The Worthless College Degree

The Worthless College Degree

It’s about time someone said it loud and clear: A college degree is a waste of time. Remember, you heard it here first.

Everyone “knows” that college graduates make more money. The only problem with that fact is that it’s wrong. It’s easy to make it seem like a college degree means more money in your pocket when you weigh the salaries of college educated people against everyone else. That makes no sense. The guy who has no interest in doing anything more challenging than flipping burgers shouldn’t get involved in this discussion. The better approach is to compare specific types of work. In other words, the question is not whether college graduates make more money than those without a sheepskin; The question is, do biochemists (for example) make more money than bricklayers? The answer happens to be no.

The average salary of an experienced biochemist is just over $59,000 per year; A bricklayer can expect to make just over $54,000 per year. But that’s not the whole story. The biochemist will spend at least $50,000 to earn his BA from a government school and over $100,000 if he chooses to attend private school. [1]After that, he must complete a college degree and gain “at least 5 years of experience in this field or a related field” before he can expect to reach the national median salary for his occupation. [2] The graduate degree cost will be close to an additional $100,000.

We also need to account for the lost wages during the four to six years it takes to earn the BA (very few students graduate in the “normal” four year span). Picture that and you see an additional loss of $60,000 to $160,000. This assumes a loss of just $7.50 an hour on the low end and $13 an hour on the high end — excluding pay increases. (We agree with the biochemist when in doubt, ignoring the fact that he would not earn a market wage during his graduate program. However, he may be able to live on the scholarships he receives as a graduate student. To simplify this comparison, let’s use the years ignore the degree and focus on the years spent earning the BA.)

In short, the biochemist leaves the college at least $110,000 behind the mason. The bricklayer now works as an apprentice (with a starting wage of around $10 to $13 an hour) [3], and if he’s reasonably competent, he’ll have reached journeyman status by about the time the biochemistry student picks up his BA. This means he will start on the $54,000 annual salary when the biochemist begins his graduate program. The biochemist will only reach the average salary of a “biochemist III” in about five years. The bottom line is that the mason has a $110,000 to $200,000 lead over the biochemist—a lead the biochemist can never overcome.

“So what?” you may say. “The comparison of a biochemist and a mason is arbitrary. It’s no more relevant than comparing all graduates to non-graduates.” Maybe: Take a look at these examples, randomly selected from the website.

If we look at occupations that require a degree, we see that the median expected salary in the United States for a typical:

Biologist V costs $88,625.

Nurse – RN is $58,924.

Accountant III costs $58,866.

Social Worker (MSW) costs $48,845.

Engineer V costs $102,298.

Activity Director – Nursing Home costs $34,385

High school teacher costs $50,562.

Biochemist III costs $59,100.

If we look at occupations that do not require a degree, we see that the median expected salary for a typical:

Electrician III costs $48,739.

HVAC Mechanic III costs $50,591

Carpenter III costs $44,793.

Machinist III costs $49,075.

Mason, Sr. costs $54,019.

Plumber III costs $50,138.

Insurance Agent is $41,287.

Auto Mechanic III costs $49,563. [4]

Additionally, “Business and Economics/Finance graduates” earn an average of $38,254 and $40,630 per year, respectively, upon graduation. “The Average Starting Salary for Marketing Graduates” is $34,712, or , per year after graduation. “Starting salary for English majors” is $31,113, “Political Science” majors are $32,296, and “Psychology majors” enjoy “starting salaries averaging $28,230.” [5] Responsible workers are now earning twice as much after four years on the job.

As you can see, most college degrees are a incredible waste of time and money. Exceptions are professional qualifications; law, medicine, engineering and the like. Again, these professions don’t really require a formal degree, but that’s another article for another time. And remember, these numbers don’t account for the cost of college and lost wages.

In addition, the non-university professions are often more open to an entrepreneurial spirit. The numbers above reflect the situation of a skilled worker raking in a wage, not entrepreneurs who have the urge to write their own financial ticket. There really is no limit for a self employed plumber, electrician, mechanic or insurance agent looking to set up a business and employ and manage others to increase their own bottom line. These folks are dragging down six-figure incomes. I personally know insurance agents and carpenters who were making well over $100,000 a year in their mid-thirties. Your typical biologist or engineer at that age would still be trying to pay off college debt — while making far less money than the insurance agency owner or contractor.

Also, from an academic point of view, getting a college degree is a waste of time. Anything you’re supposed to learn in college, you can teach yourself if you really want to. But then again, most people don’t go to college to study. A large percentage never graduate. Those who do are not really literate in the classical sense. Rather, they are being trained to adopt the subservient, anti-intellectual, egocentric, godless worldview required to sustain the current bureaucratic state.

Honestly, college is for people who are unwilling or unable to face the responsibilities of the real world. It’s a place people go to extend their childhoods (and generally screw up their lives) using daddy’s money or taxpayers’ money confiscated from plumbers, masons, and insurance agents responsible enough to keep theirs to earn their own living.

The main reason our society places such a high value on a college education is that people have been brainwashed into believing that without a degree you can’t get ahead in life. This fiction is pushed by big business and governments because it gives the establishment more time to dumb down the populace and thus create the sheep-like servants necessary to sustain the bureaucratic state.

The fact is, anyone can get the education promised (but never delivered) by the system. All you need is a library card and access to interlibrary loan. Do you want a degree in history or literature or sociology (and so on)? Get a reading list from a top university, and then view or buy the books you see on the list. But don’t stop there; To be truly literate, you must go beyond the politically correct university curriculum. You want to learn to think critically so you need to read the classics and modern authors like Paul Johnson, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Michael Denton, Michael Behe, GK Chesterton, Otto Scott, Theodore Dalrymple and so on. If you need someone to guide you in your quest for knowledge, buy or read a guide for the discipline of your choice (eg Politically incorrect literary guide). If you prefer a living, breathing guide, hire a tutor if needed. If you want the system to “validate” your learning, then take your knowledge with you Excelsior College or Thomas Edison State College and test your way to an accredited Bachelor of Arts or Science.

If you can’t do that, you obviously don’t have the intellectual firepower or discipline to do much of anything in life, so you might as well jump on the treadmill, graduate from your worthless degree and get a job that’s paper for ” The man.”


1. See: MoneyCentral online.

2. See: SalaryWizard online.

3. See: HelmetsToHardhats online.

4. Numbers obtained from

5. See: MoneyCNN online.

Thanks to D. Eric Williams | #Worthless #College #Degree


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