These days you come across loads of motivational speakers, self-help people daily. They say that if you are out of job or business, become a motivational speaker, make a website, write a useless self-help book, give it a fancy title and you are good to go. But James Altucher is someone different. He takes things to a next level. His writing and talk resonates with your inner thoughts. Why? Because he acts! He has made and lost millions of dollars. He is direct, honest and goes against the tide. He is among the top 4 influential motivational figures. He has started, run, failed and successfully managed no less than 20 companies. His ideas regarding stocks, media, healthcare industry make sense.
Altucher is famous for another crazy idea that makes perfect sense: you must ditch college. There is no point in going to college. According to Altucher, college is a total waste of time. He doesn’t make these claims in the air. He wrote a book “40 Alternatives to College” and man oh man! Does it convince you! This book does nothing fancy, it just presents you with the actual costs of college these days and compares it with the possibilities that are there if you don’t go to college.
The Paradigm Shift
Average tuition fee of college is $16,000 per year. Add around $10,000 to living, food, books and whatnot. This makes it a whopping $26,000 a year. Multiply this figure to 5 or 4, depending upon the number of years it takes to complete college. All this money spent in hope (yes, only a hope) of getting a job. Altucher makes his case my taking and accepting the figure provided by CollegeBoard according to which a college graduate is expected to make $800,000 more in his lifetime as compared to a person who never went to college. Here is the first alternative he gives just to warm things up: invest $130,000 in a savings account instead of college, and you will get $600,000 in 50 years in total ( at 5% interest rate). All this without a degree.
Student loans are a national crisis. Debts are burgeoning. The youth is spending its prime of life spitting and freaking over debt as soon as they come out of college.
Altucher then starts ripping apart the so called benefits of going to college as they are presented by the society. He also rationally addresses parents’ fears and insecurities. And mind you, this advice is coming from a person who knows what he is talking about. This part if full of amazing, funny and revealing stories. Altucher tells you what actually happens in college, and how the money is wasted. He shares his personal stories, provides other options, and uncloaks the scam-filled world of our education system.
After tearing all the arguments for going to college, the weird Altucher then moves on to list alternatives to college. They include things like travelling the world, getting into real estate, trying sports and fashion, getting into jobs, and of course, starting your own business. They are worth reading.
The book also lists a lot of useful online resources where you can learn all the skills, programming, courses and theories way better than they are taught, if ever, in college.
The idea that it is unnecessary to go in College is not new. People like Peter Theil have been advocating ditching college for years. Altucher has a website given in the book using which you can plan your daily routine for 4 years and see what you become at the end of the time when people who started college might be “graduating” and freaking over getting a job.
The book is immensely famous and worth your time. It will show you the other side of the coin. Tell us what you think of Altucher’s book and idea in general.