put compounding into action is a function of an individual’s context.
The same logic needs to be applied for the college decision.
Look at the degree you are about to do, are you living in the U.S and are choosing to study in the U.S, or is your father European and you can study in Germany and work in the U.S? Which actually will make even your interest in a history degree a lucrative one.
The college tuition might only be 1 year of your annual salary or 5 years of your annual salary at your first job after college.
You might be a gifted coder, or good at self-learning or have the abilities to make an app and earn immediately. Then college is not for you, or maybe it is, considering you have enough abilities to pay your tuition and have more appetite for learning.
The return on investment for a monetary investment is always monetary. But return on investment in college is monetary plus more.
The more includes friendships, late-night arguments, a network of a lifetime and mostly the pride of being part of a great institution.
P.S — The Content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe this as investment advice.