November 16, 2022

College Degree vs. No College Degree: The False Dichotomy - Ep. 71

College Degree vs. No College Degree: The False Dichotomy

"Who would you rather have? A person without a college degree or someone with one?"

I was talking with a friend the other day about what we do here and how we feel about going to college. He kind of agrees with us, but not really. He’s still early on his journey to becoming Degree Free!

Anyways, he asked a question that I’ve heard a million times, especially growing up. Who would you rather hire? A person without a college degree or someone with one?

In this episode, we talk about:

• The million-dollar question: "Who would you rather hire? A person without a college degree or someone with one?"
• How colleges use this as a marketing tool and prey off people's cognitive bias of loss aversion.
• The huge upsides of NOT getting a degree and how you can use the years and money instead to get into a higher-paying career!

Ryan and Hannah also talked about the HUGE opportunity cost of going to college.

Enjoy the episode!

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Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha folks and welcome back to Degree Free. We are your host, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama.

On this podcast we share fundamentals, we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating, getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen, no degree needed.

Hannah: Welcome back to the podcast everybody. We are happy to have you as always, and if you wanna get our newsletter, because why would you not?

We send that out once a week. It's got degree free news, resources and stuff that Ryan and I think is cool that we want you to see. So in order to not miss that, you're gonna wanna run, not walk over to degree free.co/newsletter to sign up and get it in your inbox once a week. Right on.

Ryan: Let's get into today's.

Today we are gonna be talking about college degree versus no college degree. This make pretend scenario that we've all heard and why it's a false dichotomy.

Hannah: This is a good one. We're excited about this episode, actually.

Ryan: Yeah, this episode was actually inspired by a conversation that I was having with a friend the other day, and this friend of mine, he kind of agrees with me.

He kind of agrees with us. But he kind of, sort of doesn't really agree with us at all.

Hannah: He's got opinions.

Ryan: Yeah. And he's still early on the journey to becoming degree free, even though he has a degree.

Hannah: But you can still be degree free if you have a degree.

Ryan: Totally.

Hannah: Just so you know folks.

Ryan: Absolutely.

Hannah: Ryan is one of those, it happens.

Ryan: So he asked a question, a question that I've heard a million times and we're just having a conversation. We were just talking. We were just talking and, he was like, but who would you rather have? Would you rather have somebody with a college degree or somebody without a college degree?

Everything else

being equal classic. This one, this crops up all the time, and

I hadn't heard that question in a while. I hadn't personally, I hadn't heard that question in a while, but I had always heard it growing up. I, that was always put forth to me by teachers, by my own parents, by aunties, uncles, you name it.

Hannah: Well, because that's how they present it to you, right? They're like, Well, if you're, if it's two people sitting at a table waiting for a job, and they're the same in every way, but one of 'em has a college degree, we've all been presented that one.

Ryan: Yeah. So I guess that's a good place to start.

Let's paint everybody a work picture, just so that everybody's on the same page of what we're talking about, although I'm almost positive. You've heard this before?

Hannah: Yeah. When he lays it out, I'm sure you've heard it.

Ryan: The scenario is. There's somebody that is looking at two resumes and these resumes look exactly the same.

Everything is the same from their name to their whatever, to all of their work experience. Everything is the same except for one line, and that one line is their college degree. Bachelors in this, bachelors in that, or even associates in this but everything else is, Who would you rather have in that scenario?

That is the scenario of which he asked me. That is the scenario of which my teachers ask me. Like I said, my aunties and my uncles ask me, my parents ask. Me, my employers ask me

Hannah: Like, this happens frequently in the wild.

Ryan: Right?

Like it happens all the time and. It's meant for you to obviously say, I'm gonna pick the person with a college degree.

Hannah: There's only one answer to this scenario.

Ryan: I would pick the person with a college degree. That's what you would say, because everything else is equal and then you get convinced that, All right now because. In this fake scenario that the boss chose the person with the college degree. I don't wanna be that idiot that doesn't have the college degree.

Hannah: Right.

Ryan: How did we, did all the same things

Hannah: except for I also did this and they didn't.

Lazy.

Ryan: Exactly.

They went out and got a four year degree and I didn't.

Hannah: Which shows lack of initiative.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: Lack of work.

Ryan: And it makes you feel dumb and I know how it makes you feel because this worked on me. I would sit there and think, man, I really don't wanna be the idiot at the table.

I don't wanna be the person that person doesn't pick. And so like an idiot, I went out and got a college degree

Hannah: Like, You did. You did do that.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: You did.

You did.

You did do it. It worked.

Ryan: Yeah,

Hannah: it worked.

Ryan: I'm not saying that people, I'm not saying that people that get degrees

Hannah: all about self depreciation, folks

Ryan: are idiots.

Hannah: We're just talking about Ryan.

This idiot.

Ryan: Went out, went out and got a college degree. .

Hannah: So, but that is, this is very much the scenario that's painted though, which is extreme. Extremely unrealistic. If not, it doesn't exist. If not, it doesn't exist. Right? And yeah, so this is super effective marketing, right?

Because they say like you just said, it got you this scenario that we've all, we're all somehow familiar with this scenario got you to buy.

Ryan: That along with many other things. It definitely got me to buy. It just made me, what's crazy about it is it made me feel, it made me feel lazy. It made me feel stupid.

And after I thought about it, the reason why this marketing tactic is so effective is because it plays off of loss aversion and for those that don't know, loss aversion. Simply means, hopefully I don't mess this up, that you feel the pain of a loss more than the joy of a gain. So you feel loss of $10 more than you feel joy of making $10.

Hannah: This is a common sales tactic too. Like there's two main sales tactics, which is fear of loss and hope of gain and fear of loss is very effective because humans are afraid of losing things that they already have more almost than they are oftentimes of gaining something that they want.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: Cause you already have the thing instead of, oh, like we're gonna go get an ice cream cone later. You know, this is an ice cream cone. It's an imaginary ice cream cone. You don't have it yet, but if you had an ice cream cone in your hand, somebody took it from you, you'd feel like someone stole your ice cream. Right?

And that's effective. That's an effective, humans are, we're simple creatures.

Ryan: And so, if you want to learn a little bit more about it. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky are the people that coined this term. Daniel Kahneman's book is thinking Fast and Slow, and then Michael Lewis did a good biography of great biography on their relationship.

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, it's called The Undoing Project. Those are really good to learn about those and then I'm struggling to think there's a bunch of other books based off of that work for like personal finance and things like that. But we'll put some, links to everything in the show notes. Degree free.co/podcast so you can look it up.

Hannah: And if you never read a Michael Lewis book, you should because he's great.

Ryan: He's a goat.

Hannah: Yeah, he is.

Ryan: Yeah. As far as in that-

Hannah: He's a great writer in that niche.

Ryan: In that niche, yeah. In that genre. Yeah. So talking about loss aversion, you've, in this scenario, you've already lost that job.

Hannah: Yeah. And you're feeling all the feelings of losing it.

Ryan: Right.

Hannah: So vivid.

Ryan: You've lost that job because you didn't have a degree They've painted. Into a box of their thinking into a scenario which we'll get to, but that just doesn't exist and now you're up for this job and you lost it. Well, you don't wanna lose that job, do you? You better go get a degree.

Hannah: Before, just in case, cuz you don't wanna be sitting at the table and not have a degree.

You don't wanna be the resume without-

Ryan: I would argue that it's not just in case. I would argue that

Hannah: it's not even just in case it's, you won't get the job if you don't get the degree.

Ryan: Exactly

Hannah: At all, you'll never get the shot.

Ryan: I don't think it's just in case.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: It's, you're not gonna get hired if you don't have the degree,

Hannah: So go get it now, right now.

Immediately.

Ryan: Like I said, it was so effective. That was one of, I mean, there's a lot of reasons why I went to college, but that was one of those things I didn't want to,

I didn't wanna be, like I said, I didn't wanna be that idiot that didn't get hired. I mean, I really really mean that.

I didn't want,

I didn't want my future employer to have these two resumes in front of me, in front of him, and not choose me because I didn't have a degree.

Hannah: What sane person would want that? And that's the beauty of, that's the beauty of the situation. That's the beauty of the scenario is like, who, what sane person would say, I mean, I wanna get passed over.

Right? ,

Ryan: which leads us into-

Hannah: this doesn't exist.

Ryan: What this whole episode is about , which is this whole thing, doesn't exist. This dichotomy between degree and no degree. It just doesn't exist. The fallacy here is that they're saying all else being equal. Right? Whatever it is, Ceteris Paribus or whatever.

Yeah. Cateris Paribus

All else being equal, the only variable that has changed is that one line,

Hannah: but that's not how it works.

Ryan: That doesn't

That doesn't exist

Hannah: As someone too who's applied and this is, I'm the idiot on the other side of the table in the scenario where that doesn't have the degree on their resume.

That is not what happens when people look at my resume with people who have college degrees who are in the same age range as me.

Ryan: Yeah. So what they've done just before we get into it, is like they've pit two scenarios together. That just don't exist, right? It's like asking who would win in a fight, right?

Like Charizard or Pikachu , you know what I mean? Like Gayle or Chun Li right?

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Leprechauns or Menehune . So I tried to hit all the age ranges and all geography there.

Hannah: All the homelands.

Ryan: I tried to

Hannah: all the legends.

Menehune is like the

Ryan: native Hawaiian version ofLeprechauns.

Hannah: Little people.

Ryan: Little people.

I don't think I'm gonna get a lot of people on that one.

Hannah: It's okay.

Ryan: If you wanna learn more, I'll put some stuff in the show notes for you but yeah, it's the same thing. It's all made up like that. Those are imaginary fights, and those are imaginary situations. Just as this college degree versus no college degree is in a imaginary situation with all the same experience.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Work ethic and whatever whatever.

Whatever's on Resume.

Hannah: It is like those, do you remember on the Discovery Channel too, just in the same line, but it's like those Discovery channel, Remember when they were, when MythBusters like in it's heyday and they were running the The predators against each other.

Remember? And they would show, but they would try to pick them based on, they would be like, All right, if they were the same size and same pounds per whatever power, and they would say like a T-Rex versus a mammoth, or whatever, Things that weren't, that didn't exist at the same time in the same place. It's very much, it's very much that just completely made up.

Ryan: Right?

And I don't know who made it, but it's brilliant.

Right?

Hannah: Super.

Ryan: It forces you into a box of their thinking

Hannah: and there's no way out of it really.

Ryan: There's one choice in that scenario

Hannah: Where the deciding factor is the college degree, right? And we all know, or maybe we don't know yet, but that's not real life.

Ryan: That's definitely not gonna happen to anyone that listens to this podcast, at least

Hannah: No, there are trade offs to everything. There's opportunity cost to deciding to go or not go to college. But specifically very clear ones. The easiest ones to measure are the ones that you lose out on when you go to college because you are losing a calculated amount of time and money, often

Ryan: there's a saying, you can have anything you want in life, but you can't have everything.

Hannah: We kinda live by that in our house,

Ryan: Right? And what I mean by that is just if you wanna go to college, Awesome. You're gonna be spending your time in class, doing homework in school, doing school things.

You won't have the time to do other things. If you don't go to college, you're not gonna be doing class or schoolwork, and you'll have time to do other things. Now how you spend that time, that's up to you.

Hannah: Right.

Ryan: And so there's no reason, just because this person didn't go to college doesn't mean they should get the job either.

That doesn't make any sense.

Hannah: No, it's not.

It's not.

If you don't, if you don't go, if you don't buy, then all of a sudden you now have this wealth of experience, like no, no, no.

You just have a different circumstance in which to gain this experience and this whatever you want in order to apply for this hypothetical job.

Yeah.

Ryan: And so if you go to college full, Maybe you're not working full-time, you're probably not working full-time. You're probably not working full-time in the industry in which you want to be in. Because a lot of the jobs-

Hannah: with flexibility to go to college while you're working then.

Ryan: It's a little different now than even when I was in college 10-15 years ago, 10 years ago.

Hannah: Oh geez.

Ryan: So it's a little different now because Covid one, but then the proliferation of online schools. So you have much more flexibility, but still, if you're going to, most people go to the traditional school and have traditional class times during the day. So most people, if you do work full-time, which most college kids don't, most college people do not work full-time.

Hannah: Yeah. Well it's, it's difficult to do, so it's made difficult to,

Ryan: So you're probably working shift work. Probably not in the industry that you want to be in. You're probably working as a barista somewhere. You're probably hospitality, you're working hospitality, you're working retail.

Nothing wrong with those jobs, but that's probably what you're doing. Yeah. And flip side of that, if you're not going to college, you have the time to work in the industry which you want to be in.

Hannah: Yeah.

You also, you also have the mobility to go where those opportunities are much more so than if you are enrolled in a college.

You can follow things, you can move around, You can do what have you. That is something that, when. When I was, twice actually that happened to me, where I was presented with an opportunity that because I was not formally in school where I was presented with two different opportunities, two different jobs that both were, well, you gotta move. And I was like, Well, okay, I can move and I can move in a week. Because I wasn't tied to a school and I could just go. And that's something that a lot of college students don't have because they've decided to stay in one place. Right. And so it's a cost, right?

They come out with a paper, but I had mobility and that's one. That's a great example of a trade off right there.

Ryan: So let's kind of just play this scenario out a little bit. The average person that goes to college takes five and a half years to graduate.

Hannah: If you didn't know that, sorry for the shock.

Ryan: Right? And so four year, quote and quote four year college, but people don't graduate in four years.

Hannah: That is not the norm.

Ryan: And there are some universities where even if you take the full-time class load,

Hannah: you cannot graduate in four years.

Ryan: Even if you take the full, I think when I was in college, it was four. I went to University of Hawaii.

And if you were taking the full time class load of four plus one, so five, you still wouldn't be able to graduate in four years if you took five every semester.

Hannah: Did they call it a four year program?

Ryan: They did.

How is that allowed?

Well they rectified it maybe my last semester. I mean, it didn't affect me because I was done.

Hannah: How long were they doing that, I wonder?

Ryan: Forever

Hannah: and they were just, Well, it's a four year program, but it's impossible to graduate in four.

Ryan: It's not impossible.

Nearly so

Yeah, it wasn't impossible. You just have to take six classes, right? Like one, one semester you had to take six, and then you would've to take six another semester as well, sometime within your "four year career".

Hannah: Good luck trying to work doing that.

Ryan: It was difficult.

Hannah: Yeah

Ryan: it was difficult. But yeah, then they changed it and they did like a big marketing push around it too. Sorry, this a little tangent. So my last semester in college, they changed it, which is like, come on. Like really? I was like so bummed. I was like, What the hell?

Hannah: They really did it to you,

Ryan: And then, but they put, But they did a whole marketing campaign around like, God, I can't even remember. I would see the banners around school, and I was like, five classes, Five and four or something like that. And they were saying how proud they were, basically of creating a "four year program" for those that aren't watching the video, how they created a four year program.

And I'm just like,

Hannah: That's how you've been working.

Ryan: I was like, It's like, they're patting themselves on the back like, now you can graduate in four years. We should have, I thought that's what we were trying to do.

Hannah: That was the plan the whole time. Right? Exactly. Oh my gosh.

That's hilarious.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: That's really funny.

Ryan: And so, playing it out five and a half years, like I said, most people do not work full-time in college, and they don't work in the industry usually that they wanna be in. All right. Let's take the other person. So we'll call college first candidate, candidate one, candidate A, whateverand the second candidate, that person, five and a half years from the time they're 18, that they can go and they can work, they can gain experience in the field that they wanna be in. Maybe they don't know, which a lot of college graduates

Hannah: have no idea.

Ryan: Have no idea. I was one of those people, How do I know and how do we know that?

A lot of people don't have any idea because people tell us all the time.

Hannah: You do this, like, I just graduated and I don't know what I wanna do. It's like, Well, you bought a degree first, so that sucks.

Ryan: You had six years to figure it out. You had five and a half years to figure it out.

Hannah: Yeah, but they didn't feel like they had to.

And, and this is, you know, everybody's got the same 24 hours in a day and stuff, so you could've put in some time to figure it out but I do know that a lot of college students do not feel like they have the bandwidth to figure it out too. Whereas when you are, I will say that when you are, when your time is your own, you do often feel like you have more time to figure it out.

Ryan: You know, and I'll say something on this, as somebody that went to college and graduated, I actually don't feel like that at all. I had plenty of bandwidth. I was one of the people that worked full time and went to college full-time. I was that person. Yeah. I didn't sleep much and then I partied full-time.

It was,

Hannah: he was very busy.

Ryan: I was very busy, sleep Went right out the door but it was more than that. Not that I didn't take time to think about what I wanted to do, but I almost felt, because I was going to college, I was owed a job, and I catch flack for this all the time. People, people say, Well, you're just an idiot, and like, you're not wrong.

Like, okay,

Hannah: maybe so,

Ryan: right? I mean, like, yeah, I am, but I know that other people feel this way too, but they're just, A lot of people after I say it, they're like, you know what,

I did too.

I did too. You feel like you're owed a job.

Hannah: Because you went

Ryan: Cause I went to college. I did it I went to college.

Hannah: And you're not the idiot without the degree on the resume.

Ryan: And I felt like, okay, well I was owed a job. Like I said, I'm gonna catch, people are gonna call me dumb, sorry, whatever, but I do know that there are other people out there that when they do some searching and when they do some digging, they, they know that they felt the same way.

And that's why they didn't take the time to figure out what they wanted to do.

Hannah: They just didn't take the initiative because they felt like something should fall in their lap.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: Because they have this, they bought this thing.

Ryan: Right.

They is what they were do. And I think that that's actually the wrong, I think that's actually the wrong attitude.

Not that something is going to fall in your lap, but rather that you were working towards it.

Hannah: You earned it.

Ryan: I was working toward. I was getting a college degree, and that college degree was supposed to be equivalent of job experience. It was supposed to be the equivalent of my resume. Basically, it was supposed to be the equivalent or a stand-in for me applying to jobs.

It was supposed to do all these things for me.

Hannah: Funny you should say, we had a TikTok comment earlier today. Someone just commented on one of our videos and said, How ridiculous to act like the colleges are responsible for making their students employable. Right? Like they don't make you feel like exactly what you just said.

Like they don't make you feel and market to you as though .That's exactly what the degree is designed to do. Right? That every semester, every time you sit in class, every semester you pay your tuition. Every time you're where you're supposed to be and doing what you're supposed to be with your advisor, you're not earning a job.

That has nothing to do with the college and that's implied the entire way. The entire way through.

Ryan: Yeah. You wouldn't pay,

You wouldn't pay it.

Hannah: Just to learn.

Ryan: Just to learn. Yeah. That's crazy.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: That's crazy

Money. No, normal people would be able to, would be able to justify that cost to themselves unless they felt it was a necessity for work.

Absolutely.

Yeah. And so kind of getting back to what we were talking about, Yeah. The person without the college degree, they can go and get experience for five and a half years going back to the scenario now where the employer, the future employer, he, she sitting down looking at the two resumes now painted in this light.

It's not the same. You have candidate A that went to college and Okay. While, Right on. You were a bartender in college. That's awesome. Good job.

Hannah: Yeah. Good. Good for you. For working.

Ryan: Exactly.

Hannah: Good for you, for the hustle.

Ryan: Great.

On your resume, you talk about all the projects that you did, and that's great.

And all the things that you learned from it, and that's awesome. And then on the second candidate, they talk about what they did, their experience and the job in the industry that they wanna get in, or even.

Hannah: Even not in the industry they wanna get in. And that's something too, that I think is even overlooked here.

And this is another discussion I had with somebody, but they just said, you know, if it is very, it's this whole, it's this whole economy. They're like, well, they pick somebody with a college degree over you and it's interesting just because I've had this, I've had this experience where, with people who graduated high school at the same time as me, so for me personally too, I started working a little bit early.

So this is a slightly different scenario, but I started working, you know, when I was 15, 15, 16. So that's four years. But the time that I'm applying for jobs that my peers are applying for, I have been in the workforce for 10 years. I have 10 years of experience on them, and it doesn't really matter.

I mean, it does and it doesn't, but at that point, I've been a professional getting paid to do something in the workforce for a full decade before they even start applying for the same jobs that I'm applying for. And that is given, that's a little bit different. But when you look at that as somebody who's in their mid twenties, the resumes they're looking at, they're not looking at.

It looks the same as mine. This person does not have 10 years of formal work. Exp this person does not have 10 years of work experience. They have none. They have a year, they have six months, and it's only industry for a little bit here and there, right where they were taking different gigs. And I've been employed.

I have a solid work history of a decade. That's crazy. Who are you gonna pick? You're gonna pick somebody with 10 years of experience, regardless of the degree at that point. I mean, unless it's a really highly specialized, right? Unless it's a really highly specialized degree. But for most general roles, you're gonna pick somebody who's been proven already for 10 years, has references, has actually done stuff, and that kind of shatters the whole thing when you put it like that.

Ryan: Yeah, it completely depends. I hear what you're saying. It completely depends on the job And the role and the industry. But I hear what you're saying. And I agree with you to bring it around to the point that you originally made. Yes. It doesn't have to necessarily be the industry that you're trying to get into, but yes, just to have work experience and yeah, that's a very common occurrence.

People get out of college, and they've never worked, ever, never once made money. They've just been living off of debt and fumes or their parents' money. Yeah. So when you look at these scenarios now, when you look at this scenario, now it's clear to me, depending on the role, obviously, but assuming what you just said, a general role, or even if that person, the second candidate had Specific job training or went into the industry.

it's clear to me that these candidates are not the same. That all else cannot be equal. Then that's the biggest reason. That this whole thing is false. Because they're not gonna look the same.

Hannah: There's a good example. A good example was an experience we had with two journalists who were the, so this is media, but two who were the same age.

Um, they were the same age, or actually I think One of them was slightly older, but had a degree so that this is actually tilted a little bit too, right? Because this guy was actually older, but one of them was degree free and she had been writing and working in media for four years, something like that, four or five years.

She started working really young. So she started working at 18 and she was about to be 23. So she had five years of actual media newsroom writing, editorial experience, and this other guy had a journalism degree and it took him five and a half years to get it. He had a lot of debt and he was working for a local news station and she was working for a local media publication, but the thing is she had a lot more bargaining experience. If she had wanted to work for the same company, I would bet that they would hire her over him because she had been doing professional reporting for three, three years at that point.

And he had just started, even though he's older and he has a degree. So that's a good example of that too. Like it's this time she had been working and he hadn't yet, even though he had a degree, it doesn't matter. She's got years on him.

Ryan: Yeah. She didn't have years on him also, though, I don't know about what you said about if she were to apply to a higher position at that same company.

I don't know about that because they worked in different types of media but what we do know is that she got paid more than him

Hannah: already

Ryan: and she held a different, a higher title than he did.

Hannah: Correct.

Ryan: Think that she was like, I don't know what the, I don't know, media publication.

She was like editor at large or something like that. She was like, she was like

Hannah: young.

Ryan: She was the person right before it go, it goes to publication. Right. And well, she was the second, the, the head honcho was the said. I don't know, was a say all or whatever.

Hannah: Editor in Chief?

Ryan: Yeah. I'm not sure somebody correct us. [email protected]

There's like the boss. I remember, cause I talked to the boss too. I was close with the boss, so he was like, Yeah, she edits the whole thing, but I have the final say of whether or not something gets ran or run.

Hannah: Got it.

Got it.

Ryan: And so, but anyway, And he was just a maybe his title was entry or like journalist 1 where she was editor in chief, or editor at large or whatever.

And

Hannah: there was a lot of overlap in their work though, they were doing very similar things. One was just more print. One was print focused and one was video focused but he didn't apply to be in video. That was what was funny is they just gave, they just gave him a camera. Right. He didn't, he didn't apply to do that, but yeah, they just gave him a camera. That was part of the entry level role that he took.

Ryan: So yeah, this whole episode is just about breaking this mold, is to basically highlight how this dichotomy that has been created and that we've all heard is false.

Just bring it into the light and saying there's no such thing as everything else being equal. When you're looking at these two people, one of 'em is gonna say, Let's say it's not five and a half years. Let's say four, but it's still four years. You have four years to go and do other things. It's a powerful visualization on the part of

Hannah: college marketing?

Ryan: College marketing. Right. Exactly. And it's something that I personally have succumbed to in the past, and so I get it, I understand it, but now that I'm on the other side of it and I see it more clearly, 20/20 you know, hindsight is 20/20, and I'm not saying that it's gonna be easier. I think that's what a lot of people think of.

I think it's easy to just, well just go get a job in that industry at 18 years old.

That's tough.

Hannah: Yeah. That's not an easy, that's tall order, right? That's not an easy thing to do. It's still difficult,

Ryan: Not an easy thing to do at all.

You're gonna have to be responsible for yourself. You're not gonna have anybody.

Tell you what classes to go to or anything like that where you have to be, anything like that.

Hannah: It's also lonely because you don't have the, you don't have the community of college. You don't have people doing, you don't have people in shared experience. You are on your own path. , you're kind of out by yourself in the woods, and that's not something to be discounted. It's not, I don't think it's a compelling reason to take out the amount of student debt that's required to get your typical bachelor's degree, but it's something to note.

Ryan: It's a lonely path and it's a difficult path. I think in many ways it's more difficult than college because it requires you to be self-aware.

It requires you to have the tough conversations with yourself.

Hannah: Figure everything out yourself too.

Ryan: Exactly. Figure out what it is that you want, figure it out, what it is that you need, going and doing those things but the upside is huge. Not only in your career, which we have been talking about this whole time, but also in your finances.

I mean, it definitely, it's not our main point here, but it's definitely something that to bring up. While the other person is probably going to student debt for five and a half years, for 40 years, however you want to think about it,

Hannah: however long it takes them.

Ryan: Your finances are literally going the opposite way.

You're not taking on debt, hopefully.

Hannah: Yeah. You're hopefully saving investing.

Ryan: Hopefully you're making money and saving it. It's a win-win.

Hannah: You're making the opposite choices of the person who has, who is going to, who is going to college and buying a degree.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And even, and what, where a lot of people push back on this, just so before we wrap it up, where a lot of people push back on this whole thing is like, well, how at 18 years old are you going to break into whatever industry, insert industry here and that's what a lot of people say, like, Well, it's so easy to say that, Derek, you're just gonna go work in that industry.

Hannah: I think it's easier to do it at that age. I think the younger that you do it, the more likely it is that you're a rare, you're a rare occurrence, and because you're a curiosity, you're memorable because you're memorable. It's easier for you to get to, to ask for unusual things. That's actually that, that, that's neither here nor there, but it is something that. Youth just as age is a different type of advantage, but youth is an advantage and if you were 17 years old and you're bright and starry-eyed and you wanna learn and you ask the right person the right question in the right way, then yeah, I think that opens a lot more doors to you.

Ryan: Sure.

There's that. There's a novelty of it. Sure but let's say that you're trying to get into an industry that doesn't have, that, doesn't appreciate novelty. That let's say that you're trying to break into an industry that doesn't have "entry-level" right. That They only hired skills people.

Okay, well, you've got. Four years

Hannah: to get experience.

Ryan: To get experience, right. Start, I don't know, whatever it is. Break down whatever skills that you need. Break down whatever experience that you need. Look at job descriptions of that thing. See, okay, I need, I need this, and then go do it. You've got four years on this other person.

Hannah: To get really good at, to not just the general.

And that's the thing is that, it's difficult to focus on the essential skills if you're taking college classes, right? Cause you don't need everything you're learning at school. You need hardly any of it. You need very little actually. Very little of it is gonna be useful in whatever job you're pursuing if you even know what you wanna do.

So if you already know what you wanna do, the pick the effective skills and learn those and get really good at those because those are the things that will make you stand out, up against somebody who has a degree. Because if you're really good at whatever skill, they're kind of not gonna care if whatever skill is the defining factor of the job.

Ryan: So if you take that first couple of years, you still have two years, right? If you take the first couple of years to learn those skills, you still have two years of work experience. On this person that just came straight outta college.

Hannah: Right. And they're starting from zero and you're starting for two years.

Ryan: Exactly. And so, And it's not, Life's not a competition or anything. It doesn't,

Hannah: Yeah. This is just about being effective.

Ryan: This is, or it's just about this dichotomy. It's just about versing or facing off with that other person in that scenario, which is why we keep bringing up somebody else. But yeah, I think that's pretty much it.

The last thing that I did wanna say for myself was that, don't be fooled by these thought experiments that force you into a box of other people's thinking. In this scenario, we're letting whoever it is, our parents, our uncle, the colleges, our teachers, put up the scenario and put us in this box and are forcing us to make a choice.

Hannah: And there's only one logical choice to make outta that box.

Ryan: But it makes no sense when you step out of the box and you realize, wait, that those aren't, that doesn't exist. Those aren't the choices. It becomes much clearer that you have options.

Hannah: And then from there you can learn, you can pick again.

When your options are open again, when all the doors are open again. It's much better.

Ryan: So yeah, that's pretty much it for this week. If you folks wanted to support the podcast, the best way that you could do that is by leaving us an honest review. Wherever it is that you get your podcasts.

Hannah: And if you wanna get our weekly newsletter, which why would you not? It's gonna have resources, degree free news, degree free jobs, all kinds of cool stuff that Ryan and I find for you folks. You're gonna wanna run over to degree free.co/newsletter and sign up for that, to get that in your inbox once a week.

Ryan: Yep. And that's pretty much it. Until next time guys. Aloha

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