College education has been called the largest scam in US history. The cost of one year of college tuition in the US has risen by 160% in the last 10 years and looks set to increase 5% year on year.
Despite the huge price hikes, doesn’t having a college education make you a vastly more attractive candidate?
A 2014 survey of nearly 3,000 job seekers and HR professionals found that 64% of hiring managers said they would “consider a candidate who hadn’t gone to a day of college”. In fact, business jobs like sales manager and operations manager don’t need a degree at all, despite paying an average salary of over $90,000.
Experience is more important than education
While degrees do still matter to 46% of hiring managers, one of the most important factors when choosing a candidate is experience. A few decades back when the corporate structure might have been a little more loose, executive positions were widely available to low-level employees.
My dad started out working in the factory for a coffee corporation in the early 1980s. Over the years, he climbed the ranks towards becoming the top salesman in the region up to what would now be called the customer success manager.
Did he have a college degree? No, actually. He left school at 16, joined the Air Force and lived in Cyprus throughout the 1970s. This example is probably a case of being in the right place at the right time, and nowadays it’s rare to be promoted from the factory to the golf course with clients, especially in a big company. However, the same thing can happen now, just not in the corporate space…