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For Most People, College is a Waste of Time

September 04, 2008 | 129,223 views

college, school, education, learning, student, time, finances, personal improvement, passion, happinessOutside a handful of majors, such as engineering and some of the sciences, a bachelor's degree tells an employer nothing except that the applicant has a certain amount of intellectual ability and perseverance. Even vocational majors like business administration can mean anything from a solid base of knowledge to four years of barely remembered gut courses.

A better method might be, instead of better degrees, no degrees at all. Young people entering the job market could have a known, trusted measure of their qualifications -- a certification, not a degree. The CPA exam that qualifies certified public accountants for example, is used nationwide, is thorough, and a passing score indicates authentic competence.

Under a certification system, four years is not required, residence is not required, expensive tuitions are not required, and a degree is not required. Certification tests would disadvantage just one set of people: Students who are coasting through their years in college.

The overarching benefit would be that the line between college and noncollege competencies would be blurred. Opportunities would be wider and fairer, and the stigma of not having a BA would diminish.

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

One could easily dismiss this article if it was published in the National Enquirer but this article was from the Wall Street Journal so it carries a bit more weight.  There are countless real-life examples to support this thesis.  In the computer industry you have Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Larry Ellison (Oracle). All were in the top wealthiest individuals in the world and none of them ever finished college.

Previous research has also uncovered a large and positive correlation between education and health status. A paper published in The Review of Economic Studies in 2005 ended up giving some interesting advice on this topic: If you want to improve your health, you will get greater return by investing in education than by investing in medical care.

But my guess is that this cannot be forced or compulsory education, and is likely not related to the absolute knowledge gained as much as it is to the burning curiosity and desire to learn.

Lifelong Students Live Longer

I firmly believe that becoming a lifelong student will not only make you a more interesting person, it will also allow you to live a longer, healthier life!

Education is the one social factor that has been consistently linked to longer life, regardless of what country you live in. It is far more important a factor than health insurance even.

Other variables, such as smoking, a vital network of friends, or a powerful job with greater flexibility certainly count in the equation, but none seem to be more important than continued learning.

There are several theories as to why this may be the case, including a better ability to plan for your future. Other factors that seem to greatly affect health include tight social networks of friends and relatives, and income level.

Educated people are also better equipped to make life-saving health choices such as quitting smoking or modifying their diets, and an active mind helps ward off memory problems, neurological ailments, and other problems traditionally associated with old age.

What Does it Mean to Be a Lifelong Student? 

Regardless of what form your continuing education takes, I believe the most important part of the equation is to follow your passion.

If you’re simply going to school because your parents or society says it’s a lucrative path, then you may be wasting more than time and money on your college years.  

You may be wasting your life.  

I firmly believe the number one key to success is doing something you love to do.

It’s the passion for immersing yourself in the subject, and never getting tired or bored with learning more that turns you into a lifelong student. This is also your key to personal happiness. Happiness is that which makes you jump out of bed in the morning with eager anticipation to start your day; to engage passionately in your chosen work.  

But how do you get there?  

The first step is to identify that activity, whatever it is, and then start focusing your mind around that so you can structure your life to do more of it. Education, whether in the form of reading books, taking a college course, or going to night school to finish an entire degree, will inevitably be part of this process.

Personally, my happiness is strongly tied to my mission to catalyze the change of the entire fatally flawed health paradigm. This is what makes me jump  out of bed each morning, and it is the driving force that allows me to truly enjoy the many hours of my “work” weeks.

Continuing Your Education Without Spending a Fortune  

Conventional college is not for everyone, for many different reasons. However, there’s no reason to despair. The options out there are many, and there are several logical, legitimate ways to continue your education without spending a fortune.

These are four of the best solutions that can save you time and money, if you're motivated.

  1. Taking night classes at a local community college while working during the day.
  2. Participating in a distance program, meaning taking classes at reduced rates via the Internet or mail.
  3. If you're motivate to attend an out-of-state school, establish residency first to secure lower tuition rates.
  4. Seeking an entity like the College Board offering tests that allow you to earn college credits without taking classes.

For even more information on smart ways to accelerate your education track, check out this 10-minute video. 

When True Education Takes a Backseat to Big Business Brainwashing

There are cases however, where higher education -- particularly in the U.S. – does a better job of teaching misinformation than empowering you with the truth, and the graduate medical education programs are a perfect example.

Why?

Because drug companies are the biggest sponsors of continuing medical education courses for MD’s and residents. Experts are calling courses even at the nation’s top medical schools “nothing more than infomercials.” This practice poses a direct threat to objective, unbiased physician and resident education.

In fact, I believe it is in large part this inappropriate meddling, and advertising being passed off as essential health information that has created our current state of “pharmacracy,” where every possible symptom is treated with a drug.

No one, including the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, is checking course materials to make sure they’re accurate and unbiased.

The bottom line is that there’s little doubt that your doctor has been brainwashed and is being literally paid off by the drug industry. So when it comes time for you to make a decision about your health, realize that it is ultimately up to you -- not your doctor -- to decide what’s best.

Also realize that, unless you’re seeing an alternative health physician, your doctor will likely not know nearly enough about alternative, non-toxic alternatives to the drugs he dispenses to make an educated recommendation – despite his extensive schooling.


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