Fewer Kids Choosing College

“That could be the beginning of a whole generation of students rethinking the value of college itself.”

He says it likes it’s a bad thing. It’s just his ox getting gored.

This academician doesn’t get it. There are careers and good paying jobs that don’t require a college degree, and $50,000 to $100,000 dollars of debt. Delta Airlines just last week removed the requirement of a college degree to apply for a pilots job.
Colleges and Universities have perpetrated a multi billion dollar scam on this and the previous generation, with never ending pay raises and construction for their staff and campuses. I’m a passive investor but I’d guess purchasing rental property beats purchasing a degree today.


Most programming jobs in silicon valley can be done without a BS in science/Tech. Unless someone is architecting a system (that would require some domain knowledge ) or trying to optimize a code (that would require an understanding of algorithm/data structure design , time and space complexity), I cannot see how that person cannot survive just with a good High School diploma (provided he genuinely worked on his diploma).
I would have titled this thread as something like this: 98% jobs do not require a college degree


agreed. Ive heard of high school kids, who once they graduate, skip college, do Lamda school (now Bloomtech?) or some other highly regarded bootcamp and are making $150k at the age of 20 and are fine with it, and going through normal career progression.

if you don’t need college for friends, and your network is the tech scene, I don’t see any reason to go to college.

deflationary forces at work. Whether one likes them or not, deflationary forces (due to innovation, productivity gains, and inflation ) work day and night. Why do we need universities and degrees if the alternatives means to provide skills and education prove more efficient?

I am trying to recall who said these golden words:

Every business and institution is under threat of substitution and obosletion.

you can’t get an engineering career without an engineering degree though. (not talking software but everything else)

There are some very specialized courses that require structured and high touch training. I can think of medicine in that group. Process innovation will also make even that group efficient and will affect how the universities and colleges will remain relevant in current form. Most of engineering and STEM consists of very generalized subjects that can be easily taught in more efficient manner without having to pay to expensive teachers.

1 Like

So would you let your own kid do it? Serious question. Think hard.

Because we’re in the middle of this question right now… College apps are in. DS18’s Early decision choice rejected him… He’s applied to 16 colleges, some of which he doesn’t really want to go to…

The pros as I figure it are:

  1. Immediate income = immediate investment. This is a kid with > $10K in his Roth IRA from working during high school.
  2. Project based learning
  3. Save $280K.

The cons as I figure it are:

  1. Will you get hired by a FANG company or passed over due to lack of degree?
  2. Will your compensation start low and continue to be lower than those with a BS thus leading to reduced long-term wealth accumulation?
  3. When you go to college, you get a cohort of peers that you can network with. Depending on the college, these will likely be nationally spread out or even international. Does going the job-route lead to difficulty finding a job in other states?

Can you apply to a Master’s program in 4 years and just get a degree then? How easy is that?

1 Like

Till the the time the job market is willing to accept the credentials from institutions other than the traditional universities as a norm, I will not suggest shunning the traditional universities altogether.
But, a start has to be made.

In India, (and probably UK too) many universities are/were just affiliating universities. Means they do not teach. But, they only gave credentials to students who are passing out from the colleges affiliated to them. Majority of degrees issued in India are to the students who attend affiliated colleges. So, all such universities need to do is to accept students from non-traditional colleges.

Some university are teaching universities and only give credentials to students they have taught and graded.

All students need is a certification. So, separating teaching (or acquiring knowledge) and certification seems like a logical path forward (in a generation or two).

If a degree is not needed, and a child is a genius with all the knowledge needed to be successful, why care about some weird path to get a degree? kind of defeats the purpose & whole argument that one does not need a college education to be successful. College education does a lot more than just giving you skills to be a programmer. Fundamental are critical and one has to spend quality time to earn that in any field. Some kids may be prodigies who don’t need a structured curriculum to attain that. But, most are not.

1 Like

The question is whether college is the only source to acquire such knowledge ( other than programming) and whether wasting 4 years of formative years in a college to acquire something of unknown value and quality at tremendous cost to oneself and to society is the most efficient thing to do.


Lot of time and money is wasted on students who receive no particular benefit from higher education. Lot of higher education is waste of money like so many other taxpayer funded activities.

1 Like

A lot seems to boil down to “are you STEM material?”
Not everyone is. And increasingly, you need to excel in some STEM field. Merely being capable and somewhat competent isn’t enough. Almost like acting or sports or music.
And even if you have the right stuff you’ll need to endure a lot of senseless, expensive time consuming social science nonsense which is nothing more than an attempt at brainwashing to get your ticket stamped. If I had to do college today instead of having done it in the 80’s I’m sure I could endure it. Might even get expelled.

1 Like

Yes, and there’s no reason to believe that if you cut out the social science brainwashing nonsense classes that, with a couple of APs taken in high school, you couldn’t graduate with the same CS or Physics or Math degree in about 2.5 years…


I was thinking about what Amazon in 1997 was and how in one generation it has made many brick-and-mortar retailers irrelevant. Only efficient retailers (like walmart, costco, bestbuy and grocery chains etc) are standing today. Can online education do the same in a generation or two to traditional universities with large campuses and huge budget and wiered departments ?

1 Like

honestly, I would if he/she was that personality. I think with Silicon Valley moving to the web/Twitter/Discord, there is limited reason to go to a formal college if you want to stay tech focused. They don’t care you have a Masters in Comp Sci, to answer your other question and if a degree is needed, there are plenty of places you can get a “degree” quickly.

I am a big 10 MechE u grad with a Wharton MBA and I was seriously considering a bootcamp for myself, as good engineers are pulling down $500k in base and while some of my peers have made it to the VP/exec level, the need for middle management is less. I only see this trend continuing. do I benefit from my Wharton MBA? sort of, I have access to people at top VCs and funds, and my network is doing well so its nice to have. Could I make triple the money if I had not done the Wharton MBA for $150K (back in 2007) and done a bootcamp/MS in Comp Sci? probably.

that being said, my kids will probably go to college. They are already doing some basic coding (scratch, starting some HTML) and I plan to make sure they know math, but I can already tell my 10yo girl isn’t into stem (she likes coding because she loves art, and it gives her the ability to create) and will probably pick a different career which will need college.

but, if kid knows what they want and don’t want college, they don’t need it. especially as we move into Web3.


@girlykick Were you part of the survey? :wink:


Out of touch elites? That’s basically the whole Bay Area.


Confused. Can’t get into colleges yet enrollment plunges?