If you want to get a head start financially, when you are making decisions about your training and education, you should consider what I say below.
If you have selected the profession of law, medicine or religion, or teaching in a public school or in a college or university, you will probably have to obtain a college degree or two or three. Also, if you want to obtain employment by a major corporation with a better possibility of upward mobility, a college degree is usually dictated. Also, the military requires a degree to become or remain as an officer. I'm going to refer to these as "College Careers".
If, however, you are just considering college as the expected thing for you you to do, and postpone seeking a good job for four years or more, you should give this situation more attention.
The economy has changed and keeps changing, so that an ever-increasing percentage of sales are occurring online through websites, which could be owned by a college graduate, or may be (as in the case of Amazon) publicly owned, or may be owned by a high school dropout. In fact, I own this website and I am a high school dropout. Also, I have two degrees (AB and LLB), and I have been in business for 73 years (starting at age 9, with a bicycle newspaper route in North Platte, Nebraska). What I'm trying to say is that more of the economy takes place without regard to whether the business involved is owned by a college graduate.
The skills needed to compete in today's economy are so numerous that no college has been able to offer a course to train persons in such skills. I have been following this market for about 20 years, and the entreprenurial courses do not give the needed skills.
If you go to college first, then seek a good job, you and millions of other graduates are finding that the good jobs were filled years ago, and that the persons who filled them (frequently persons without a degree) have learned in the real world how things work and are earning somewhat in proportion to the skills they have acquired in their employment, getting a substantial head start over the College Career graduates, in job "tenure" (which probably is an inappropriate term), in retirement funding, in insurance benefits, in availability for greater responsibility and higher income than the new College Career graduates.
If you are going to start your own business and wait until you obtain a degree, you are going to lose market share to non-graduates who started their businesses 4 years before you did.
Also, with your student loans and depletion of family assets, you are in a substantially lesser position to start a business and more apt to fail, than the non-college person who starts 4 years before you without the disadvantage of student loans and the other costs of getting a degree, which might add up to $200,000 or $300,000, a significant part of which might have been able to provide financing for your small business aspirations.
A safe way to go into business, for the non-college person, would be to obtain paying employment in a small business and learn how it works, before going out on his/her own to start a small business.
An even better way would be to take training of 500 hours, in a 1-year program, to qualify as the Assistant to the Owner of a Small Business, which would qualify you to earn from $35 to $300/hour, anywhere in the U.S., without licensing. Of course, there is no such course at this time, and I need your help in trying to create such a course in any town or village in the U.S. (for 4th year high school students with a corresponding program for adults and high-school seniors who aren't able to take the course in high school).
The major advantage of this course is that the student would be paid far more than he/she could earn anywhere else to learn how to run a specific type of business, which probably would lead to a form of partnership or a departure from the small business (for failure to pay as much as the Assistant thinks he/she should be paid), with the Assistant then starting his/her own business, free of any significant debt.
If you want to help me create this training option, please give me a call. Also, I want you to know that I will obtain no compensation or profits from helping you set up the training program. I'm doing it because I see the importance of the training for the creation of a strong middle class, which is the replacement for the failure of our antitrust laws to stop an ever-increasing concentration of the economy.
This job needs to be taken over by small business, which needs to be strengthen, by a training program that teaches the thousands of tasks that could be done by a trained person, which are now being done by the small business owner, because there is nobody else to do such tasks. If the owner's time is freed up, the small business will probably double its revenue, and be able to pay the $35 to $300/hour to the Assistant that makes the doubling of revenue possible.
If your economic activities (in a job or as a small businessperson) give you time, and the money, you may be interested in taking various college-type courses, or even go for a degree.
Possibly (or probably), you may want to take courses that will give you greater financial rewards, at least to some extent. A course of this type (for me, at least) is the online (i.e., website) course on CSS (Cascading Style Sheet, requiring a knowlege of HTML programming). A free step-by-step computerized course with examples as you go along is provided (together with many other programming language courses) by www.w3schools.com. As to the CSS course, go to CSS Course of W3Schools.
There are many other great online courses, free and paying, enabling you to take your instruction individually and from your home or office, saving you a considerable amount of time, money and student loans. One very important website (founded by Harvard and MIT) for you to look at is edx.org. U.S. News and World Report published a list of its top 10 universities that have online courses, together with the tuition per credit hour U.S. News & World Report 2019 Lists of Online Courses.
I'm going to consider the worst case, which applies probably to 2-3% of college students and their parents. I'm going to assume an annual cost of $75,000 (which is the cost of attending NYU). Four years of this expense amounts to $300,000.
To this you have to add the income which would have been earned if the student got a job first, which let's assume pays an average of $60,000+/year, or after taxes let's assume $50,000, to make it easier for me to calculate. This amounts to a loss of net income of $200,000.
We have a total loss of $500,000, as the cost of going to the most expensive college, which would be offset by any financial aid that is not to be repaid.
You should think twice before committing your family to this type of expense, unless money in this amount is of little concern to the family.
You will probably find out in life that it is difficult for anyone to overcome a starting deficit of $500,000.
If you have any questions, please give me a call.
My Contact Information
Carl E. Person
225 E. 36th Street - Suite 3A
New York NY 10016-3664
Office : 212-307-4444
Fax : 212-307-0247
Email to : Email to Attorney Carl E. Person
Revision 3/30/19 11:40 pm