Not Everyone Should Go to College

path to college

Yes, I wrote that title!

I don’t believe everyone should go to college and moreover I don’t think anyone should be judged on whether or not they went to college. Sadly, this is often the case.

To be clear, I am not anti-college, but believe there should be alternatives to ensure young adults have an opportunity to be productive contributors within their respective communities.  Why aren’t there other alternatives besides college so the youth of America have an option for when the are done with High School.  The current choices if you don’t take the college route are military service or food service. I am over simplifying here, but you get my point. What ever happened to vocational schools or apprentice programs?  Why do we in the US tend to judge others on whether they have a four-year degree or not.  Seems all we hear from politicians on both sides of the aisle is ‘go to college!’ How many recent college grads are now over burdened by their student loan debt?

Let’s look at jobs that will never be outsourced beyond the US borders, which might be a good alternative to a non-college pursuer – realtor, electrician, outside sales representative, truck driver, carpenter, fire-fighter, EMT, auto-mechanic, HVAC technician, plumber.  The list goes on and on. According to a list of top 20 jobs with the highest work-life balance recently published on, nine of those jobs do not require college degrees. How does a non-college bound youth even learn about these other options let alone discover a path to explore and train in these career paths.

The youngest female billionaire in the US, Elizabeth Holmes, is a college dropout. She didn’t need a college degree to start Theranos, the disruptive blood testing company.  (update 10-1-16 Sadly, Theranos misled investors and others in the accuracy of their product and is currently under investigation)  There are many examples of very successful individuals that either didn’t go to college or dropped out along the way (Lincoln, Zuckerberg, Gates…). The college degree is not the only path to be successful.

We as a country need to develop and encourage alternatives to college that lead young adults into jobs so they can be productive members of their communities.


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