October 18, 2023

Is College Worth $500,000? and The Future of Work in an AI World (DF#119)

Is College Worth $500,000? and The Future of Work in an AI World

The True Cost of College And Preparing for the Future of Work

Is going to college worth $500,000? Today, we talk about the high cost of college and the exponential increase in tuition over the last few decades. Unemployment and underemployment is on the rise for college graduates which is making everyone question whether or not college is a good option for them or their kids.

We also talk about the future of work in an increasingly AI-driven world and how you can prepare your career for that inevitable future.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The changing landscape of higher education and the need for more flexible options.
  • The importance of people skills in an increasingly automated world and the future of job security.
  • The impact of AI on various industries, the need for upskilling, and opportunities for individuals and industries.
  • The potential impact of AI on job automation and the importance of upskilling for individuals in low-skilled jobs.
  • The significance of soft skills, communication, and likability in job interviews in an automated world.

Join us as we explore the changing landscape of higher education and the future of job security. Don't miss out on this week’s actionable tips!

Enjoy the episode!

Desperate for an alternative to the college debt trap for your teen?

Overwhelmed by all the college alternative options?

Unlock the secrets that colleges don't want you to know about. In our FREE live event, we'll teach you how to bypass six-figure of debt, choose the path that makes sense for your child, and create an actionable plan for you to get there!

Register for our FREE live event now and Help Your Teenager Save $100,000, Stop Feeling Overwhelmed, and Start Getting Excited About Their Future.

Like, subscribe, write us a review, and if you have a question or want some advice email us at [email protected]

Join the Degree Free! Receive our weekly newsletter and get exclusive tips and tricks to get hired and make money without a degree!

Newsletter Sign Up - Email Only

Listen to the episode on: Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyAmazon MusiciHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.


Want to learn about why you don't need a degree to land a job in tech? Listen to the previous episode!

Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Summary:

This week, we dive into the exorbitant cost of college education in the US and question its value.

We talk about a recent report stating that the average cost of college per student per year has more than doubled since 2000, with figures reaching $36,000 annually. And attending a public 4-year institution costs an average of $26,000 per year, while private nonprofit universities charge around $55,000 yearly.

Colleges and their marketing departments have become crafty and made “shorter” degree programs.

We also shed light on the steep costs of obtaining a bachelor's degree when factoring in student loan interest and lost income, revealing that it can surpass $500,000.

Connect with Ryan:

Connect With Hannah:

Action Steps & Recommendations:

  • Consider the value of a college education and whether it aligns with your goals and financial situation.
  • Research alternative education options such as boot camp programs or online courses that may provide specific skills at a lower cost.
  • Evaluate the potential return on investment of a college degree, factoring in student loan interest and lost income.
  • Develop and prioritize human skills that are in high demand and likely to remain relevant in the future job market.
  • Stay updated with the changing landscape of technology and AI, and explore how it can be applied in your field or industry.
  • Upskill and adapt to the evolving job market by continuously learning new skills and staying abreast of industry trends.
  • Focus on developing strong people skills and soft skills, as they are highly valued and essential for career advancement.


  • 00:01:29 - Average cost of college tuition
  • 00:02:42 - The rising cost of college
  • 00:05:39 - The ultimate cost of a bachelor's degree
  • 00:12:40 - Colleges are losing value due to the pandemic
  • 00:13:45 - Parents are starting to question the value of college
  • 00:18:31 - Colleges are creating boot camps to attract students
  • 00:23:07 - Future of job security
  • 00:23:59 - The importance of upskilling in the age of AI
  • 00:28:27 - Human interaction and skills in the era of AI
  • 00:35:08 - No degrees or gatekeepers for AI roles
  • 00:35:16 - Opportunity and low prices in AI roles
  • 00:35:41 - Employers making up degree requirements for AI roles
  • 00:47:09 - Customer service rep job can be augmented by generative AI
  • 00:47:48 - Cashier job can be augmented by generative AI
  • 00:49:15 - People skills are more critical than ever

References, Resources Mentioned & Suggested Reading:

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!

Hannah Maruyama [00:00:00]:

You don't have to send your kids to college to get them educated. You do not have to send them to college, pay those prices, or spend that time in order for them to get equivalent or superior education. You do not.

Ryan Maruyama [00:00:18]:

Hello, folks. Welcome back to Degree Free. I'm Ryan. She's Hannah. Before we get into today's episode, a little note. There is major construction happening outside of the studio today, and we thought about canceling our recording. But We want to get this information to you, and we don't wanna miss a week. So we are making the recording, and I'm gonna do my best After this to edit out all of the construction noises, all of the beeping, and all of the banging, but I may not be successful, so just know that it is gonna be construction y this week.

Ryan Maruyama [00:00:58]:

And for those listening and for those watching, I apologize. I apologize. I'm gonna do my best though. I promise.

Hannah Maruyama [00:01:05]:

Okay. Let's get into it. Average cost of college intuition. This is a new report that has come out from a site called initiative. And this is from the NCES, which is the National Center For Education Statistics Data as of September 6th. Do you wanna take a wild guess, Ryan, at the average cost of college per student per year in the US?

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:29]:

Let's be shocked. Let's be shocked. $10,000.

Hannah Maruyama [00:01:32]:

That's cute. Try $36,000 a year.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:37]:

No way.

Hannah Maruyama [00:01:38]:

Oh my gosh. Anyway. So we knew it was bad, but we didn't know it was quite that bad. This is pretty rough, because I feel like the last time I read an NCES report on the average cost of tuition, I could have sworn it was, like, $27,000 a year average, but now it's 36.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:57]:

I don't recall, but I don't remember it being $36,000. All jokes aside, I'm not shocked.

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:03]:

I even think that this might be low, to be perfectly honest. I know it's the average, but I was like, I know there's a lot of people that's been way more than that. And so I don't know. It says this includes books, supplies, and daily living expenses, but I feel like I know again, anecdotal, but I feel like I know kids that spend quite a bit more than that at school. Anyway, whatever. The average cost of college has more than doubled in the 21st century, which we know, an annual growth rate of 2% over the past 10 years. But, really, the number that we wanna know is since 1980, the cost of college has gone up 169%. And I think it's safe to say that the value has not gone up 169%.

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:42]:

The average in state student attending a public 4 year institution spends $26,000 in an academic year. The average cost of in state tuition is $9,600, alright, out of state tuition averages $27,000 a year. Now the average private nonprofit university student spends a total of $55,000 per academic year living on campus. And of that $55,000, $38,000 of it is tuition and fees. Pretty staggering, actually. That's that's Quite it's quite a lot.

Ryan Maruyama [00:03:20]:

So all of those numbers that you just gave out, that was all inclusive of what you said earlier, like books, Living so on and so forth.

Hannah Maruyama [00:03:30]:

Correct. The thing that they did that I really appreciate is they factored in student loan interest and also lost income, which is something that's really important because a lot of People do not take into account the fact that most students do not work, and they are losing money every single year that they are in school, not just because they're paying, but because they're not working. They're actively not working. And the ultimate cost of a bachelor's degree can exceed half $1,000,000. Now what I do wanna say here is that In this report, they say, in this context, college refers to any 4 year postsecondary institution that offers an undergraduate degree program. Okay? Here's the problem. What do you and I know about 4 years when they refer to college?

Ryan Maruyama [00:04:11]:

It's not 4 years.

Hannah Maruyama [00:04:12]:

It's not 4 years. It's five and a half for most graduates. So I did the rough math on the $36,000 a year times five and a half years, and you are looking at two $100,000 in order to get a bachelor's degree. That's just cost. That's unbelievable. And there is no way with the stats that we know to be true about college, which thank you, Washington University. 53% of college graduates 1 to 5 years out of college are under or unemployed. The government defines underemployed as $28,000 a year or less.

Hannah Maruyama [00:04:47]:

More than half of college graduates are making less than $28,000 a year or they don't have a job at all. And then the median, once they actually do get work up to 5 years out of school, is $48,000 a year, which if you live in a high tax state like California or New York, is 38 k, all said and done. So why are people going? It's just an unbelievably poor value proposition. And the fact that it's still knee jerk, We send kids to do this because they should and because it's what you do and because it's traditional. Also, as an aside, I hate saying college is traditional education because most people do not attend college. So why is college traditional education when most people traditionally do not attend college? That makes no sense to me. Anyway, it's just part of institutional marketing, but that's my aside about that bothering me. But yeah.

Hannah Maruyama [00:05:39]:

So the summary of this is that If you go to college, student loan interest and loss of income factored in, the ultimate cost of a bachelor's degree with the average cost of college and tuition right now, you're looking at half $1,000,000 in cost.

Ryan Maruyama [00:05:54]:

Yeah. That's crazy. And even the $200 is crazy as far as Costco. I mean, sure. There are a lot of people listening to this that'll be like, well, you can do it for much cheaper. And That is absolutely

Hannah Maruyama [00:06:10]:

Yeah. Cool. People don't, though.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:11]:

Right. Is that people don't. I

Hannah Maruyama [00:06:13]:

get that comment all the time, which is like, oh, well, you could do it for a lot less. I was like, yeah. But people do not.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:18]:

It also doesn't mean that just because you do it for less in a more affordable way that the value on the other side For your time, for the lost wages makes up for the difference of it as well. Because say that you go to One of these online universities, and I don't wanna say a name of any of these because I don't wanna promote any of them.

Hannah Maruyama [00:06:40]:

I've been getting ads a couple of them that it's like, I can't stitch them on TikTok and talk about how they're trying to target moms, like, stay at home moms. It's kind of Right.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:48]:

I literally don't wanna say their names because I don't wanna give them any airtime because they're spending 1,000,000 of dollars, and they're like, oh, well, You know, here, take this degree program that only takes 3 years. There's no semesters, Really? You just pay per 6 months, and then you can take as many classes as you want. It's just a really, really good way of getting More money out of people that weren't going to spend that money to begin with. And then what do you think is the value of that degree afterwards When you get it in such a fashion.

Hannah Maruyama [00:07:24]:

I mean, not good.

Ryan Maruyama [00:07:25]:

Right. There's already very little value in degrees to begin with, and there's even less value in those degrees. To get back to it, could you do it for cheaper? Absolutely. Does it mean you still should? You gotta weigh that for yourself. If you're looking at me, you know, probably not. Probably not. And, really, at the point of, like, when does it make sense to go back to college or go to college Is at some point later in your career when you can afford it and you've also realized that you, quote, need it for your career? Look. College is a business just like anyone else.

Ryan Maruyama [00:08:03]:

They will take your money at any Time.

Hannah Maruyama [00:08:07]:

Yes. Do not let them push you off this cliff. That's what I call it, the college cliff. They're just trying to push all these teenagers off the and their parents off this college cliff. You don't have to go off of it. You don't have to jump off of it. You can just go, you know what? I'll be back. Why? Because they're a greedy $1,000,000,000,000 business, and they will take your money at any point.

Hannah Maruyama [00:08:24]:

There's a story I wanna tell about an interaction that I had with BYU on LinkedIn, the college, BYU. This has nothing to do with the fact that it was BYU. This has everything to do with the fact that they were bragging about how they had improved their product, which is their bachelor's degree. And how had they improved it? They took it from 4 years to 3 years. Two points. 1, it could have been 3 years the whole time. If it could have been 3 years, it could have been 2 years. If it could have been 2 years, it could have been 1 year.

Hannah Maruyama [00:08:55]:

It could've been 1 year. It could've been individual classes. Because if we really get into the ethics of college, they should be selling a la carte educational options. But whatever. 2, They were bragging about the fact that they were bringing the cost down to make it more affordable for people by having them do 3 year degrees. So I commented on this post on LinkedIn where they were talking about, wow. Look at look. Unveiling our 3 year degree.

Hannah Maruyama [00:09:21]:

And I just said, Well, since most college graduates take five and a half years to graduate, does that mean that people will actually just graduate in 4 years from your 3 year program? To which they responded, Well, everything depends on how many classes the student takes, and I just responded to them. So, yes, your 3 year degree program is gonna take 4 years. So your 3 year program is actually the length that you imply your 4 year degrees will be. It's It's just insane. And they're packaging it like it's this great novel thing that they've done for people. Like, oh, you're welcome. Now you can you can take a 3 year program that's actually gonna take you four and a half years probably in order to graduate. It's just unbelievable.

Hannah Maruyama [00:10:01]:

And instead of improving their product, instead of allowing students to get micro degrees. Instead of allowing students to actually just stack their skills together and take the classes that actually matter, instead, they're still gonna cram them through their stupid program and require them to take a bunch of classes they don't need in order to prop up their institution instead of actually catering to the student. This is not toward BYU YU specifically, this is towards all of these colleges that are doing this because this is their new shtick. Their new shtick is, oh, 3 years, but, really, it's still gonna be 4 years, guys.

Ryan Maruyama [00:10:29]:

There's a couple of stories that I wanna tell in here. One, I was in college, and I was getting my degree. It was impossible to get your degree with a full course load. So a full course load defined at the time as Five classes. In order for you to be a full time student for, like, insurance benefits is, like, 4 classes have to take out of time, and then you're a full time student. But then okay. So you have to take 5 in order to be, like, a full course load student. You were not Able to graduate in 4 years if you took 5 classes a semester for 4 years.

Ryan Maruyama [00:11:12]:

It was impossible. You had to take summer school, or you needed to 1 semester. You needed to take 6. And then another semester, you take 6 as well. And so you missed it by just this much if you did for and then it was my senior year, and the college, In their great wisdom, they lowered it by whatever it was, 8 credits or whatever it was, 6 credits. And they did this big marketing campaign About I think it was a 5 in 4. So it was 5 classes a semester for 4 years. I think that's what they named this marketing campaign.

Ryan Maruyama [00:11:49]:

And it was basically, like, literally giving themselves gold stars. I mean, literally, because the banners around the school Had gold stars on them. The gold stars. And it was just like, yeah. 5 and 4. 5 and 4.

Hannah Maruyama [00:12:03]:

Can you imagine the faculty reading where they're like, Oh, Jenny. That's a good one.

Ryan Maruyama [00:12:07]:

That's a great idea. And so they're

Hannah Maruyama [00:12:10]:

gonna love that. Yeah. We Well,

Ryan Maruyama [00:12:13]:

we we can actually have them graduate in 4 years instead of taking summer school or having to load on Six classes and then 6 classes. You have to do 7 classes, which you need, like, a override to do. And it was too late for me because I had already done it. You know what I mean? I was done. I was basically done. I was like, what the heck? This is crazy. And so It reminds me very much of that. And then and you're absolutely right.

Ryan Maruyama [00:12:40]:

They are starting to feel the squeeze, and they're trying to what's happening is that the pandemic Made a lot of people reconsider the value of a college degree, which is why it's so in vogue right now. You and I, our opinion when we first started this podcast and even prior to that, like, the 8 years before that, where we are telling people, you don't have go to be successful. You don't have to go to be successful. You don't have to go to college to be successful. That was a fringe idea. And people were like, what are you talking about? 2 years ago when we started this podcast, a little over 2 years ago, when we tell people, they'd be like, that's crazy. That's crazy. Now that the pandemic happened, Now that people are starting their eyes are starting to open.

Ryan Maruyama [00:13:19]:

It's almost like the mainstream media is adopting our point of view and be like, let's Question the value of a college degree. And in the pandemic, people that were in college, that were enrolled, it started to all unravel. It started to all unravel this this sham of what it actually is because they weren't actually on campus. They weren't at the Kegers. They weren't sleeping through their classes on, you know, actually physically there. They weren't hating their lives.

Hannah Maruyama [00:13:45]:

Well, you can't even make the networking argument at that point because they're not even there.

Ryan Maruyama [00:13:48]:

Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. And so people went back, and they were just like, well, should I even do this? Should I even do this? And then So many people broke out of college, which is amazing.

Hannah Maruyama [00:13:59]:

And then their siblings right behind them were like

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:01]:

They didn't even go. Right? The they made the decision that these Gen Zers just I don't. You know what? I'm terrible. I have no idea. These young whippersnappers.

Hannah Maruyama [00:14:15]:

He's got the rickin' tongue.

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:17]:

I've I creak when I wake up in the morning, so I can start talking like that. They're, like, 15 years younger than I am. So I

Hannah Maruyama [00:14:25]:

know, hon. I know.

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:28]:

I could be your dad.

Hannah Maruyama [00:14:29]:

I could be I could be your respect me. So, anyway, no I don't understand TikTok.

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:35]:

Yeah. These young whippersnappers Are not going to college because they don't see the value of it either. What happened was that that these colleges were just like, okay. Well, we're gonna Charge them the same amount of money, but we're gonna take away all of the amenities, which they didn't even think to themselves like, Hey. The amenities is the whole reason that that's your whole value proposition. They think that they're there to get job training and then to, you know, hopefully, get hired and everything. But no. People are there because, one, they don't want to be an outcast of society and all that all that stuff, all the societal pressure, All of the pressure, the familial pressure that you're feeling from for me, it was my grandfather.

Ryan Maruyama [00:15:16]:

I had a discussion with a FAANG engineer. He works at Twitch now, but he Worked at Amazon, Apple, Etsy. Sean Dubois, go back and listen to that episode. But for him, it was his mother. Right? And for a lot of people, it's their parents saying, hey. You gotta go to college. You gotta go to college and feel this pressure. Okay.

Ryan Maruyama [00:15:33]:

So there's all of that. But then there's there's also like, They're there for the college experience, and you're taking away the entire experience from them. And what the colleges are realizing, it was like, oh my god. If I take the experience away from them and I take them all and put them into a Zoom room, they're realizing that they're not getting anything from us, And so they're gonna opt out.

Hannah Maruyama [00:15:54]:

I think that 3 year thing is actually more for the parents. I think it's trying to derisk it for the parents because, ultimately, I think it's the parents that are making the purchasing decision because they're the ones even if the students are the ones taking out the loans, it's the parents who are pushing them to do so. It's the parents who are deciding whether or not these kids go to school. And I think What happened was the parents were the ones that really got a full taste of, like, 1, the curriculum and then 2, the actual situation. And they're just like, I'm not gonna make my other kids go. And so the colleges are like, maybe if we make it less time, they won't think it's as bad. They must have tested. They must to test it.

Hannah Maruyama [00:16:29]:

Right? And really what I wanna say to the parents is do not let them pull you back in with that. Because what that's saying is they're admitting that their product is inferior because you don't have to send your kids to college to get them educated. You do not have to send them to college, pay those prices, or spend that time in order for them to get the equivalent or superior education. You do not.

Ryan Maruyama [00:16:52]:

Hey there. I hope you're enjoying this episode of the degree free podcast. At degree free, we wanna help everyone thrive and succeed without needing a college degree. And the only way to truly reach everyone is with your help. If you're getting value out of this episode or if this is your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th episode that you're tuning into, If you could just ship this to a friend, just click that 1 button and share it with someone in your contacts or on your stories. It would mean the world to us. And more importantly, get our message out to more people who need help getting out of their current situation. If you could do that right now, that would mean a whole lot.

Hannah Maruyama [00:17:29]:

Do not get sucked back in by this 3 year nonsense that's actually gonna take 4 years. Don't do it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:17:34]:

Before we move on from this, I did wanna say the other story that I was thinking about when you brought this up, Which is now you are starting to see all of these colleges and all of these universities. Their enrollment is dropping. And so what are they doing now? They're creating boot camps. They are creating these shorter Intensive boot camps, things that you see in the private sector, things that you see, you know, individuals doing. So, you know, you pay Fifteen grand, and then you go to this physical location for 8 weeks, and then you just hammer a keyboard for 8 weeks, and then all of a sudden you know how to code. Right. They are doing that exact same thing because they realize that they've missed an entire segment of the market, And they are trying to claw you back in there. And, look, if you end up doing this skill and learning the skill and getting the experience and then landing a job.

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:31]:

I mean, hey. That's awesome. Right? That's the only goal. Right. Exactly. Because why is that a good thing? Well, the Value and time that you're getting out of it is huge. You're only doing it for 8 weeks, 6 weeks. To be real, I think I was looking at some of these programs, and I don't wanna name any universities because I'm not giving anybody free airtime.

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:54]:

But Some of these programs are, like, 6 months, and they cost, like, $17. It's not quite as quick as some of these other ones. But the thing is is depending on what you're doing, those programs can be that long and that that expensive too. So, Anyway, it's something for you to look into, but they are creating these different products now because they are realizing, like, hey. We're behind the times, which makes you think, isn't that exactly what college is supposed to be anyway? I know for myself. I'm not talking about anybody else. I know for myself, I went because I thought it was job training. I went because I thought it was a job necessity.

Ryan Maruyama [00:19:33]:

And I've said it so many times in this podcast. The way that I viewed it, I know for me and myself, when I looked at job descriptions, I saw only one line that said they required anything. It said college degree Required. Everything else was nice to haves. And so I was like, yeah. Well, if I get a college degree, then they're automatically gonna hire me because that's Only thing that's required. And look. I know.

Ryan Maruyama [00:19:56]:

I'm an idiot because that's not how the world works. I I mean, I know that now.

Hannah Maruyama [00:20:00]:

I told you that's how it worked.

Ryan Maruyama [00:20:01]:

Right. Exactly. Or that's what I thought at the time, and that's what the marketing says. So, anyway, I'll get off my soapbox about this, but I can go all day on this and the value of a college degree and the different products that they're spitting out, the iteration of the product over the years. It's something that really fascinates me, and I'm sure it fascinates you as well, but we'll move on.

Hannah Maruyama [00:20:22]:

Alright. So what I wanna talk about next is the future of job security. What is the future of job security, do you think?

Ryan Maruyama [00:20:29]:

Seriously, it is people skills.

Hannah Maruyama [00:20:31]:

This is something you and I were just talking about, but the future of job security, according to this Forbes article, is flexibility. And that makes a lot of sense because as AI comes onto the scene. And I know this people are gonna think this is an AI podcast recently, but I don't think people have a lot of people have fully grasped how it has fundamentally changed work. The industrial revolution changed work, and the Internet changed work. And AI is going to change work because a lot of people don't interact with it necessarily on a user basis every single day. And so they don't really fully understand how much it's gonna change and how much it's already changed. But you and I work with it pretty intimately on a daily basis. And so that's why we see how it's starting to touch everything.

Hannah Maruyama [00:21:12]:

And what's gonna happen and I think this this is what's cool This is that as AI continues to change work, the qualities that are going to be the most valued are going to be human qualities. Those are gonna be creativity, flexibility, interpersonal skills, like human communication. And that is where I see, and so does this Forbes article writer, the future of job security. And it's funny because I just post Got this on LinkedIn the other day where I just said, like, job security is not real. Job security is skill security, which means you are able to learn new things and you are able to continually keep changing. And that is going to matter a lot. And I think that completely contradicts what a lot of people have been taught because of college, because it's so static because it's such a monolith. And people are used to, I go to college.

Hannah Maruyama [00:22:05]:

I buy my degree. And after I buy my degree, I don't have to learn anything new. That's just not gonna cut it anymore for people that want to keep moving up, for people that wanna get ahead, for people that wanna make more money, for people that wanna start businesses. You have to keep learning. You have to keep going. And, honestly, I think that really frozen, crystallized mindset of I learn once, and then I get my job, and I'm done. It's dead. That doesn't exist anymore.

Hannah Maruyama [00:22:30]:

Not if you want to continue to move up. Even people who are in jobs where they wanna stay in the same job for long periods of time, you're gonna have to keep learning new skills in order to stay competitive in your actual job. And I don't mean, like, you constantly have to be going to the next boot camp or constantly going to the next course, but you have to be learning incrementally all the time. And And that is what I think. That's what capitalism is to me. It's the fact that we are now going to get to a point where technology is going to make it so that we are able to be more creative. We're able to do more interesting things. Humans are able to do more human work again.

Hannah Maruyama [00:23:07]:

Like, people are gonna get out of Excel sheets. People are gonna get out of boring things, and people are going to get into things that actually matter. And that I'm excited to see, and I see it now. And that's pretty cool. So that's what I think the future of job security is.

Ryan Maruyama [00:23:20]:

I hear what you're saying, and I completely agree with you. I wanted to key in on a couple of things that you're saying. 1, You were saying that, you know, if you want to move up, you have to continue to upscale. I think that that's wrong. Or rather, I don't think it's wrong, but I think that you need to add a qualifier at the end of it. So, yes, obviously, if you wanna move up, you have to continue to up But I think as AI comes into the workplace, especially depending on what you're doing, if you are not Upskilling, you are going to be left in the dust. So it's not even moving up. It's just remaining where you are.

Ryan Maruyama [00:23:59]:

So with the advancement of AI with it coming in, which is all of what I wanted to talk about today. So this is actually very timely because I'm gonna go through this, AI report that LinkedIn put out with these companies are going to adopt AI at such a huge rate that Depending on what your job is, your job might not be necessary, and you might be let go. And so like I said, yes, upskilling to move up, but it could also be upskilling just to stay relevant in your marketplace, in your industry, in your job. The second thing that I wanted to talk about I really liked was your job security is skill security. I agree with that a 100%. I'm currently helping someone get a job and transition from being a creative his whole life And going into a completely different field. We go through, like, your needs and your wants at the very beginning and stuff like that, and he only had 3 needs. And so the needs that he had was, like, make $50,000 a year, room for growth, and work remotely.

Ryan Maruyama [00:25:01]:

It's very, very reasonable. Right? Which is If you any of you have taken the job change accelerator, you know that that's, like, that's what your need should look like when you're looking for a job, especially when you are switching from 1 industry to an to the other because there's almost infinite amount of jobs that will fill those requirements. But if you have, like, 17 different requirements and 17 different needs

Hannah Maruyama [00:25:26]:

Way less jobs.

Ryan Maruyama [00:25:27]:

Yes. Totally. But what I said to him is I said, okay. I really like those things, but room for growth. I said, can we look at that? What if we could internalize Room for growth. And we weren't dependent on our job or our industry for that room for growth. And we said, Okay. From now on, I'm just going to adopt this mindset that I'm gonna constantly be learning and constantly learning.

Ryan Maruyama [00:25:51]:

And the only thing that's gonna stop my growth is me. So then If you adopt that mindset, you'll never run out of room for growth. For example, you could go to a company and go into a department where you become the top person. Like, let's say it's sales or something. And and in sales, There really isn't too much room to grow in that department if you're a salesperson. I mean, then you can become a people manager or a sales trend, but that's a different job. Okay. Maybe that doesn't mean room for growth.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:20]:

But if you are saying, okay. I'm ready to grow, and I'm willing to grow and do that and take on those different roles, Then okay. Then you'll have room for growth in any company, in any industry, in any job. So, really, if you can internalize that and you say, I am the limit of my growth. Then, really, you only have 2 needs. You gotta make $50,000 a year, and you gotta work remotely, which makes it even easier. And then, also, it goes to The thing that you and I both know, which is when you're first making your major career transition or even if you're deciding to Just get a job or, you know, follow one of the 5 degree free pathways right out of high school and not go to college and you're looking for college alternatives. The 1st job that you Get when you first make that transition or when you first seek a college alternative, it's not incredibly important.

Ryan Maruyama [00:27:08]:

Not really as long as you have that mindset of I'm going to grow out of here.

Hannah Maruyama [00:27:13]:

I'm going to Take something from here and go further up.

Ryan Maruyama [00:27:16]:

Exactly. You're just trying to make the 1st move. That's the most important thing for people that that are listening to this, and you're literally doing manual labor. Right? The first move is from stop doing manual labor to sitting underneath the desk. However you have to do that, that's what you have to do as long as your other needs are met. I really like that job security equals skill security. With everything that you talked about there. You're pretty much giving away the end of what I was gonna talk about in this AI report, which is the thing that matters most going forward.

Ryan Maruyama [00:27:49]:

And so I won't bury the lead. The thing that's gonna matter most going forward is human interaction and human skills. And that's everything around that. So soft skills, communication, flexibility, and I'll read the actual thing that this report says. But those are gonna matter the most. Secondly, from a branding perspective, from a, you know, you wanna be a personal brand if anybody wants to do that, which, Unfortunately, that's kind of the way that the world is is is headed. And you have a personal brand whether you like it or not. And so If you're aware of it and you can think about how you want that to be conveyed to the world, you you know, the better for it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:28:27]:

From that perspective as well, It's gonna be more human than ever before, which is you are going to need to have an opinion.

Hannah Maruyama [00:28:36]:

About something.

Ryan Maruyama [00:28:37]:

Have an opinion about something. Like, whatever your opinion is, if you don't have 1, figure out whatever your opinion is, and then be like, okay. So I do have opinions about something. So for example, for me, and they don't do this anymore, but I'm a baseball fan. And there's the American League, and there's a National League in baseball. National league had pitchers hit and American league didn't. Now they both have designated hitters. I personally believe that Pitcher should hit because that's how God intended baseball to be played.

Ryan Maruyama [00:29:10]:

Because you are part of the team, a part of a 9 man roster just like everybody else, So you hit. I completely understand why Major League Baseball went the opposite way and made sure that, you know, pitchers don't hit because it's a better product for The fans, I get it, but that's that's my opinion. Right? And so if you can have an opinion like that about something totally unrelated to your industry or anything, then you know that you have opinions somewhere else. So for us, our work opinion is that, well, You don't need a college degree to be successful. That that's our opinion. Or my opinion about AI, and I think it's yours, is that I think that every company It's gonna be an AI company, quote, unquote.

Hannah Maruyama [00:29:52]:

That reminds me of the data where everybody became a data company. Why? Because It matters. It matters what people are doing. It matters what people are thinking. It matters how they're making decisions. It matters what types of decisions they're making, when they're making them. And so something like 98% of companies now track their data. It's a thing that people do because it's a practice that makes sense.

Hannah Maruyama [00:30:12]:

And that is the same with AI. It's just going to reduce cost and improve the quality of human work.

Ryan Maruyama [00:30:19]:

Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. So let's just jump into what I wanted to talk about today, which is gonna be this report, future of work report, AI at work, and this is from LinkedIn. And I will time stamp This because this is from August 2023. So is this a few months old or a couple months old? But I still think that the information in here is really, really amazing, and we're gonna go through this. There's a lot of articles and things that we talked about in this episode. So per usual, show notes be at degreefree.c0forward/podcast.

Ryan Maruyama [00:30:50]:

You can check out the show notes there. I'm not gonna read this entire report to you because that would, Frankly, take all day. But I will sum up the parts that I thought were really interesting and how you can use it in your career and to level up, hopefully, or at least be aware that this is happening right now under our noses, and for some of us, right in front of our faces. Before I get started, if you go to degreefree.c04/podcast, and then you do check this report out, this thing is Super well laid out. It's like, I can understand this thing. This is, like, amazing. And I would love it if I was this good at page design and presentation design. It really is amazing.

Ryan Maruyama [00:31:35]:

But okay. So let's jump into The report here the first thing that I wanted to mention out of this report that is worth mentioning is that the share of global English Language job postings mentioning GPT or chat GPT increased 21 x since November 2022. That is a lot. Granted, I think that's when it came out. Nobody really knew about it, and that's when their big push was. So So 21 x is probably off of a very small beginning number, but still pretty insane. On this same page, and I'm gonna read this quote here, 47% of US executives believe that, quote, using generative AI will increase productivity, Unquote. 44% plan to increase their use of AI at their organization in the next year, and 40% Think that using generative AI will help unlock more growth slash revenue opportunities in the next year.

Ryan Maruyama [00:32:36]:

Those are very, very High percentages of companies that are adopting it and that are looking towards the future of, like, hey. How can we Start using AI in our company. And it goes back to exactly what you were saying about the data. The puck is clearly going that way, and People that are not skating to the puck are going to be left behind. And I'm not saying people, although I mean that too with companies, and therefore, business leaders that are not Positioning their companies to be a part of this is, you know, I think a mistake, and they see that as well. 40%, at least 40 plus percent of that See it as well. So that is crazy. The next thing that I had highlighted is gonna be the uptick in members' skills, Employers' job postings and platform conversations indicates that competition is intensifying to hire talent to fill specialized AI roles.

Ryan Maruyama [00:33:32]:

Since many of these roles are brand new and no existing degree completely satisfies the role, Filling them will require an increased emphasis on hiring for skills. Businesses will need to thoroughly understand the skills they have and the Skills they need so they can hire candidates with the right skills and direct upskilling efforts for current employees appropriately. And now this is a quote, and I'm gonna read it from the CEO of LinkedIn, Ryan Orlansky. March 20th 2023, companies that focus on skills and shift away from antiquated signals like degree, pedigree, or where someone worked previously We'll be able to ensure they have the right people with the right skills in the right roles doing their best work. And it doesn't stop there. Once you have those employees in the right roles with the right skills, it's equally important to continue investing thing in their career. It's equally important to continue investing in their career progression and skills.

Hannah Maruyama [00:34:35]:

Ryan Relanski, my boy.

Ryan Maruyama [00:34:38]:

This yeah. He is awesome. He's the man. So how is this useful to us? Well, it's useful to people that have that degree free mindset that believe in the degree free way of upskilling, Showing that you can do the work, knowing that you can do the work, and then going out and getting these jobs. It is telling you right here That there are no schools, there are no degrees for these AI roles. The ball isn't even built. Right. So there is no gatekeeper.

Ryan Maruyama [00:35:08]:

Who can who can gatekeep this? Nobody. Because it's a brand new industry. So, really, your opportunity has never been better.

Hannah Maruyama [00:35:16]:

It's our prices have never been lower. Yeah. You know what's funny about that? I was looking at I was looking at some roles for specifically for AI prompt engineers. And it was interesting because I noticed quite a few of them say master's or PhD even though the language was softer than it was before. It says preferred now. But that's funny because I was like, in what? And they didn't specify. Why did they not specify? Because there isn't one. There isn't one.

Hannah Maruyama [00:35:41]:

They're just making it up. They're just making it up to make their jokes work. And they have posted these job postings or rather their HR has posted these job postings, and they have included this for no reason at all. I venture to say, it makes me wanna do an experiment, but applying to these jobs with the correct skill set, I guarantee will result in interviews because it's ridiculous. They don't know what they're they don't know what degree they're looking for because they don't actually care.

Ryan Maruyama [00:36:06]:

Yeah. They well, they're trying to control For smart people, and I'm using quotes for everybody watching. They're trying to control for smart people, but smart in what? Like

Hannah Maruyama [00:36:18]:

Yeah. And and what smart in I went and got a master's degree in something that's not applicable to this. Or maybe it is. I don't know how it would be.

Ryan Maruyama [00:36:26]:

But the point of the matter is that if you can prove that you can do this work and if you are messing with something on your free time and working on your own projects and you're able to document it, and then you're able to get an interview and then tell these people that you can do it and show these people you can do it, now is the time Because there will be a degree soon. 100% positive. What do we know about these colleges? These colleges, as much as we dog on them, they are smart. They are very, very business savvy, and they are going to try to build these walls as quickly as possible and then be like, yep. There's this is our AI degree. And then they're gonna build the wall and then build the gate, and they're gonna gate keep this. So before they can do that

Hannah Maruyama [00:37:08]:

Learn, build your projects, apply to these jobs.

Ryan Maruyama [00:37:11]:

Exactly. And then So my next thing is for everybody who's thinking, oh, it's too late. It's too late. It's too late. It's absolutely not too late. Although, when you look at The relative numbers, you might think that because it says 21 x since November 2022. Isn't that when the product dropped or very much around there? So No. Duh.

Ryan Maruyama [00:37:32]:

Right? Like, 21 x from when the product dropped? Yes. That makes sense. In the same vein, I'm gonna read another little callout box here. And for those that are watching and then for those that are following along that actually go and get this report that's on page 8. In 2016, seen only 3 out of every 1,000 members could be considered AI talent. By 2022, that number had increased to 17 In 1,000 based on the median share of AI talent across 25 countries.

Hannah Maruyama [00:38:03]:

That's nobody.

Ryan Maruyama [00:38:04]:

Yeah. So that is a massive relative increase. Right? I mean, what about 6 x? That's huge.

Hannah Maruyama [00:38:11]:

Yeah. But that's not even close to how many people they need to know things about it and do things with it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:38:15]:

But it's Seventeen out of a 1000 people so far. So they don't have any experts in these fields yet. Or, I mean, they there are experts in the field, but you can be an expert too. Right. We're early. We're still very early. The next point that I wanted to bring up was that this isn't just happening in the tech Industries. This is going to happen literally everywhere, and it's not just happening in the US either.

Ryan Maruyama [00:38:39]:

In fact, The number one place that this is happening where AI skills is is accelerating is in Singapore.

Hannah Maruyama [00:38:45]:

Makes sense. They're they're on the edge of everything.

Ryan Maruyama [00:38:47]:

They they are on the edge of everything.

Hannah Maruyama [00:38:49]:

That country is a wonder.

Ryan Maruyama [00:38:50]:

Yeah. It's in I don't know too much about it. I know just enough.

Hannah Maruyama [00:38:53]:

I don't know that I wanna live in it, but it's man, is it interesting.

Ryan Maruyama [00:38:56]:

Yeah. I have no idea. I do I know just enough to be like, That's cool.

Hannah Maruyama [00:39:00]:

Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Just like the data. You know? It's just it's just like data. It's it's every industry that's gonna have to do it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:39:05]:

Yes. Exactly. And we are in the early innings of it. And so if your industry isn't using AI yet, but you can see How AI can be implemented, that is a massive, massive opportunity. So massive, in fact, and I'm gonna read you this next stat for those following along. This is on page 13. 51% of US executives Are excited about AI advancements, but do not yet know how their organization will leverage AI tools and skills. This is a huge opportunity.

Ryan Maruyama [00:39:42]:

51%. That is half. That is more than half. Or like, yeah. We need to use it, but we don't know how to use it.

Hannah Maruyama [00:39:51]:

Yeah. That's such a glaring opportunity.

Ryan Maruyama [00:39:54]:

Exactly. And so Maybe right now, you don't know how to use it either. And maybe right now, you're thinking to yourself, well, I work at a massive company with a 100 plus employees. How am I going to tell this decision maker, big head honcho guy, that they should start using AI? I have no idea how the In our workings of all of these different departments because that is thinking too big. What can you do right now in your job, in your role? What can you do in your industry and how can you leverage AI tools to help you do your job more efficiently, better? And if you don't know, it's probably because you don't know what AI is capable of yet. And so if you don't know what this AI is capable of yet, then You need to just start jumping on and figuring it out. Play with these tools. Right? ChattoptyPT is super, super easy to use, and it's free.

Ryan Maruyama [00:40:52]:

Right. I mean, you can pay $20 a month for the GPT 4 if you want and to be able to use plug ins, but that's pretty cheap for education. This is what I did earlier this year, Which is I subbed out Google for ChatGPT. Once the iPhone app came out, I downloaded it, and I said, okay. For a week, I am just going to use ChatGPT instead of Google whenever I need to Google anything, and I'll see it. And I didn't go back to Google. And that right there shows you the massive, massive disruption. Because Now I didn't go to Google when, normally, you go to Google, and then it gives you a link.

Ryan Maruyama [00:41:31]:

And then you press the link, and you're like, I gotta read, you know

Hannah Maruyama [00:41:34]:

Through ads.

Ryan Maruyama [00:41:35]:

Exactly. I gotta read all of this nonsense to get to the thing that I wanted. This is gonna change Media, it's gonna change SEO for sure. But then you can look and play with these tools and see how it's going to change your own Job. I mean, for me personally, I'm very glad that I'm not in my 1st job anymore right out of college. Because right out of college, I was working in a role where I was basically a monkey with a headset. And what I mean by a monkey with a headset, you could literally train a monkey As long as the monkey understood, like, numbers and stuff, or as long as they understood, like, number recognition, and as long as they understood that, you could train them to do my job. I am positive that bank, that these companies are leveraging AI in some way now to get rid of those people.

Ryan Maruyama [00:42:26]:

And if they aren't doing it yet, they have already started to. Right. Because for me, I was just looking at a rubric. I was literally just looking, does it fit All of these qualifications. Does does this fit the check this box? This literally, does it check 17 boxes? Okay. It checks all 17 boxes. Send it on through. Okay.

Ryan Maruyama [00:42:51]:

It's not checking 2 of these boxes. Okay. Well, let's look. And there's, like, a decision tree of, like, if it's this box or this box that's not checked, then We we do this. This is the decision. And now I'm positive that it's mostly automated away. And the next thing I wanted to bring up, and I'm almost done, Is on page 16, 94% of US members are in jobs that could leverage generative AI to automate at least a quarter of repetitive tasks and increase productivity. So an example that they use is generative AI might lead a language translator to shift their focus from doing literal translations to reviewing and certifying machine generated translations or specializing in specific legal or literary content.

Ryan Maruyama [00:43:38]:

That goes to exactly what I was talking about, which is, like, my job at that old bank is going to go away. I mean, for the most part or the scope of that job is going to completely change. And maybe instead, I'm just going through okay. It already made the the decision. It said, yes. It checked all 17/17, and then you just go and check check yes yes yes yes no no no no no. So the nature of your job is going to look very different. And if you are in one of these, I don't know what else to say other than low skill.

Ryan Maruyama [00:44:14]:

If you are in one of these low skilled jobs as I was, you have to really look towards upskilling, which is what I was saying when you Brought this up earlier. Right? Which is it's not just upskilling so that you can continue to move up. It's upskilling so you don't get left behind. Because if you look around and you say, wow. My job largely could be automated away. Well, your job is probably

Hannah Maruyama [00:44:39]:

hardcore automated away.

Ryan Maruyama [00:44:41]:

Going to be automated away. And then if you upscale okay. Perfect. If you wanted to be the dark horse, You could help introduce AI into your company to help automate your job away so that You have a new role, which is the supervisor of this project. Instead of, like, trying to hold the water back, you could get a surfboard and try to ride the wave. You're probably other people might drown. But

Hannah Maruyama [00:45:05]:

But you'll be erupting.

Ryan Maruyama [00:45:06]:

But you'll be up to

Hannah Maruyama [00:45:07]:

You'll be riding.

Ryan Maruyama [00:45:08]:

Yeah. Exactly. And I won't go through much more because you can just go through this yourself, and it's not that long of a read.

Hannah Maruyama [00:45:14]:

It's a good report from

Ryan Maruyama [00:45:15]:

a student. I'll just go over 2 more things really, really quickly. It has a chart on page 17. Right? And this chart is really, really amazing. It goes through the different industries or occupations where and it gives percentages of the different skills that could potentially be augmented by generative AI. And then I am just gonna call out the 4 highest ones, And then I'll call out the 3 lowest ones. So really quick, the highest one is gonna be software engineer. 96% of the skills can potentially be augmented by generative AI, which makes sense because it's All on the computer.

Ryan Maruyama [00:46:03]:

And then there is salespeople, 59%. A lot of that is going to be Cold calling. Right? Like, actually dialing. There's gonna be retail sales, outside sales. A lot of the responsibilities there are gonna be automated away Through AI. And then thinking about, also, for all those salespeople out there, think about all the time that you have to input something into your CRM. Right? Like, I had a phone call with and you'd be like, oh my god. I gotta summarize my notes, and then maybe you took a recording of it, and then you have to put it through a transcription service and all that.

Ryan Maruyama [00:46:39]:

All that's gonna be automated away for you so you can focus on the actual thing that matters, which is actually closing the deal. And so your sales call, it's gonna be recorded. It's gonna be transcribed, and then the action items are gonna be put onto your Kanban board, your Trello or whatever. And it's gonna be like, hey. Follow-up here. And it's gonna automatically put another date on your calendar that matches with their dates. So that is definitely something that's gonna happen. Customer service rep, 76%.

Ryan Maruyama [00:47:09]:

And this is where we're seeing a lot of the penetration in all of the industries. Doesn't matter your industry. Customer service rep is a really, really big drag on the company because it's just De facto, it's a cost center. It is one of those things where if we can figure out a way to allay tickets And shorten times and get rid of overhead. It's nothing but wins. So 76% of their job can be augmented by generative AI. And this doesn't mean necessarily taking over, but augmented. And then the last 1 is gonna be cashier, which is 59%.

Ryan Maruyama [00:47:48]:

And we are already seeing that to this day, Which is, you know, but with self checkout and all of those types of things. Right? The scanning UPC's Codes and everything. Now nowadays, if you go to certain supermarkets, the cashiers don't even have to memorize what the vegetable looks like anymore. Every single vegetable has a UPC code on it, and they can just scan it and put it on the scale. And then on the low side, there's environmental health safety specialist. 3% of that job can be augmented by generative AI, construction specialist, 11% of those jobs, and then oil field operator.

Hannah Maruyama [00:48:30]:

Makes sense. Everybody walking around physically doing something.

Ryan Maruyama [00:48:32]:

Right. Exactly.

Hannah Maruyama [00:48:33]:

1%. Seeing a robot do that? Exactly. Not for a while?

Ryan Maruyama [00:48:36]:

Not for a while, if ever, because

Hannah Maruyama [00:48:39]:

We have a I have a pretty good friend who's an oil field operator. That is a very human job for sure. It's gonna be that way for a while.

Ryan Maruyama [00:48:46]:

So I wanted to get To this portion of this, which is coming back, people skills are more critical than ever. 92% of US executives agree that people skills are more important than ever. In the US, the fastest Growing in demand skills since November 2022 are flexibility. So that jives exactly with what with what you said. Professional ethics

Hannah Maruyama [00:49:15]:

Makes sense.

Ryan Maruyama [00:49:17]:

Social perceptiveness, and self management.

Hannah Maruyama [00:49:20]:

It's all working with people, being honest, being able to adapt, and being in charge of yourself.

Ryan Maruyama [00:49:25]:

In the US, communication remains the top skill demanded across all job postings, Which as we talked about before, it is never more important to be human. Never more important to work on your soft skills. Never more important to have an opinion about something. And that is how you are going to continually move up and keep moving up in your career, in life, in reaching that success, whatever success means to you, is continually to Hone and sharpen your soft skills. Because a lot of the hard skill stuff, as we all know, can be trained, but For some of these jobs are not even going to be necessary anymore. And it's all how you interface with somebody else, which is one of the things that we talked about with interviewing. And this was a while back about, like, the 7 tricks to make your interviewer love you. One of the things is being likable.

Hannah Maruyama [00:50:26]:

Yeah. Because they're gonna have to work with you.

Ryan Maruyama [00:50:29]:

Exactly. Be just being likable because people wanna work with people they like. People wanna help. People they like. How can we do that? Well, increase your people skills, increase your soft skills. But, yes, that was today's episode, and I apologize Once again, for all of the construction noises in the background, we did our best, and we are doing our best. But we wanted to get this information out to you. If you like this episode, do me a favor and share this episode with somebody.

Ryan Maruyama [00:50:56]:

I know that this was, kind of a mixed bag of an episode, and we talked about College and the college cost, and then we talked about AI and how that's gonna be prevalent. But if you know somebody that is in a similar situation to you who's trying to level up, skill up in their work. If you could hit that share button and send this episode to them, that'd be great. And if not, if you could leave us a 5 star review, That would be great as well.

Hannah Maruyama [00:51:18]:

You can find us on LinkedIn. I'm Hannah Maruyama on LinkedIn. He's Ryan Maruyama at LinkedIn, and we will see you all next week.

Ryan Maruyama [00:51:25]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And that's the show.

Join the Degree Free! Receive exclusive tips, tools, and resources so you can crush it no degree needed:
Newsletter Sign Up - Email Only

Teach Youself. Get Work. Make Money.

We'll show you how in our Degree Free Launch Program
Check out the program
Degree Free Logo White

Are You Ready to Join the Degree Free?

Yes! Sign Me Up!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram