From CNBC James Altucher, an entrepreneur many times over, author, and investor, advises young people looking to become wealthy to skip college altogether.
“If you’re eighteen years old and you want to think about, ‘Well, how am I going to have millions of dollars later on?’, the first thing I’ll tell you to do is don’t spend two hundred thousand dollars on a college degree and waste four years of your life,” says Altucher, 49.
“Maybe that was good for your parents’ generation, which means my generation. Maybe that was good ten years ago,” he says. “It is no longer relevant right now.”
Altucher says he ended up taking on “massive” debt to go to Cornell, where he majored in computer science. He then attended graduate school, though he dropped out before finishing the degree. He says he still didn’t have the skills needed to enter the workforce.
“When I finally got a job, I was so bad at computer programming they had to send me to remedial classes for two months so I could be good enough to do the minimum required at my job,” he explains. “So I’m not sure what I went to college for.”
“Instead of going to college, young people can learn skills online, or by going to the library and reading books,” says Altucher.
While going to college is still largely the cultural norm for those looking to enter the professional workforce, he says those expectations are starting to shift. “More and more companies are even saying you don’t need a degree,” he explains. “You need skills. So spend those four years learning skills.”
When it comes to his own 18 year old daughter, however, Altucher says he is going to try to convince her not to go to college. She knows how he feels about it. In fact, he’s even published a book, “40 Alternatives to College,” and an article, “Living Life is better than Dying in College.”
At Horizonte, Salt Lake City School District’s alternative high school and adult education center, all graduates can receive a privately funded college scholarship for applied tech certificates provided by the Salt Lake Community College, School of Applied Technology. All they have to do is qualify for one of the 26 certificate programs.