Miss Money Sense: Is college a waste of time and money?

Miss Money Sense: Is college a waste of time and money?

By Teneshia “Miss Money Sense” LaFaye

Parents you may want to keep your children from reading this post, especially if you’ve been pushing the American ideal for them to go to college so they can get a good job to have a comfortable life.

Personally, I think college is a waste of money if people are just going to make themselves more employable because there’s no guarantee of employment and more than likely a graduate will leave with tens of thousands of student loan debt. There are at least 100 notable wealthy Americans who never obtained a college degree, including former president Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, first mega billionaire Andrew Carnegie, inventor Ben Franklin, perfume maker Coco Chanel, Ford founder Henry Ford, Dell founder Michael Dell, Mary Kay founder Mary Kay Ash, McDonalds founder Ray Kroc, Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons, Virgin founder Richard Branson, entertainer and entrepreneur Sean Combs.

What do all of those millionaires and billionaires have in common?

They are entrepreneurs. Business owners without degrees in business. I scratch my head whenever people tell me their major is business administration or business management. Usually it’s just to learn how to be a better employee instead of to run their own business. But that piece of paper that says “B.A.” or “MBA” doesn’t guarantee the person will be hired.

College should be for people pursuing specialized professions, such as physician, nurse, lawyer, engineer, teacher. Most other professions only truly require a certification or a license that can be obtained in 3-12 months, such as accounting, law enforcement, insurance, sales management, cosmetology, auto repair.

And you certainly shouldn’t have to go to school for art, literature or writing. You either have the natural ability or you don’t. I feel my journalism degree was a waste. Thank God I went to college for free. My oldest son dropped out of college during his second year and now makes six figures as a business owner.

I think it’s ridiculous for the average person to return to college to obtain additional degrees in hopes of getting a promotion or a higher-paying job. Many times, people already have student loan debt and continue to go back to school for more debt while adding to their degrees.

Business ownership is the way to go. It costs just as much as a college degree and sometimes more, but you control your income. You can work as much or as little as you want. Earn as much as you want and take off when you want. Now some people would probably mention that most businesses go belly up within a few years. Well, that’s usually because the new business owner didn’t properly plan before deciding to open its doors. But with proper planning, a person can pursue his or her passion and make just as much if not more than on a job without going to college.

I have three businesses and love the freedom and the residual income. There’s no cap on my income and I can travel all over and write it off on my taxes. So do some soul-searching to figure out the ideal business for you. The business can be an original service or product, a franchise or a network marketing opportunity, but regardless of which one you choose, you have limitless earning potential if you stay the course.

Teneshia LaFaye is a former award-winning newspaper journalist and a nationally certified financial education instructor. She owns a health insurance agency and has written two books, What My Mom Taught Me About Money and Mom’s Money Lessons, available on her site, www.mytensense.com. Get her FREE daily money tips to work on improving your financial mindset by “liking” her MissMoneySense page on Facebook.


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