U.S. & World

More university-age people saying no to traditional college experience


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  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    This might work for some very talented and ambitious people in some professions, but for the most part, college provides much of the educational training for many of our jobs--especially those that require a fair degree of academic knowledge. Can you imagine your brain surgeon as a college drop-out?

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 11:18 a.m.

    @ Kings Court

    I think you missed the point of the story. The point is that when someone is self-driven to achieve, he or she will make sure they acquire all the skills necessary to get them where they want to go.

    These skills could be acquired in college--or somewhere else.

    Certainly, brain surgeon skills must be acquired in a medical school. But things like computer skills (and many other entrepreunerial skills) can just as likely (if not more likely) be acquired out in the real world. A true entrepreneur will know where to find them.

    In any case, it's so refreshing to see that the colleges and universities which set themselves up as "gates to success" (with a very high gateway fee) have now become not the only way, but just one of many different ways.

  • Chris0201 Oak Brook, IL
    Dec. 2, 2012 11:38 a.m.

    I think this is a bit misleading. The individuals who are generally successful while dropping out of college, are those who are extremely intelligent, Ivy League bound students. Just because Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, and a few other individuals who did not complete college were able to become leaders of their industry, that by no means is for everyone, because the percentage of those who fail while dropping out of college are not even mentioned in this article; and trust me, the amount who fail while dropping out is MUCH higher than those who succeed at the task. Plus, the primary career which supports this tactic is entrepreneurship, which is certainly also a career in which those who fail are MUCH higher than those who succeed. I think a college education is still vital towards success, because even though there are some individuals who are billionaires and did not finish college, they did have some flaws, for which an extra 4 years of your life would not hurt to give up.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 12:05 p.m.

    You're not going to be a zuckerberg or gates, or pro athlete. It's just not statistically going to happen. But the best route, I figure, into a good job without college or university is to go the trades route. It's always the plumbers and electricians going to mexico or hawaii. At least the ones I know.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    Part of the issue is self-perception. If a person is motivated and on-track with his own business, that's one thing. But if he's living at home and vaguely believes he can write the best video games ever, he's going to hide behind the illusion out of laziness.
    College is a great place to compare your skill set and preparation with your peers. And hopefully students can find out in the first year or two what field they can excel in.
    Frankly, in a balanced economy we need shipping clerks and dishwashers. Obama's dream that we can all be middle class is just that; a dream.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 3, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    If your parents are trying to get you to go to college, just go and get a degree.

    If you are on your own and have no passion to make you focus your efforts, still go.

    And if you are a genius, definitely go to MIT. As far as I can tell, there is unlimited start up money for MIT graduates no matter how stupid their business idea is.

    Just face it, most people aren't going to get lucky so get the education and then hope to get lucky.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    Hackers have a bag of tricks. If they're quick enough they can keep that bag from becoming obsolete, but one must maintain technical relevance, or else all those tricks are worthless. Unfortunately that happens a lot in technology that's rapidly evolving. If you've devoted your whole life to playing the electric kazoo and then the electric kazoo falls out of popularity, or the manufacturer discontinues it, or makes it so that everyone and their dog can play it without any skill, then you're out.

    The foundational concepts of any given science or technical field, tend to be harder to learn (and a whole lot more dry, not nearly as fun), and yet applicable to all the tricks. The idea is that the foundational principles cannot be as easily obsoleted... of course sometimes the path from concept to relevance is so long that you're of limited use too, at least until you can evolve a more current skillset...

    In either case, there's no short road to success, it's really a matter of hard work all the time, regardless.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 3, 2012 1:28 p.m.

    Let's see...

    Don't go to college & flip burgers or work at Walmart the rest of your life.
    Go to College, beg, borrow and steal for 6-8 years - aquire a debt of $100K+ and STILL end up flipping burgers or working at Walmart.

    It doesn't take a college education to figure it out...