Domain Spotlight:

Is a College Degree Necessary Any More?

It’s something I’ve discussed many times with friends.  In today’s environment would one be better off saving the $100,000 it cost for a good 4 year college and getting a job right out of school in your field?  My answer is simple.  Most of the time I would say go to college but it depends on what you want to do.  Certain technical fields require college and masters degrees.  Others don’t and you actually may be better off getting real world experience.  Combine that with the ability to start with no debt or $100K in the bank and it becomes an even better move.

To me, half of going to University is growing up. Learning to live on my own.  I could do that working as well but there’s something to be said about doing it surrounded by thousands of others doing the same thing.  I also believe that you have to “sow your oats” and act young when you’re young.  The people that seem to enjoy life the least are the people that are forced to take on a lot of responsibility, early and often.  You’ll be working the next 40 years so waiting 4 more years isn’t that big of a deal overall.

What got me thinking about this was looking through the linkedn profiles of some domainers and noticed that a few showed either no degrees or only associate degrees aka 2 year local college degrees.  I used to call an associates degree an “Almost” degree but as I get older I think that community colleges are a great way to train and learn.  You can still work and go to school and you can always continue on to a four year college.  As an employer when I see a person attending community college I take a hard look at what job they took during school or during the summer. It tells me a lot about how serious they are.  If they took a job in their field vs working at the pizza place it lets me know they are trying to learn both in school and after.

That brings me back to the question.  How many of you have college degrees?  In the comments I’d love to hear how it made any difference one way or another in year domain investment career.

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5 Replies to “Is a College Degree Necessary Any More?”

  1. I’ll kick it off here there Shane….
    First, great post, makes a lot of sense and I’ve preached this to my younger brother and friends. I have a Bachelors in Finance and I really wish I took the money and invested in my passion and a business. For the most part, I live without regrets and a lot of my experiences have made me who I am today, Music class included ; ) But yeah, give me the money. I invite fans of Shane and bloggers to connect with me on LinkedIn- Michael J Hudak. Shane, still a huge fan of the blog, keep it up. And those thinking of college, think hard and think smart. $100k can start alot of things. Can also be flushed right down the toilet if you don’t due your DD and invest in something you know about and are passionate about. Knowledge certainly is power and the best skills I learned in life were taught to me through both personal and business failures, on the street and simply dealing with people and life’s obstacles in general(not school). Oh, books too. Being well read never hurt anyone. Best of luck to all, good post, I hope a lot of people weigh in.

  2. This is a conversation that is going on more and more across the country and certainly at colleges like mine. Emory University is a top 20 school in the country but cost over 50K a year.

    I would agree that in general college is a bubble like tuplips, the stock market, Zynga and real estate. It is a fact that we send too many students to college every year in many fields like law. There are many people who simply need to go to technical schools or learn on the job. Germany as a country has very low unemployment partly because of their apprentice system.

    On the other side, my older friends leaving Emory all have multiple job offers at top firms around the world and are amazing well rounded people who are going to do amazing things for the world. The liberal arts education is one of Americas greatest assets and continues to create some of the best thinkers and leaders in the world.

    Could I have not gone to school, taken $200K and bought a ton of really nice domains and built them out into great developed sites? Yes. But given the chance again I would go to college every time. The amount I have grown in only my first two years will help me more in the long run. The relationships you form, lessons you lean, mistakes you make are priceless. I can still run my websites and challenge myself everyday while at school.

  3. When I started studying computer science in Germany in 1993 I discovered this interesting thing called the Internet and started exploring. Unfortunately it was not part of the curriculum of the five year (minimum) degree. So slowly but surely I started dropping out, especially after creating our own first startup in 1995 creating websites, managing servers etc.

    I tried again a few years later when “Computer Science with an emphasis on Digital Media” became available. However it turned out that me and two friends of mine knew more than the teachers, so we didn’t stick around for too long.

    In 1997 I actually went to one job interview (amongst others) at a companiy within the Bertelsmann group. In the second interview I was asked if I regretted quitting studying, to which I said “no, since I would have never acquired as much practical knowledge otherwise”. The interview was over at that point – apparently the interviewer put a lot of value on completing degrees. Another job was quickly found.

    Even though now I feel that a degree itself doesn’t add too much value to the work I provide through my company, I’ve been toying with the idea of completing that degree or at least participating in some online courses that interest me. I’m not planning to commit too much of my time and budget at this point though.

  4. It depends on what you want to achieve. If you want to be a physicist, doctor, lawyer, engineer or specific knowledge focused degree, college or university is still relevant.

    Some degrees might be better learned on the job so to speak however a degree does still open some job opportunities.

    Regards Prof

  5. You need a proper recognized degree training course in order to become a qualified architect, lawyer, engineer, doctor, surgeon, engineer, surveyor, accountant etc…..

    But you probably don’t need a degree to become a domainer which can be self taught or hands on learning approach…..

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