|A few business authors and online personalities including Peter Thiel, Grant Cardone, and Gary Vaynerchuk, have challenged the general notion that a college degree is necessary to having a successful career. I also have a few friends in the real estate industry who also believe that college is unnecessary at best and a total waste of time and money at worst. Honestly, there is merit to both sides of the argument. I am particularly skeptical of the wave of for-profit colleges and universities that have emerged in recent years. I’m sure there are some that are good, but most seem a little shady to me. College is expensive, especially private schools, so dedicating four years of your life and a quarter-million-dollars should be something that well thought out. Cardone has been quoted as saying that any degree outside of Harvard and Yale is worthless, and Gary V says 93% of college students are wasting their time. Sorry, but both statements are idiotic. Cardone’s book 10X is great, but he seems to be taking a page out of the Gary V blueprint of “brand building by making outrageous statements” — so who knows what he really believes. The truth is if you are attending college purely to make money, there are probably better ways to invest your time and money. A career in real estate can be extremely lucrative and does not require much in the way of formal education. However, for many people, having a career that is both fulfilling and lucrative is essential to leading a happy, purpose-driven life and different people are fulfilled in different ways. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, professor, scientist, engineer, accountant, or an executive at a large company, a college education is required. I’m not sure if Cardone and Gary V believe our country would be better off without doctors and other professionals or if they think those professions shouldn’t require any college — but obviously their perspectives don’t align with realities of our society. For me college was definitely worth it. It expanded my way of thinking and introduced me to some of the smartest and most interesting people you’ll find anywhere. It gave me a sense of awareness of the world we live in and provided me with the intellectual fundamentals to pursue a wide variety of professional relationships and career options. College may not be for everyone, but not going to college could limit your options in life, which is something most of us don’t want for ourselves or our kids. Interesting factoid is that the current number Latinos in college have surged in recent years, with Latinas in particular leading the way.
Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak at the T3 Conference in Florida…I surprised the audience when I explained how the issue of diversity has been framed incorrectly, and has for the most part alienated the business community.
People sometimes get me wrong. They think that because I talk a lot about giving back and living modestly, I must not care about money. On the contrary, I care a lot about money because I understand how our system works.
We live in a capitalistic society. Economics drives everything. We work hard and we have more money to provide for our families and do the things we want. But what actually makes us happy? Some of us spend our lives looking for that answer and never find it. Some look for it in church, others pay life coaches, and some think the more money they have the happier they will be.