Is a college education a good investment?

Here’s a question from LinkedIn and my response that I thought I’d share:

Is a college education a good investment?

While college graduates can expect earnings of a million dollars plus more than someone without college, in today’s new normal economy is college a worthwhile investment?


My Answer

Our society here in the US has made a college education a mandatory necessity not so much an investment. Business has placed a perceived “value” on the credentials received from attending college. In many cases you exit with a certificate of attendance and little more. The REAL knowledge that companies actually end up valuing (via salary gains) is realized by experience AFTER you graduate.

What companies hope for – AT BEST – is that the college experience, through prolonged attendance, will weed out the idiots and provide some period of life exposure to mature those former high schoolers into employees that will show up consistently, on time and properly dressed long enough to be reeducated by the employer, their way, while on the job. This reeducation usually involves a great deal of deprogramming and can further filter out those who can’t think beyond the book learning or are unable to cope with the fact that business DEMANDS you be productive in your job (and in life) and not just a passive partying participant who may be only good at test taking.

So the real INVESTMENT isn’t in what your children learn in college. The true investment is what you – yes, YOU – instill in them all along regarding; morals, values, work ethic, critical thinking, common sense, character, principles, standards, confidence, independence, passion, vision, logical thought processes and a solid foundational world view that seeks truth and wisdom in spite of the outside influences we are constantly pressured with.

If you can do that BEFORE they enter college then the experience won’t hurt them too much and you might, just maybe, get something out of the expense that could possibly have been considered an investment or at least not a total waste. But then, if you done all of that, your true investment has already been made and I’d bet has already paid dividends to you, them and their future employer too.




~ by Jeff Williams on October 23, 2010.

%d bloggers like this: