July 19, 2021

Do You Need a College Degree in 2021? - Ep. 4

Ryan and Hannah on Big Companies Ditching Degree Requirements, Self Eliminating From Job Applications, and the Return on Buying a College Degree in 2021

How the ROI on a College Degree Can Tell You if You Need One

We talk about whether or not you need a degree in 2021.

Welcome to Degree Free, where we explain what you can do instead of go to college, and how to teach yourself, get work, and make good money.

On this episode, we talk about what jobs actually require degrees.

Ryan talks about how he self eliminated from job applications because of degree requirements.

Hannah lists the top companies that hire degree free people

Ryan talks about the math of a degree salary.

We debate the value of the college 'experience' and the actual value of the college network.

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 guys. And welcome back to Degree Free. We are your hosts, 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: And on that note, if you are subscribed to the podcast, if you've been following along and watching, thank you so much. We're really glad to have you back. Also, if you were interested in taking action on any of the things that we've talked about in previous podcasts or what we talk about in this podcast, we did finally finish making a guide. It is on our website. It's degreefree network.com and you can grab it on there.

If you want to go ahead and start taking action to get work, or start a business, or just make money. Moving on from that, if you haven't like and subscribe. Again, welcome back. And we're pretty excited.

Ryan: For today's episode, pretty much a question we get all the time. We get a lot and it's do I really need to college degree in 2021.

And instead of 2021, just nowadays, in, in this work environment or in this environment at all, do I need to call it a degree.

Hannah: Especially post COVID too, because everybody knows it's very different now. Everything is, there's basically all the rules have just been thrown out the window and it's shown actually that a lot of people are really stuck with this question now. They were, a lot of people were questioning before, but the way that the workplace has changed too, with everything being remote now, and especially with a lot of the college students being home and learning online, which is basically just watching YouTube videos. So you can understand why people will start to question this now, too.

And also as people start to want to switch industries or get better jobs too.

Ryan: Yeah. People retooling their careers. Some of the people, their industries have completely changed or they're completely disappeared or completely crippled in this environment due to COVID and due to the restrictions that have happened.

And, yeah, so this is a very common question. And what do you think about it? Do I, do I really need a college degree in 2021?

Hannah:  So it depends. This there, I really, I'm really excited to get into this too, because it depends in that. It depends on what your goal is with it. There's a few things that would require you to get a college degree.

One of them is going to be a job that requires a college degree, like a doctor or an astronaut for now come on Elon, or or if you're going to be a high-level DOD civil engineer, guess what? You're going to need a degree for that. If you want to be an officer in the military, unless you're going to be a warrant officer, you need a college degree.

And not just doctors, I too, in medicine, but there's a few other, there's a few other tracks and there's a few other tracks in medicine that also require degrees and then some engineers, but by and large, while I'm sure people can come out of the woodwork with exceptions to that, they're only going to be able to come up with one or two examples at the high echelons of companies.

For the most part, most people do not need college degrees to do their work. The best evidence of that is that two thirds of the American workforce does not have college degrees. So they're not really necessary because you'll notice that the whole country runs and it hasn't stopped because some people didn't have college degrees.

Ryan: And I think a lot of it has to do with the essence of this question. I think when we get this, a lot of it has to do the real question that people are asking is college job training or is college necessary education that I need in order to obtain a job? The vast majority of people that we've talked to.

And I think the vast majority of people in general, I hope they're going to college in order to gain experience and knowledge in order to obtain a job, a career, a good paying job. And I think a lot of the, I think a lot of the reasons why people go is they think that in order to get a good paying job in order to get a job that pays over $70,000, over a hundred thousand dollars, what a lot of people consider to be a good amount of money, they feel like they need to go.

I know for me, I was one of those people, I felt like I had to go to college in order to get a job. And so I did, and I got a degree and found out later after just like many other people that you don't need one, not to say that, and that's just to say that, for the vast majority of industries that you decide to go into a degree isn't required.

It's, you're not obligated to go. And a lot of people think that in order to be successful, you need a college degree in order to be a millionaire. You need a college degree, and that's a narrative that we've heard from people. And I think that's the, that's the disconnect from where we are. The fact of the matter is that there are many other ways to get varying types of jobs, work careers, other than going to college.

Hannah:  We're talking about jobs that actually require college degrees when you boil it down. And we're talking about a very small, tiny percentage of the population, and I'm not just talking about a, to, to be very clear, I'm not talking about jobs that say college degree required on the job listing because those jobs do not require college degrees most of the time. That's going to shock a lot of people, but it's just true. Those people hire people that don't have college degrees. They do it all the time. They don't care. It's a thing that they put on the job description.

It is not relevant. You should disregard it at all times when applying for jobs, because if they hire you, obviously it didn't matter. And that does happen a lot. So you want to be the person they hire. You don't want to be the person that eliminated yourself from a job that you want. That aside, I'm talking about when it comes down to it, brass tax at the end of the day that they're looking at your resume and they're looking at you and you're going well, obviously you can't cut this person's head open unless you've been to medical school. Obviously you can't get on the spaceship unless you have a college degree. That's the first people that some of the first people that went to the moon didn't have college degrees, but it's different now. They will not let you get on. They will not let you into an, into a NASA astronaut program without a college degree, that's just a fact. That is self eliminated. They will not let you become an officer in the military, warrant officers aside, if you don't have a college degree, you have to have it. It's a government standard. You have to have it. Same thing for high-level DOD or high-level civil engineers, some other engineers.

But other than that, there are people all over the country doing jobs that they are not on paper qualified to do. That happens constantly. Because at the end of the day, it doesn't actually matter. Colleges, and I guess the thing here is too is what do you need it for? So I think you're right. Some people think that it's job training, but I think that there's basically three groups. There are people who believe they need a college to get a job of any kind, literally a job. That's not bagging groceries. There's a lot of people that if you delve any deeper, they think that you need a college degree to be like a store manager of a grocery store.

There are people that actually think that. There are people that think that college is the only place to get education. That a college campus, that once you cross onto a college campus, all of a sudden they have a monopoly on education of any kind. And then there's the people who believe that you need a college degree to do anything of significance or that you need it in order to achieve specific goals that have nothing to do with college.

And all of these things are due to the marketing of colleges. And all of that goes back to the way college is presented.

Ryan: And that all goes back to college, presenting themselves as job training. That's literally the.

Hannah: But it's multifaceted though.

Ryan: It's not though.

Hannah: Cause it's layered because you know why?

Because if you talk to somebody and you say, and they say, I need college to get such and such job and say, no, you don't, here's how you can get it. Then they say I need to go to college to get education. And they say, no, you don't, you can get education anywhere, blah, blah, blah. Here, all of these resources look, it's faster.

It's cheaper. And then they'll say I need to go to college because you need a college degree. They have layered the sales.

Ryan: I hear what you're saying. I th, I think at the essence of it, when you boil it down, it's all about job training. And if it's not about job training, then it's about experiences.

Hannah: That's what I was gonna say. Cause if you get, if you draw past it.

Ryan:  If it's not job training.

Hannah: It's for the fun, for the beer or the scene.

Ryan:  That's it. It's for. If you're not going to college for job training, if you're not going there, because it's going to give you the skills and the knowledge in order to perform in a job in the field in which you want to get work, then I'm not sure why you're going. And then if you're going, I can think of other reasons, and I'm thinking mainly the things that I've heard, I literally did just had a conversation the other day with somebody about this, just talking to them about how college financially, doesn't make sense if you're not going to go into, exactly what we're talking about right now, I was talking about how college doesn't make sense to go. It doesn't make sense to go to college if you're not going to go into one of the fields that require college.

Hannah: How controversial of you.

Ryan: I, and I just said, I think that financially, it doesn't make sense. The amount of debt that the average student goes into is massive. The average salary on the backend is small.

Hannah: It's $48,000 a year. For those of you who are wondering. $48,000 a year before taxes, your average take home pay is $40,000.

Ryan: Not as much as advertised, as I thought it was advertised. I'm speaking for myself and this was almost 10 years ago now, when I graduated college. All right. I'm I'm exaggerating like, six years ago. Wait, what year was that?

Hannah:  Yeah, 20, 21 babe.

Ryan: Six years ago. Hey, that's on the other side of it. That's on the other side, it's America we round up.

Hannah:  You're getting old, you're forgetting things.

Ryan: And she said she disagreed with my point, but then she's okay, financially, if you're thinking about it purely financially, I agree with you. And I was like.

Hannah:  How else can you look at it?

Ryan: I, that's literally, I didn't want to be disresp. I didn't want to be disrespectful. So I didn't say that. Cause that's disrespectful.

Hannah: Well, yeah. You wouldn't say it to her because you're not, we're not trying to be rude. Yeah.

Ryan: That's disrespectful. And so I didn't say that, but I thought it, and then she said, but then I'm lucky. I'm lucky that she followed it up with her point and she said you can't put a value on the social aspect.

Going there, meeting friends. Getting into clubs, I'm not sure what the social aspect of it was.

Hannah: All things you can do outside of college for less money.

Ryan: The only thing, that is exactly what I said. I said, look, it sounds like I, this is, I said, look, it's. I said, it sounds like you're talking about partying. I was like, and she said she laughed and was like, yeah.

She's yeah, I and I was like, I partied hard. Granted, I went to college,

Hannah: But we're not judging the partying aspect.

Ryan: But I never went to college parties. I always went to restaurant industry parties.

Hannah: Yeah. If you've ever compared, okay. People, if you want to compare college parties, I don't care what college you went to, you want to try to compare that to service industry people going out that is, there is no comparison between these two things.

Ryan: And I freaking partied and I was like, that's a social, that's a social life. My only other. Okay all right. That's an argument. I don't agree with it, but that's one.

And I think the other thing would also be attached to that social aspect.

Hannah: Networking, that's such a vague term. What they mean. When people say networking, when I press further into that, what they say is they say, oh, I can get an internship. You can get an internship literally anywhere. I don't know why they've colleges seem to a very effectively, there's not that, you can get an internship through your college, but colleges who provides internships companies, do you have to go through a college to get an internship at a company?

No, not even a little bit. Not even sort of.

Ryan: So that's interesting because when I talk to people about networking, that being the other reason, they're social.

Hannah: People.

Ryan:  They talk about the people around them. Exactly. They talk about, oh, you're in, at the ground level of everybody starting their career.

Okay. So I'll never, I've never been to an Ivy league school. I never stepped on, I might've stepped on a campus before I had it.

Hannah: I think Ivy leagues, I think the schools are not, the Ivy league schools are such the exception. And that represents just a small portion. Like how many?

Ryan: No, that's what I'm saying, but this is the argument. I agree with you.

Hannah: But who do they think they're going to meet at this college campus is going to be people exactly like you. And if now, you're in debt and you're working a $48,000 a year job how much is that really going to benefit you? The networking aspect.

Ryan: Yeah but the network.

Hannah: But what does it do? What does it do for you? Again, when people say you can't put a monetary value on networking. Country clubs. Yes you can. Yes, you can. You absolutely can.

Ryan: College.

Hannah: Colleges. That's the thing though. You're right. You're right. It is, they did put a monetary value on it because when you point out that you don't need it for the thing that they say, it's for people fall back on the networking value.

In which case, if it's not, if it's not the job value and it's not the education value as a networking value. So is networking with a group of peers who are exactly in the same position as you, is that worth $30,000 a year to you. Let's be conservative. Is that worth $15,000 a year to you?

Ryan: Yeah that's it. That's the question. And I can't answer that for people.

Hannah: No. And we shouldn't, but it's a good question to ask it's a good thing to point out.

Ryan: I feel like that is the question, right? If you're not talking about getting education equals job training.

Hannah:  That, before we move on, that really that's one of my biggest pet peeves. It is actually one of the only ones I think that I have about this. Cause at this point I'm used to the resistance. I'm used to people just really objecting to everything I say. But when people say, when I say you don't have to go to college, or when I say you don't have to go to college to get a certain type of job, you don't have to go to college to get a certain type of pay.

And they people say "you're uneducated." "You hate intellectuals." "You're an anti-intellectual."

What? Do you, literally, they say that you hate education. And I think that is really fascinating because this is a supposedly educated human being who can't grasp the concept that education is available wherever you are educated.

They believe that a business is the only place to purchase education.

Ryan: Yeah. Now we're talking about, now we're talking about the definition of education.

Hannah: But, but like usually when I just poke a little bit further, I'm like, what did you, what do you think people did before college degrees? Do you think that everyone in the world was uneducated before college degrees?

Are we talking about, like how many people have made giant strides for history and medicine, invention, all types, all types of innovation and all of those people, because they didn't have a college degree, at at your four year, at your four year state university, because they didn't have a college degree from your four-year state university they're uneducated. They're anti intellectual. The people you study at those places oftentimes did not have college degrees. Are they not intellectual? Shakespeare? He didn't have a college degree. So was he uneducated? Yeah, Voltaire, John Locke? Are these people all, like all these people are an educated because they didn't have college degrees. What a ridiculous thing to say.

And supposedly you've been exposed to ideas. So it's just kinda interesting to me.

Ryan:  Yeah, definitely. And so I think just to get the, get this back on track about what we were talking about originally, which is do we need a college degree? I think that it, one of the first things that we have to tell people and that we have to get them out of the mindset of is just because a job listing says college degree required doesn't actually mean that you need a college degree.

As we talked about in a previous episode, that is totally not the case.

Hannah: Yeah. Ignore that. Just disregard it.

Ryan: It is just, as you so eloquently put, it's just a wishlist. The job listing is wishlist. It's a wishlist. And just so happens that at the bottom of that wishlist or at the top, wherever they put that, wherever they put that one line it just says college degree required, but that doesn't mean you can't apply. If you don't apply, you self eliminate. That's it's a lot of people we have to tell this to people and it's can we do that? Absolutely. You can do that. We're, I give you permission, like we give you permission to do that.

Hannah: Not even that. Give yourself permission. Like, why are you letting, why are you letting college degree required? Why are you letting three words? Why are you letting three words on a job description? And actually that's what we should really calculate. We should grab a couple of job descriptions, calculate how many words are in that job description.

And then you have decided to give the entire power of whether or not you apply to this job to three words, three words. And it's one line it's one line in a multitude of lines of requirements or recommend things or wish on the wishlist. If Santa, if you have a wishlist of a hundred things and Santa doesn't bring you one of those things.

Are you not going to like Santa? That's my question.

Ryan: Yeah. And see, that's the thing that I'm sitting here saying this now, as we've talked about, you can, we can, you can go back and listen to that episode about "college degree not required" is the title of that one and where we talk about it. I'll talk about it a little bit here.

I was one of those people, right? I did that exact same thing. I didn't apply to jobs because it said college degree required. And I felt like when I got my college degree, I felt like now I should get hired and guess what? They still didn't hire me.

Hannah: So I have a question. If you had all of a sudden wanting to apply to a job that required a master's degree, would you have gone back and gotten one?

Would you have not applied if everything had stayed the same and you had gotten, you had stayed in the job you got with your degree and you stayed there and you saw an opening somewhere that required a master's degree. Would you have gone back to school?

Ryan: Yes, I can. If I wanted that job.

Hannah:  That is so effective.

Ryan: So yeah, absolutely. I'm not.

Hannah:  You would make yourself do it.

Ryan: Yeah, I wouldn't even try it. And that's, I don't know. That's just me.

Hannah: I think a lot of people are like that.

I think a lot of people are like that, but I don't want to speak for other people.

Well, I was like that.

Ryan: No, for myself at that time, I definitely, I probably would have went back to school to get a master's degree before I even try to apply to the job.

Hannah: And that's so interesting because of how different our educational backgrounds are.

Ryan: Right. So the, I think a big concern is that there are no companies. There are no, even though every job description has college degree required. There, there are no companies that hire people without college degree.

Hannah: I like this one. No, that's, that's crap and that's not real.

Ryan: So that's the first hurdle is getting over the whole college degree required because every job listing

Hannah: That's a big one.

Ryan:  It's a massive one. It's one of the largest ones because.

Hannah: It's terrifying.

Ryan: You have to help yourself. You can't keep self eliminating.

If you self eliminate you, you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don't take.

Hannah: Wayne, Gretzky, Michael Scott.

Ryan: Absolutely.

Hannah: And but it is scary. Cause it's seriously because, and I know that because I've sat there in a cold sweat going and sending an email, it's an email. What am I scared of? It's but it is scary.

So props you, if you've applied to a job that said college degree required and you didn't have one, it's hard. It's hard. Good job. Well done. So if you haven't, I highly recommend tonight, you, it doesn't matter what job, it doesn't matter if you're looking, go do it because you should break that barrier.

Just do it. Just apply for one job that says college degree required and just get over it.

Ryan: So a lot of what people say is just okay, it says called this degree required. Companies aren't going to hire people that, that don't have college degrees.

Hannah:  In the words of Dwight Schrute, uh false.

Ryan: And I, so what are some things?

Hannah: Yeah they're just small companies. You've probably never heard of them. Google, Tesla, IBM, Deloitte, just small, tiny companies. Really. Definitely not gigantic, definitely not nationwide. A few other ones that are prone to hiring. And this is at a corporate level. Obviously, if you walk in, you can get minor, more minor jobs and not even minor, you can get lower level jobs at these places and work your way up.

But another, other companies that are other companies that are known for do it for either hiring without degrees and then moving up internally, are Home Depot, Walmart, Costco, giant, giant companies, Amazon is also known for, they hire people without college degrees all the time. Constantly. Absolutely. Also Starbucks, really, like I could do this all day, but as far as large, we're talking large companies, those are large companies that hire people without college degrees as a practice. Like they're open about the fact that they do that. If you go to their websites, that's what shocks me is that they're fairly open about it.

Quite a few of them, especially Tesla. Tesla's, they have it on there on their website. They say that they don't require college degrees.

If you're looking for something a little more dynamic or you're more looking to break into the tech space, I'm sorry. But most startups don't, they do not care. They don't care at all. They'll take anybody. They'll take anybody that can do work. If you're a dev or you have any sort of technical experience or you're willing to do sales or customer service, they don't care.

They don't care. They're not going to check and they don't care at all. And then small businesses are the ones who are the most prone, I think, to being open to anybody that can do work of any kind that of value to them.

Ryan: We can vouch for that.

Hannah: Yeah. I don't care. I will never care.

Ryan: We've interviewed people. We've hired people. I've literally never asked anybody if they had a college,.

Hannah: Because it doesn't, it's irrelevant.

Ryan: It doesn't matter.

Hannah: Why, what am I going to do?

Ryan: Our industry is different, but even if we had, even if we were hiring, I feel like even if we were hiring a manager to manage our studio.

Hannah: I'll do you one better. Where was your, where's your doctors college degree from?

Ryan:  I have no idea. I don't know.

Hannah: Where's our CPA's college degree from?

Ryan: I'm not sure.

Hannah: Lawyer?

Ryan: Never asked.

Hannah: Interesting. I don't know. I would venture that.

Ryan: Yeah. I'm not even sure if he is. I'm not even sure if any of them are licensed.

Hannah: Dentist?

Ryan: God, I need to do my research.

Hannah: Dentist.

Ryan: I have no idea. None of them. I literally have no idea. Ophthalmologist optometrist. Nope.

Hannah: You never know. You would never know.

Ryan:  Dermatologist.

Hannah: And I think that when people talk about the importance of two, you need a college degree in those days. You do well, not CPA. So you can be a CPA in some states without a college degree, you can be a lawyer in some states without a college degree as well.

But by and large, these are degreed fields we're talking about. You don't know where they got their college degree. That's how little it matters. That's how little matters. If I was looking for, when I was looking for, I was just looking for, I was calling lawyers. And did I look at where they went to school? No, I don't care at all. Does it say that they're a lawyer? Yup. All right. That's all I need.

Ryan: So, I think the biggest thing that these companies care about any company, really, whether or not they're a small businesses like ours, whether or not they're startups or whether or not they're a large multinational, massive multi-billion dollar public companies.

I think when it boils, when it all boils down, what they care about is whether or not you can do the job. And some jobs don't even care about that.

Hannah: Sometimes they just want you to be easy to work with.

Ryan: They want you to be able to learn the job. They want you to be able teachable. They want you to be able to get along with everybody while you get along with them, you learn how to do it.

There were a lot of jobs are willing to train. A lot of jobs they're willing to train. And it happens a lot of times that when you go into a new job, even if you've been in that field for a little while, you're still going to have a training period. You're still going to have to get, you're still gonna have to get your sea legs.

And that's every job.

Hannah:  Even better is if you graduate from college, you don't, I don't know. You don't know anything about the job you just got.

Ryan: Yeah. And so I think the main point to drive home here is you are not thinking about going into any of the fields that require a college degree. You're not thinking about being a doctor.

You're not thinking about being a lawyer in most states, CPA, whatever, astronaut.

Hannah: Sure.

Ryan: What now? And so I think it's important for you now that you've decided not to go as a job, but at somebody that's looking for a job, you need to sell yourself to the company you need to sell yourself. So look, it says college degree required, I don't have one. But that being said, I have the skills. I have these personality traits.

Hannah: This experience.

Ryan:  I've done this with my life.

Hannah: And if you just say you're teachable.

Ryan:  If you feel exactly, if you feel that's exactly what I was going to say, if you feel like you have no experience in the relevant field in which you're looking to do.

Hannah: I want to learn.

Ryan:  That's it.

And if there. If there's some ways that you can think of in your life that you've picked up concepts related to that field quickly, and then you can articulate that to the person interviewing you, whether or not it's either, even if it's in an interview or whether or not you can convey that through your resume or a cover letter or a phone call or an in-person meeting, if there's a way that you can convey that, that you want to learn and that you're able to learn.

That's it? That is the entirety of it.

Hannah: A lot of people get hung up on skills versus traits and in this case, it really doesn't matter. And I think that you have a better understanding of skills versus traits, but just for example, for an example, a skill would be being really good with Excel.

A trait is being able to work well with others or communicate clearly. You can use those things to sell it yourself. You don't necessarily have to have a hard skill. Cause I know a lot of people, especially now, they're really down, especially if you're already in that mindset of feeling inadequate because you don't have a degree, don't get down on yourself.

Think about the things that people ask you to do. Think about things that people praise you for doing in your life. Those are things that you can use to tell to an employer. Also if you're a small business owner and you, or you started your own thing, like if you wrote a book, if you built a website, if you have an Etsy store, put that on your resume, that is impressive.

And a lot of people don't there, they hide it. Like they're embarrassed. You shouldn't be embarrassed of that. You should be super proud of it. So that's another thing. Think outside the box about what skills you bring to the table so that you can accurate so that you can accurately convey that to somebody who you want to hire you.

Yeah, absolutely.

Ryan: That kind of rolls nicely into the next thing I want to talk about, which is college and education and jobs. And talking about what we encounter a lot of the times is that a lot of people think that college education is job training. A lot of people think that going to college, you're going to learn how to learn, and you're going to learn the necessary skills you need in order to find gainful employment.

Hannah: They package it like that. They market it like that. It's not, college is not job training. I will say this till I'm blue in the face, college is not job training. Anyone who thinks that they are going to go to college in a specific degree and come out able to do a job. Nope. Not even a little bit.

And people who've graduated already know that because they got out into the job market and they're like, oh my gosh, what is this? I've never done this before. I hate this. That's the most common thing, is they get out after they're done. And they realize that they hate it because their degree has reflects zero of the job and they don't have any of the skills necessary to do it.

Which is probably part of the reason they hate it. That said I think a lot of people believe that the only place that you can get education of any kind is on a college campus, which no. College is not education. College is not job training, college is neither of those things. College is an institution that you can purchase a piece of paper that verifies. That is all it is. It is conflated, so I see how people have gotten that. I see how people have gotten them mixed up, but you can learn whatever you want. If you want to be an educated person, you would be much better, you would be much better off educating yourself by reading and taking courses online. And also something that I feel like is really underutilized is the ability to hire a tutor.

You can hire someone from another country who is a PhD. You can have a private class if you want, but you can hyper target your education. So if you're trying to learn Mandarin, why do you need to take four years of of assorted courses in order to learn Mandarin Chinese? Go hire a Mandarin tutor and learn it. I don't understand.

But it's because people feel that there's only one location. It, they feel like it's like the Walmart, like you like you're you want to buy a peach pie. And so you have to go to Walmart to get it. That's not the only place that's not the only place that you can get a peach pie.

In fact, you can get one cheaper and better, and that's better for you right down the road, from this whatever stand. I think that people believe that, that college is the only place to get a "respectable" education. But the thing is you don't need a "respectable" education to do work. You need education that's functional.

And with the rise of the internet, you can find it everywhere. You can take courses on Udemy. Saylor.org has it as a, that's an entire college, it's an entire college campus on the internet, basically. You can learn anything on there. And if it's the structure of college education that makes you feel better about it, then it's designed exactly like that.

There are so many people who are extremely good at what they do that have made money doing what they do and that are really competent or respected. Masterclass, you can take it. There is so much education online. It's crazy. I would argue that there's way more education on the internet than there has ever been on college campuses.

And it's also, again, it's just leveling the playing field because anybody can play it's YouTube University, you get on there and you need to learn how to use Excel. Boom, go and find somebody across the world who has made a really good Excel course and take it. Watch 20 of those videos, you're going to have more, you're gonna have more valuable practical skills, the most college graduates.

Ryan: Yeah. And one of the things that when we talk to people about this and the things that people say, one of the biggest things that people say is that that costs money too. And it's like

Hannah: $12.95.

Ryan: Yeah. Whatever it is, almost guaranteed going to be nominal compared to college.

Hannah: That's a hilarious objection. When they're like, oh, that's expensive. Y ou know what's expensive? 30 grand a year.

Ryan: The reason why I, and so I think the reason why people think that it's expensive is because they can't, they don't have the money for it and they would have to take out.

Hannah:  They can't take out student loans.

Ryan: They would have to take our regular consumer debt in order to educate it. But we're talking about usually in the

Hannah:  $500.

Ryan: Yeah. In the low three figure range, in the low four figure range. If we're talking about really niche, awesome courses, you, and if you actually have a fly somewhere and actually take a course, then you're going to talk about like that you can, then you can talk about, Five five digit range.

Now you're talking 10, $15,000. Okay. That's a lot of money, but look at what you get in. And this is a lot of it too, is in that short period in that short period of time, if you want to, that's a good example. As far as, if you wanted to learn a language, it proficient proficiently enough to pass one of the language tests in order to be. Yeah. Like you want a fluent speaker.

Hannah: Yeah. You want to take the Japanese proficiency test.

Ryan: Or the Mandarin proficiency or the Spanish proficiency test, which there are levels too. You don't have to go and take two years of gen ed courses in order to take that you didn't go and hire a Mandarin tutor, a Japanese tutor, or a Spanish tutor and Italian tutor.

Two hours a day.

And you can do that for a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost. It's just, what do you want to do? And I think that's the biggest thing is that college does not equal education. College does not equal job training.

Hannah: Yeah. That's a hard, that's hard. That is a hard people get really upset about that though.

That college is not education. They have a really hard time with swallowing that pill. Yeah. It's people get very upset about it.

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. And I think.

Hannah:  But basically don't feel boxed in. Don't feel like the only place you can get any sort of education is college. That is extremely prohibitive to a lot of people.

There's a lot of people that can't, and shouldn't buy college degrees because they're too expensive. And to say that those people are now doomed to a life of being "uneducated" is just, it's just inaccurate and it's not helpful. That's not true. There are a lot, I know a lot of people that do not have college degrees that are much more educated than people that do.

Ryan: And if you feel compelled to take college courses, there are a lot of universities that actually film all of their courses and then put it up on YouTube for free, or put it up on Vimeo for free. You can go to their website and they'll, and you can take it. MIT is a good example of it. You can pretty much take, you can pretty much get a degree from MIT in almost anything you can take almost all of their courses and because it's all up online.

Hannah: It doesn't feel as valuable though does it?

Ryan: I. I don't know. I find it valuable that I didn't have to take pay it tuition.

Hannah: No, it doesn't seem to have the same, it doesn't have the same value as a degree from MIT, even though you're getting, so let's say you took the exact same amount of education as somebody who's graduating from MIT, but you don't, it doesn't feel it doesn't have the same.

Ryan: Definitely. Definitely. Even though you didn't get a degree conferred.

Hannah: But the difference between those people is a piece of paper.

Ryan: You didn't attend the campus. You didn't, you weren't actually, in those courses, you can raise your hand. So there, that is definitely something that is definitely something to be said for it.

An alternative  to that is,.so when you take these MIT courses, I've taken a couple of them when.

Hannah:  You like them right?

Ryan: They're pretty good. They're good. I like it.

Hannah: Who would you suggest it for target targeted? Who do you think we get a lot out of that.

Ryan: That's a good question.

They have all different types of classes. On there as far as job training, I'm not sure if anything that I saw or anything that I took gave me specific job knowledge, I would think that it, everything was just more of a general college education of the things that I took. It was more of just a an overview of the topic.

We are diving deep into whatever it was that being said, one of the things is if you take one of these courses, they give you all of the readings, all of the readings, all, and you can watch all of the lectures before or after, whatever it doesn't matter. You can watch it on your own time.

You can read it on your own time. If you don't understand something still, at least you have a base knowledge to go and ask the questions now. And so now you can take the question that you've just formulated, that you don't know that you would have asked in class, and then you can go on to Reddit.

You can go onto certain forums. You can go into Facebook groups, you can go onto Twitter and you can tweet at these people. You can go into subreddits, you can go into forums and you can ask these very specific questions that you don't know the answer and yeah, absolutely. Is it, are the answers as immediate as raising your hand in class and getting the answer right there?

No, definitely not. But you didn't, you also didn't have to pay tuition to go. Also, is it from that person? Is it from that person giving the lecture? That's the other thing that I hear? No, it's not that being said. It's crowdsourced, it's crowdsourced information then at least you have, if you find an answer that, that if you find it, perfect. If not, you can keep looking. And that gives you the basis to keep looking.

Hannah: Sometimes too. When you're crowdsourcing ear, you're getting an answer from someone who actually has experience with the question you're asking, as opposed to someone who has studied the answer.

Ryan:  Maybe it could be an internet troll.

Hannah: Yeah, it totally could be. I know. But some of those for those of you that don't know what Reddit is, cause I've realized that it's something you and I take for granted knowing about Reddit. But a lot of people, a lot of people don't know what Reddit is. Reddit while it's a wild place,there is a lawless place. There's a lot of stuff on Reddit and too, by and large, most of the people on there are pretty pretty mean. They're mean, if you don't behave in the correct way in the forums.

Yeah. It's the internet. It is the front page of the internet, as it were.

Ryan: It's the internet.

Hannah: But if you were looking for entrepreneurial information, if you're troubleshooting, if you're doing development work, if you're looking into tech stuff, that is a great place to get answers, to really specific technical things or marketing things, or just business process stuff, even asking about negotiating techniques or salary or interviewing tips, it's a really good place for like practical business and work knowledge, I think.

And it's crowdsourced. So as Ryan said, sometimes you risk, taking is true. Something that a troll is telling you, but I don't know it's paid off pretty good for us.

Ryan: Absolutely. I think things like that, having multiple sources of education and actively choosing

how it is, you're going to structure what it is you're going to learn, is extremely valuable.

Hannah:  It's curriculum design.

Ryan: I think that it's much more valuable in that you don't have to pay as much money and you don't have to pay as much time, in order to get that targeted education. And ultimately what we hope to be skills, traits, knowledge for jobs.

Hannah: Do you feel like that when you teach yourself something and or you learn something by asking a targeted question after self-education online, do you feel like that information is more useful or if you could put a monetary value on it, do you think it's more or less valuable than information you learned in college?

I'm curious.

Ryan: Yeah. That's a good question. I would have to say that it would probably, that's a good question, because difficult for me to say, I feel.

Hannah:  What about permanent? Is it more or less permanent in your mind than information you learned in college?

Ryan: I think permanent in my mind, I would definitely say it's more permanent in my mind. Just be just due to the fact that I had to ask very specific questions and I had to have a very specific problem in order to come to, to the point where I'm on my knees for the internet, begging it.

Hannah:  To answer you.

Ryan: Give me the fucking answer.

Hannah: So I guess my, my, of going further into this, cause this is an interesting this is an interesting concept, I think, but are you more proud of having taught yourself or discover something for yourself or are you more proud of getting that information in, earning it in college as before?

Ryan: I don't care that doesn't, that's doesn't matter. Doesn't matter. Knowledge is knowledge. I'm not proud either way.

Hannah:  Not proud more do you feel like it would more, was it a better quality of learning because you figured it out yourself? I think that's more what I'm asking or is it, was it a better quality to have somebody refine it and give it to you in a college setting?

I'm not angling for an answer too. I'm really curious. I'm curious. I wonder.

Ryan: It sounds like you're try that for an answer.

Hannah: No, I'm not. I'm curious.

Ryan:  The way that you're forming the question, sounds like you're angling for an answer. I will say that well, so the way that I'll answer your question is for me, I think this is most people when you're learning in college, the material you're learning, you're not sure what you're learning it for.

You don't know. So you get a degree in marketing. Yeah. You're learning marketing. Yeah. You're learning whatever statistics, you're learning demographics. You're learning how to make content, whatever it is, the fuck that you, they teach you in college about marketing, right? Brand identity, things like that.

Most people at that point in their life. They haven't been in marketing. They don't, what is this for? Really? What is this for? How do I use this? How is this relevant? I don't know. And so I think I, what you're saying, I understand the answer that you're trying to get out of me. I can't say either way, but when you're learning in college, that's when, at least when I was learning in college, that's how it felt.

I was learning this thing because they said I had to learn it. I've done there. I'm learning this thing because this is part of the curriculum, because they said that I needed to take these courses. And then I have so many electives to take, to see where, what other things that I want to learn about. But for the most part, I couldn't put together the why I'm learning it.

And when I learn outside of college now, which I learned, I learn more now than I ever have in college. And the reason why is you have to, I have to, and I work a lot. And I do a lot of things that I have no right doing. I don't know how to market a business. I don't know how to run a business. I don't know how to.

Hannah:  Write blog posts.

Ryan: I don't know how to.

Hannah: Make videos.

Ryan: I'm not a videographer. I don't know how to do any of this stuff. I'm not qualified to do any of this. I'm not qualified to set this setup up. I'm not qualified to build out this place. And so I'm obviously learning a lot more now than I ever have in college, but I have a reason to now I have a reason to, and I understand the why of why I need to learn it.

The why of why I need to learn. It is very apparent because it happens every day because I don't know what this piece of equipment does. I don't know why this thing isn't giving me the proper sound that I needed to do. And so I'm going to go to Google and I'm going to look it up. I'm, I go to Reddit and I'm going to look it up.

Yeah. And crowdsourced information, blog posts on the internet. Accurate, not accurate. I'm not sure, but it sounds pretty good to me. I ended up making this happen. I ended up marketing to business, things like that. So some more, it's just different. The learning is different. You have in college, you learn everything upfront or at least you're supposed to. The why comes after.

Supposedly if the why ever comes, if you ever have to, if you ever have to employ the many useless things that I learned in college, right? Religion, political science, you name it. I took so many useless classes in college, so many.

But the why of it, the learning comes first. And then the why comes after. In my life, now, the way that I learn now, the why is immediately apparent to me. And the why is almost always. Because I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

Hannah: And you have to do something.

Ryan: Because I have no freaking clue what I'm doing.

And I was like, oh I'm going to get this done. I have it.

Hannah: There's nobody else that can do it.

Ryan: Gotta get it done. I can't afford to hire anybody. I better learn how to do it. Yeah. And so it's just different. I understand.

Hannah: It's a different function.

Ryan: Yeah. I understand what you're trying to get out of it.

Hannah: No, I really wasn't. I'm curious because I don't think that, there's obviously people who've heard things from their teachers that were more impactful than things that they taught themselves. And I think it really depends on the person. And when I say teacher, sometimes that's a college professor, sometimes it's something else, but I thought it was an interesting line of questioning.

I think, to sum this up, what do you need a college degree nowadays to do in the world we live in right now in the world? We,  so in the world we live in right now, what do you need a college degree to do?

Ryan:  As we answered, we've, not to beat a dead horse, but we've talked about this already. And that is going to be the very few percentage of jobs, very few handful of careers that absolutely require one. NASA astronauts, doctors, lawyers in most states, accountants in most states, some engineers, some of them, not all of them, some of them, but as far as literally anything else, you don't need one. It's not required. You're not obligated.

Hannah: You don't have to.

Ryan:  You're not obligated to get a college degree in order to be successful.

Definitely not. I know you and I can both think of people that are much more successful than people that we know that have college degrees.  Not necessary to buy, necessary to start a business. Absolutely not. Do you need to go to college to learn how to be an entrepreneur? Do you need to get, do you need to get a degree in entrepreneurship to learn how to be an entrepreneur?

Hannah: We should ask Bill Gates.

Ryan: I'm just.

Hannah: We should ask Mark Zuckerberg.

Ryan: Yeah.

Hannah: Maybe those guys would know.

Ryan: Absolutely. Even less extreme examples than people that are obviously founders of multi-billion dollar companies.

Hannah: But like the people that own the gas station down the street. Just walk down the street, just walk down one of these streets.

The people that own McDonald's, or own a Starbucks.

Ryan: Go look at your mom, and go walk into a mom and pop shop and ask them if they needed a degree to do it.

I'm not sure what the answer is going to be, but two thirds of Americans don't have degrees. So my answer, I'm assuming that most of them don't have degrees. Do you need a college degree to learn a trade? No, absolutely not. Do you another, a separate question from that, but related, do you need to go to trade school?

Probably not either. You can find internships. You can volunteer. You can get paid. You can find a contractor doing something in your field that you want. You want to finish carpent, you want to be a plumber. You want to be a finish carpenter. You want to be a rough carpenter.

You want to lay floor. You want to do tile, whatever you want to be a mechanic, right? You want to be a landscaper, tree cutter, electrical engineer. You don't need to go to college to do that. There's a lot of programs that will provide paid training in order to do so.

Hannah: There are companies that will provide paid training and there are companies, there are companies who will hire and subsidize your education.

Trade schools, just for the record, a lot of people think that it's very common now, anyone who ever says don't go to college, that common, the few people that do say don't go to college, get a trade. They always say, go to trade school.

Don't if you can help it, the trade schools have the same problem that the colleges have.

They take too long and they're too expensive. Do not do that on your own dime if you can help it. Look for paid training, look for a company that is hiring with no experience that will pay you to train, or that is going to subsidize your education because you should not be paying for that. Get somebody else to take that risk.

Ryan: And so one of the issues that we find with a lot of this is that people say "I don't, I want to do X and I don't have experience in X and there's no business. There's no place where I can go and learn it close by to do whatever that skill is.

Okay. If you were going to go to college and you were going to go move to go to college out of state, you were going to move from where you are anyway. But a lot of people that we've talked to, a lot of people that we've talked to about this, they're like I'm not going to move my whole life in order to just learn this thing.

Hannah: What? You were about to.

Ryan:  You were about to do that anyway. You were about to go to another state to do the exact same thing. The only difference is that you're not going to take on student loans. You can move, you can get a job. You don't okay, maybe you don't get a job in that field, but could you, while you're learning in the daytime to do whatever it is. If you find a business or a school, if that's, in a trade school, although you just said, don't go.

If you find some sort of education at this place, you could go during the day and then work at night. Work as a, work in the restaurant.

Hannah: If you're trying to get a filler job in between, and the thing is you might have to work two jobs, you might have to work two jobs, but the thing is, you're going to work two jobs without your back, being against the wall after you graduate with a job or a skill that you don't like, that pays you way less than you thought you were going to make. And now you're going to, you're still going to have to work two jobs, but you have to do it with the crushing debt on your back. So maybe try to do that first. The reason the rationale here too, is that you can always go back to college.

They will always take your money. Always. Because they are business and businesses will always take your money. If you go to Target instead of Walmart, is Walmart going to turn you away the next week? Nope. The next year. Nope. Why? Because they need your money and they want your money and they want to get your money and that's fine.

That's fine. Cause that's what businesses do. Yeah. If you, if if you want to be a glassblower and you need to move to Arizona to make that happen, then sounds like you need to move to Arizona and get a second job to support yourself. If you want to be a lawyer. That was a funny one, too, because law school's expensive and people always really object to that.

They want to be a lawyer and they're like I can't move. I can't move to California. Can't move to Virginia. I can't move to X and work in a law, and an apprentice in a law office. I was like, why you were about to move halfway across the country anyway. You were about to move 3000 miles and go to law school.

Why can't you go and actually work and get paid? That doesn't make any sense.

Ryan: It doesn't fit in their worldview. It doesn't fit of how you're supposed to do it. It also doesn't fit it also, like we said before, also what we said before, which is if they don't have the backing of the student loans, they don't.

Hannah:  They have to actually make financial decisions.

And they have to actually work and pay bills.

Ryan: Absolutely.

Hannah: They can't be a kid for four more years.

Ryan:  And you're going to pay for it while you're doing it instead of paying for it later. Assuming that you are young when you're making these decisions. The best time to make these decisions in order to not get into that type of debt in order to work, two jobs is while you're single is while you're young, single, no kids.

Hannah: And you can sleep in a twin bed with nothing and just work and go about your life because you're, it's easier to do that when you're younger, it just is. I slept all kinds of weird places when I was younger. And then you don't mind, you don't mind an old car. You don't mind a twin bed. You don't mind having one pot. It's okay.

Ryan: You get older, not everybody, but you start to settle down. Not everybody settles down, but.

Hannah: I'd have a hard time doing that now.

Ryan: You start to settle down and well, a lot of people settle down and then they start paying for their education.

Why? Because they're done with college and now they have to start paying. Now they have to start paying their student debt, that they weren't paying before, or they were paying interest only payments. Then the bill, then the real bills come. And a lot of people, a lot of people don't have gainful employment from their degrees.

So why not do why not? Instead of doing that later, why not do that first?

Hannah: It was something that when we worked, we saw this, I saw this a lot and I know that you did too. In the service industry, there was all a a lot of industry people, they'd be like, everybody sits around and they talk and, and at some point people get into a disagreement, what whatever, and people would sometimes say, the way people do when they're sitting in a bar talking and some, oh, I have two degrees.

I have a master's degree. And that always struck me as an interesting defense. Or that always struck me as an interesting thing to say, when you're working in the same job as somebody with no debt who is 19 years old. That to me, it's not, and I'm not downing the industry. Like we worked in it for a long time.

I'm just saying that is the mentality of people I think who have a lot of degrees. Is that oftentimes they, they go and they get these degrees. And then for some reason, even though they can't find employment in their field, they still are really attached to the degree, to the point where they're not willing to change jobs or they're not willing to do that, to do things like apply to a job that they're, they don't have a degree for, even though they have two degrees.

Sometimes these people have master's degrees, but they're still afraid. And this kind of goes back to our first point, but they're afraid to apply to a job that they don't specifically have a label for, which is just interesting.

Ryan:  Yeah, definitely. I don't think it's a lot of what people they've already bought it. They already have it and they have to value it. If you don't, if you don't value, if you don't value it, if you don't value it, then you just wasted your time. And that's a difficult thing to deal with.

That's a difficult thing to come to grips with. I went to college, I'm in the same position that this kid who's 19 years old is in. I've been there. I've I have literally been there. That person. I never said, oh, I have a college degree. Cause I was, I feel like I was.

Hannah:  Little more realistic.

Ryan: I was aware. Yeah.

I was aware enough. I was aware enough to just be like, look, I'm not better than you. I don't, I, if anything, I'm dumber than you, because I have a college degree and I'm over here, I'm over here tending bar.

Hannah: It's a defense mechanism.

Ryan:  Over here, waiting tables. Just like how you are. Like you're the smart one. I'm the idiot.

Hannah: Yeah. I don't know. It's, they do have a lot riding on it though. It's a defense mechanism because otherwise the alternative is right. They wasted their time. They wasted their money. They made a poor life decision, not once, but two times to the tune of sometimes six figures. And I heard somebody say once, I don't remember who said this, but they said that it's easier to convince somebody not to buy something than it is to convince someone that they've been sold something.

And I thought that was an interesting, I thought that was an interesting thing to say, but that's very much true is you have an easier time telling people, Hey, maybe don't buy that thing  instead of trying to convince someone they've been sold something

Ryan:  And I think that's a perfect place to wrap up today's conversation.

And I guess in summary, one of the questions that we always get all the time to really need a college degree nowadays in 2021, depends on what you do, right? Depends on what you're going into.

Hannah: Small percentage of jobs actually require degrees.

Ryan: Absolutely.  Our argument is that you're not obligated to. If you're not going to go into one of those degrees, you're not obligated to go.

In fact, maybe you should consider trying.

Hannah:  Anything else first.

Ryan: Before going to college. Yeah. Before or getting into that debt before taking on that financial responsible. I think that's, I think that's it. You can get jobs. You can get a good job. You can get good training. You can start that business.

Hannah: You can be educated.

Ryan: Absolutely.

Hannah: And you can achieve what you want.

Ryan: You can do it. You don't need the college degree. It's just a piece of paper.

Hannah: Yeah. You don't need the paper. You don't need, you don't need permission. Just do it.

Ryan:  All right, guys. So thanks for tuning in.

If you guys liked this episode, if you guys liked what we talked about and you guys want to hear more, please subscribe.

Hannah:  If you need help or you are looking for more actionable steps as to how you can go about doing some of the things we talked about, like applying to companies without a college degree or self-educating, or do you just a list of inspirational things that you can do or jobs that you can have without a degree.

Please do check out our website at degreefreenetwork.com and we did write a guide and it is up on there. And you can buy that if you want. If not, then just use the internet because it's free and it's there. And let us know if you have questions.

Ryan:  Absolutely. All right guys, until next time. Aloha.

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