Most people see college as a necessary "next step" towards success and career insurance. The thought of jumping over college and into a career doesn’t even cross the minds of certain people. While it is true that many lucrative careers require a college degree, it is entirely possible to remarkably succeed without one — despite what you’ve heard from Mr. Feeny or your critical aunt.
But like any big decision in life, there are pros and cons to be weighed. Those pros and cons will obviously vary depending on your specific career goals, but if you are not sure if college is worth your time or investment, here are some basic pros and cons that will likely apply to everyone:
Pros of skipping college
1. You will have more time and energy to jump straight into your career pursuits.
College can definitely keep you busy. While this certainly isn’t a bad thing, it can take up lots of time that could be spent pursuing an actual career and advancing towards your goals. It can be overwhelming to stay on top of college and your career pursuits. Without the added stress and time-consuming nature of college, you will be better able to focus on jumping straight into your dream career.
2. You will get hands-on, real life experience.
Lots of learning takes place inside the classroom, but the real learning takes place outside of it. Stepping out of the classroom and into the real world will no doubt provide you with the invaluable experience needed to succeed.
3. You will save money.
Not that this is anything new, but college is expensive. That kind of money can really add up. There are always student loans available, but those can take years to pay off. Simply put, choosing not to go to college will save you a lot of money that can go towards the major expenses in life you’re more passionate about.
4. You will face character building challenges.
Entering the workforce without a college degree can be challenging for many. You may get doors slammed in your face or feel more pressure to prove yourself. As uncomfortable as these situations may be at times, they can ultimately make you stronger and more determined. They thicken your skin. Stress and failure have the potential to mold you into a stronger, smarter, more resilient person.
5. You will experience a greater sense of independence.
Without college tying you down, you are free to do whatever you want or go wherever you want. You could travel. You could start a business. You could move to a new city and start a fresh chapter in your life. The possibilities are endless.
Cons of skipping college
1. You may be unqualified for several jobs.
The fact of the matter is that many jobs require candidates with college degrees. Without one, you could find yourself facing brick wall after brick wall. A college degree could be your foot in the door of a great job.
2. You may not get the "nudge out of the nest" that college encourages.
Many people leave home for the first time when they go off to college. This is a big and necessary step for young adults, no matter how daunting. College gives you the experience of living on your own, which makes living on your own for real someday less scary and more possible.
3. You could miss out on potentially invaluable knowledge.
One of the whole points of going to college is to learn the knowledge and skills needed to excel at your chosen career and in the real world. While there are many options available for learning necessary skill sets, college is one of the most reputable avenues.
4. You may be misjudged by others.
Many people who choose not to go to college get the cold shoulder from family members and peers. They may be misjudged as lazy or indifferent. While it’s never wise to care too much what other people think, you could potentially save yourself the headache of nagging Nancys if you just follow their advice and give college a try. Think of how proud they will be of you!
5. You will miss out on the overall college experience.
College can not only be a massive learning experience, but it can be a positive personal growth experience as well. You will experience an adult lifestyle, create lasting friendships, face and overcome various challenges, and generally grow as a person. So many people share nostalgic stories of their college days. If you go, you will have stories of your own.
Deciding whether or not to go to college is a big decision, and it is one only you can make. Use the pros and cons listed above to help you figure out what matters most to you. If you find yourself leaning in one direction more than the other, you have likely made your choice.