Well, maybe it wasn’t as important as what we’ve been told :(
As someone without a college degree, maybe I have always been a little biased on the subject. I remember always feeling somewhat ashamed when I didn’t finish college (not sure “finish” is the right word because I think that would require actually being close in the first place). The time from the mid ‘80s up until just the last few years made folks like me think we were somehow at a disadvantage because we didn’t have a college degree. When you would read about someone very successful who also didn’t have a degree like Richard Branson, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, they would always be referenced in a way that made this characteristic about them seem like the exception, not the norm.
Throughout my professional career, over and over again, I would meet hugely successful people who were more like me; school of hard knocks types.
Fast forward to the past few years and it’s striking how many people I meet, especially in the real estate tech field, who don’t have degrees and they are SOOOO FRIGGEN SMART in soooo many different ways. I also think about the employees I have hired who came into my company feeling all self-important and entitled BECAUSE of their fancy degrees.
So, what’s the conclusion? To me, all this really means is that a college degree is no guarantee of anything. Not a great job. Not skills and knowledge that
you can’t find anywhere else. In the end, what I think has really happened is that you are no longer at an extreme disadvantage if you don’t have a degree.
Don’t get me wrong, I truly admire and respect anyone who has worked their ass off to get a degree. But in the end, it's about the person …his or her experiences …his or her work ethic … his or her core values.
If you’re a young person out there thinking about a career, focus on what works for you, not what society tells you are supposed to do. Go for the experience, whatever it is, and work your ass off. And, if that means getting a job in a field you love instead of getting a degree, you will be in good company!
Sorry Mom and Dad :)