I may or may not be trying to persuade my oldest to drift away from college and dive into mastering his music (and/or film).
I offered him this article from James Altucher. My point was to encourage him to become a master at one or more things that he already knows he’s excited about. School will not make him a master at his passion, and it won’t get him a job — which, of course, he won’t want or need if he’s a master of his craft and self-educated on how to exchange the value he creates (another thing he won’t gain in “higher learning”).
Besides, he can always go to college later. But if he’s working to support a family, it’s doubtful he’ll ever go back and master a passion (some people do… I’m not saying that it can’t happen. I’m just saying that going to school first is a backwards way of approaching life if you already know what you love to do).
Once a craft is mastered, there are a gagillion ways to create value with it — many of them NOT the traditional way an average prof who’s never ventured out of the ivy tower might know about or suggest (of course, just speaking from my own observations; which others are free to call me names concerning).
“But college is a great place to pick up skills,” says a person on Facebook whom I’m having this same conversation with. “Except that it’s not,” I say. If a degree is needed for medical or legal degree, yes, college is (perhaps) needed. But otherwise, skills can be learned for a LOT less money and by those who are a lot closer to actual processes than the average prof.
So, what if a professional degree IS desired? If a professional degree is sought after, I direct you back to to Altucher’s article which suggests you become an intern and make absolute certain that’s the course you want to take.
Let me ask you this: Should a 47 year old attorney (or doctor, or whatever) who is great at her profession, but hates her job and has too much debt to quit and start over take career advice from a 22 year old ‘kid’ who thinks that being a lawyer will be the perfect career? If the answer is ‘no,’ then that 22 year old better invest some time in an internship (or three) or else there’s a high likelihood that she will BE that 47 year old professional who took career advice from her 22 year old know-it-all self.
Will my son heed my advice? Probably not. Kids can be such rebels.
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Photo credits: flickr.com: endless autumn