May 29, 2024

The State of College and Finding Work That Aligns with Your Goals (DF#151)

The State of College and Finding Work That Aligns with Your Goals

Exploring Career Options Based on Personal Goals

Join us for an enlightening discussion on the lack of vocational creativity among educators and the societal pressure to prioritize college as the only path to success.

We challenge the status quo and advocate for exploring alternative education pathways.

What You’ll Learn:

- The need for educators to guide students towards suitable career options beyond college
- Exploring vocational creativity and alternative education paths like the Launch program
- Critique of the current education system and societal pressure to attend prestigious colleges
- Debunking myths about STEM degrees as a guaranteed pathway to employment
- Importance of considering individual needs and wants when choosing a career path

Challenge societal norms and rethink traditional approaches to career selection with the Degree Free Podcast.

Discover the benefits of prioritizing personal needs and wants when exploring career opportunities.

Tune in for practical insights on finding fulfilling work and achieving financial security.

Enjoy the episode!

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Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Summary:

In this episode, Hannah and Ryan Maruyama challenge the traditional focus on college as the only path to success for students. They advocate for teachers to teach effectively without requiring a degree, instead emphasizing the importance of licensing exams. They also critique the narrow focus on college and trade schools by guidance counselors, suggesting that alternative paths like apprenticeships should be considered.

The conversation delves into the issue of loyalty in the guidance counseling field, highlighting the prevalence of disengagement. The discussion shifts to the high rates of underemployment and unemployment among college graduates, questioning the default setting of sending students to college despite these challenges. They challenge the societal perception that college guarantees entry into a higher social class and explore alternative pathways for success.

They emphasize the need to consider individual needs and wants when choosing a career path, rather than being restricted by factors like ADHD. They stress the importance of defining goals and finding a job that aligns with personal requirements for long-term satisfaction and success. Ryan shares a personal experience of how eczema limited his job options, underscoring the importance of not letting limitations dictate career choices.

Connect with Ryan:

Connect With Hannah:

Action Steps & Recommendations:

  • Consider individual needs and wants when choosing a career path
  • Define goals, needs, and wants before selecting a job
  • Explore all roles and filter out careers that are not a good fit
  • Identify needs and wants before finding a job that fits your circumstances
  • Do not let limitations dictate your options
  • Seek feedback and suggestions for job opportunities that do not require a college degree
  • Use a practical approach to finding work that aligns with your goals and requirements


  • 00:00:47 - Guidance counselors lack vocational creativity
  • 00:01:53 - The importance of subscribing to their YouTube channel
  • 00:09:23 - Expanding options beyond college and trade school
  • 00:10:02 - The negative impact of loyalty being rewarded with more work in guidance counseling
  • 00:13:59 - The abysmal underemployment rate of college graduates 10 years after graduation
  • 00:18:21 - The societal pressure to attend college and the false promise of social mobility through education
  • 00:21:45 - College does not change social class trajectory
  • 00:22:52 - Difference in perspectives on college's value
  • 00:28:25 - STEM degrees not a guarantee of success
  • 00:32:13 - Identifying jobs that legally require a degree
  • 00:33:06 - Encouraging exploration of job options without requiring a degree
  • 00:37:06 - Choosing careers based on individual needs and goals, not labels like ADHD
  • 00:42:40 - Ryan's military career limitations
  • 00:43:25 - Eczema disqualifying Ryan from the Air Force
  • 00:44:37 - Consider limitations last in job search

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]:
The motivation of most parents is to help their kid get a job. That is what they think the outcome of attending a college will be. They're not buying for, oh, well, my kid will be educated or well rounded. They're buying for the most part. Most people are doing that because they believe that that is the best path or the only path to good work.

Ryan Maruyama [00:00:20]:
Aloha folks, and welcome back to degree free. We have a bunch of stuff to get into today. We should just jump straight into it. The first thing that I want to get into is a comment from one of the videos that we've posted on YouTube. The shorts that we posted, the title of the video that we posted is guidance counselors lack vocational creativity. And I don't have to play the video here or anything like that. I mean, we can link it in the show notes. Do you remember this video? Do you remember this clip?

Hannah Maruyama [00:00:49]:
I said this because I think it's of me and it's me just saying that teachers and guidance counselors don't have very much vocational creativity because they took a job that was right in front of them. That's one of the top jobs that all kids know about. They went to college. If they're a guidance counselor, they went to more college and then they went right back into a school. So they have very little range as far as what jobs are out there.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:09]:
Yeah. You could have just stopped at that first point because that's what this clip was about. The second part, you didn't mention that, but the first part you did, which they don't have a lot of vocational creativity because they took a job that's right in front of their face, basically, more or less. That's what the clip is about. Yeah.

Hannah Maruyama [00:01:23]:
And it's not insulting. It just just it's.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:26]:
Yeah. We're not throwing shade at it. It's just what it is.

Hannah Maruyama [00:01:29]:
It's like saying people that trim trees that work outside tend to be tan. Why? Because they're outside in the sun. It's this exact same thing.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:34]:
Yeah, exactly. I was a fireman and I'm not a great juggler. Like, because I don't work at a circus. There's a person that disagreed with this kind of sort of

Hannah Maruyama [00:01:44]:
they did something.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:44]:
It was pretty funny. And when I first read this comment, one, the thing is everybody that listens to this podcast, you guys like us go to YouTube and subscribe.

Hannah Maruyama [00:01:54]:
We hope you do.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:55]:
Unless you are just hate listening or hate watching this, which people do. Like I know people do because of the comments on YouTube and

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:02]:

Ryan Maruyama [00:02:03]:
and Tik TOK and other places. Like people literally like watch our stuff, listen and watch us and because they hate us.

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:11]:
Yes. And they keep doing so.

Ryan Maruyama [00:02:13]:
And then they keep commenting. And then I'm like, guys, the way that the algorithm works is that if you keep commenting,

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:20]:
it'll keep bringing you back here.

Ryan Maruyama [00:02:22]:
Yeah. If you don't like what we have to say, just block us or just keep scrolling.

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:26]:
Just keep scrolling.

Ryan Maruyama [00:02:27]:
Don't stop. When you see my face,

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:30]:
you don't have to listen. Keep going. You have total control over the city.

Ryan Maruyama [00:02:34]:
You click and you comment and then you see more of my face. And so, and

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:39]:
it just makes them angrier and angrier.

Ryan Maruyama [00:02:40]:
It's really funny. But anyway, what I'm about to say is if you listen to this, you like us go and subscribe on YouTube to help get us more friendly faces there.

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:50]:
On the right side of YouTube.

Ryan Maruyama [00:02:51]:
Because people on YouTube hate us. They absolutely can't stand us.

Hannah Maruyama [00:02:56]:
It's true.

Ryan Maruyama [00:02:57]:
I'm gonna read this comment. I don't know if they can't stand us because this is the first time I've seen a comment from them. Actually, you know what? I don't know whether

Hannah Maruyama [00:03:05]:
or not

Ryan Maruyama [00:03:05]:
this is the first comment that they've made. I'm just gonna say it's the first comment that they've made. This is just from, two letters, m l.

Hannah Maruyama [00:03:12]:
So to recap, this is about guidance counselors to having vocational creativity or not rather.

Ryan Maruyama [00:03:18]:
Yeah. The beginning of this comment, I'll read it in its entirety first, but I will just preface this and say the beginning of this comment starts off very strong with at least, like, making some kind of argument or disagreeing with us, and the second part of the comment just deteriorates really quickly. And

Hannah Maruyama [00:03:34]:
As with most of those really long comments.

Ryan Maruyama [00:03:36]:
Here we go. So teachers apply for teaching jobs because they went to school, earned their degree and their credential, and are the only ones qualified for these jobs. Same with guidance counselors. They continued with their education, earned their credential, thus becoming qualified. She's talking like they just walked in off the street and got hired as teachers and counselors. These are horrifically underpaid and for the most part, thankless jobs and she's wanting them to demonstrate vocational creativity. Why? It doesn't benefit them in the least. These are the types of jobs where engagement and loyalty are rewarded with more work.

Ryan Maruyama [00:04:10]:
Most of those who stay in the profession and learn to keep their head down, do the job and hope it doesn't get much worse. Okay.

Hannah Maruyama [00:04:18]:
There's so many things to unpack in this comment. It's almost like we got to take it sentence by sentence.

Ryan Maruyama [00:04:24]:
What I meant by them starting strong in the first part is at least that's a valid opinion, I guess. I mean, it's all valid because it's your opinion. That's fine.

Hannah Maruyama [00:04:32]:
Everyone's opinion is their opinion. So it is valid because it's their opinion.

Ryan Maruyama [00:04:35]:
Right. So that was wrong. The first part of it talking about the counselors and the teachers getting their degrees and therefore they are

Hannah Maruyama [00:04:46]:
Qualified to do. They are qualified for their jobs. They're not qualified for the result that they're supposedly trying to get.

Ryan Maruyama [00:04:52]:
Sure. They're qualified for their jobs. That's fine.

Hannah Maruyama [00:04:54]:
Like qualified for the job listing itself.

Ryan Maruyama [00:04:56]:
Yeah. Yeah. But that goes back to what we talked about before about the degree, the legal requirement breakdown for jobs for teachers, the jobs require a degree because the license

Hannah Maruyama [00:05:09]:
requires a degree,

Ryan Maruyama [00:05:10]:
requires a degree, Yeah.

Hannah Maruyama [00:05:12]:
Which is changing rapidly.

Ryan Maruyama [00:05:13]:
Right. Exactly.

Hannah Maruyama [00:05:14]:
And when we say changing, we don't mean that that's a new development. It's going back to the way that it was. It used to be teacher examinations. That's how teachers were licensed. That's how it should be. But the colleges got greedy and they said, wait, we can make money off of this group of people. And then they did, and then they kept doing it. And then they were like, oh wait, we could do this to nurses too.

Hannah Maruyama [00:05:31]:
And that was more recent. That's a little rev trail I want to break down at some point. That is something that I think is worth knowing is that Ryan and I don't believe that you need a degree to teach effectively. Why? Because you can be an effective teacher without having to buy a degree from a college. There are people who are extremely talented teachers. And when I say teachers, I don't mean they are public school teachers within a very narrowly defined job description. They are able to teach people, teach kids, teach whoever effectively. That is what a teacher is.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:01]:
It goes to what we were saying too, in not only is it just teachers, if being effective teachers and stuff like that, but we think that you should be able to sit for the license

Hannah Maruyama [00:06:11]:
Without having a teaching degree.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:12]:
Well, if the license is what prevents you from being a teacher.

Hannah Maruyama [00:06:15]:
You should be able to take the exam, to get a license

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:18]:
To become a teacher. Like, why is there a degree requirement in the way of you sitting for that exam?

Hannah Maruyama [00:06:23]:

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:24]:
It makes no sense. Like it literally doesn't make any sense to me.

Hannah Maruyama [00:06:26]:
And current teachers should be really supportive of that. I feel because you have seen the result of the debt burden that you carry, And you should know that's not something you want for the people coming up behind you. I find that so interesting too, because a lot of them will say it's their degree that gave them their experience, but then they say that it's the license. That's the important thing that you have to have it. But then if you get the experience and you're able to take the test that says that you can have the license, why shouldn't you be able to teach anyway? That's a whole other thing.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:51]:
Yeah. But anyway, I don't want to talk about all of that right now. I wanted to hone in, like, I thought if you just stopped it right there, she's talking like they just walked in off the street and then got hired as teachers and counselors.

Hannah Maruyama [00:07:02]:
No, I'm not.

Ryan Maruyama [00:07:03]:
Well, no, but like if you just stopped right there, I disagree with you and you're wrong, but that's fine. We can leave it right there. But then they go on to say, these are horrifically underpaid and for the most part thankless jobs, and she's wanting them to demonstrate vocational creativity, exclamation point. Why it doesn't benefit them in the least. These are the types of jobs where engagement and loyalty are rewarded with more work. Most of those who stay in the profession, learn to keep their head down, do the job and hope it doesn't get much worse.

Hannah Maruyama [00:07:34]:
So whoever this is, thank you for the ad, because that is exactly why we started the launch program that right there. So she wants them to be vocational creative. Why? Why? Because supposedly your job is to guide literally it's in the name, guide kids to the correct job options that they need to know about that fit their needs. So they know what is out there and what they can do. And it is literally your entire job to do what our team is doing. And that is to give options that fit the needs of the students you are working with. And there's a couple of problems with that, that are not all under their control, like a ratio problem. That's the main thing, right? The ratio is totally off.

Hannah Maruyama [00:08:15]:
You'll have 1 or 2 guidance counselors in the entire school and you have all of these kids. So that is literally not their fault, but that said they still should know a lot more than they do, but they're not being taught that.

Ryan Maruyama [00:08:28]:
Well, they're being taught how to apply to colleges. They were being taught. These are the colleges that you go to for this x, y, and z. If you wanna do this, if you have interest in this, then you go this college, then you go to this college, then you go to this college. This is how you fill out the FAFSA. This is how you do this. Okay. You have to take this home, have your parents fill it out, whatever, whatever, whatever.

Ryan Maruyama [00:08:50]:
It's actually pretty intensive. So make sure that they fill it out. That's the type of stuff that they're trained on.

Hannah Maruyama [00:08:55]:
Before we move into other stuff, the knee jerk reaction to this too, is no, no. We talk about trade schools. So 2 things there that I want to break down. 1, it's not college or trade school. Those are not the only two options. Almost all of the jobs that are going to require you to get a 4 year degree, you can attain without ever stepping foot on a 4 year college campus and paying them a red cent. So one there's that. The second thing is that trade schools by and large have very similar stats to college.

Hannah Maruyama [00:09:24]:
And that's what I'm talking about. If there are local apprenticeships and you can just say, Hey, there's an apprenticeship. And when I say apprenticeship, I mean a small business owner who is willing to pay a student coming out of high school, 15 to $20 an hour to learn a trade. That is what I'm talking about. If you're going to funnel somebody into trades, but the problem is that guidance counselors go, Oh, well, you're not going to go to college. That's fine. Here's the military recruiters number or here go into a trade school. They don't know anything else because that's all the tools that they are given.

Ryan Maruyama [00:09:55]:
Well, they say it themselves. These are the types of jobs where engagement and loyalty are rewarded with more work.

Hannah Maruyama [00:10:02]:

Ryan Maruyama [00:10:03]:
Most of those who stay in the profession learn to keep their head down, do the job and hope it doesn't get much worse.

Hannah Maruyama [00:10:09]:
Yikes. Yikes. Yikes. Yikes.

Ryan Maruyama [00:10:11]:
This is the person that you are having literally guide your child, guide these young adults through this treacherous time of their life. This is it. And you're like, their loyalty gets rewarded with more work and they've become disengaged in it.

Hannah Maruyama [00:10:30]:
So I'm a guidance counselor. I'm helping your child figure out what paths are going to work for them. And I don't want to do work because I'm rewarded with working well with more work and I am disengaged. That's what this person is saying, which is literally our entire point. And also that is not going to get a good result. It's just not. If the incentive structure in a school for guidance counselor is all out of whack, it's not going to get good results for the students who they are by their job listing responsible for, which is why we exist. It's also a shame that what a shame, what a shame that they feel that way.

Ryan Maruyama [00:11:06]:
Yeah. The vocational creativity part is really, really important when trying to guide young adults, children, but even job seekers and career changers into certain roles or down a certain path. We keep saying it and I keep saying it. How can you reach a goal if you don't have a target? But, yeah, that was the first thing that I wanna talk about and increasing the vocational creativity. We have a bunch of podcast episodes on that. We can link them in the show notes, degreefree.c04/podcast. And also, if you want to preorder the workbook set that we have coming out that has a bunch of vocational creativity exercises in there that helps to expand your knowledge as the parent and their knowledge as your child, as as a young adult, as a person that's actually gonna go through this and execute all of this. We have exercises in there to expand your and their vocational creativity.

Ryan Maruyama [00:11:59]:
I mean, it's really their vocational creativity is expanding what matters because they're the one that's gonna execute this plan. But, you know, you as their guide through this using this workbook set, it's also helpful to expand yours as well. And who knows? I mean, if you're a parent listening to this and you're looking for a new job, it might help you too. And so if you want to order that workbook set, it's on pre order right now. You can go to degreefree.coforward/otheroptions to sign up and buy the pre order, and it should be shipping out sometime mid June or so. Right now, as we record this, we are finalizing the titles and we are now about to get the cover done. And then there's a bunch of other stuff that we have to do, but we're rushing this process because We're trying to

Hannah Maruyama [00:12:42]:
get it done by graduation.

Ryan Maruyama [00:12:43]:
It's not going to get done by graduation. No way.

Hannah Maruyama [00:12:45]:
But we're trying. That was our goal date. So we're trying. All right. So I wanted to break down something and I'm going to call this the state of college because I had a mom recently asked me in the launch program, what the numbers were saying about the results for those that buy college degrees. I did an updated little mini deep dive on this. So this is from higher It's a synthesis of a study by the Strata Institute for the future of work and the MC Burning Glass Institute.

Hannah Maruyama [00:13:17]:
So do you remember a while back there was the Washington University, I believe is a 2019 study where they surveyed that 53% of recent college graduates were under or unemployed as defined by the US government. That means making 28 ks or less.

Ryan Maruyama [00:13:32]:
I do not remember that. Well, now you do. But now I do.

Hannah Maruyama [00:13:36]:
So that was the state of college in 2019. That was 5 years ago now. So the numbers are not better. Half of graduates end up unemployed a year after graduation, 52%. I think it was like 52.4. So basically the same amount. That's not the interesting part. The interesting part is college graduates 10 years after graduation.

Hannah Maruyama [00:13:59]:
Do you want to take a wild guess what the underemploymentand slash unemployment rate is for college graduates after a decade?

Ryan Maruyama [00:14:05]:
Well, I guess I want to be shocked by this number, but I think logic says that it's somewhere close to the 50% raise, but I want to be shocked. So let's say it's 25%.

Hannah Maruyama [00:14:17]:
25%. So it's the same percentage of college graduates that get no benefit from going to college as far as increasing critical thinking. 45%, 45% of college graduates, 10 years, 10 an entire decade after they graduate are still under or unemployed. That is abysmal. That is abysmal, especially considering the average cost of a bachelor's degree per the National Center For Education Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics data is $104,000 10 years after making in $104,000 on average purchase with tuition opportunity costs and lost wages will cost you over half a $1,000,000 in your lifetime. The result of that is a coin flip as to whether or not you are going to be employed better or even employed 10 years after you buy it. And it's crazy to me that people still treat this as the default. This is the default setting for our kids.

Hannah Maruyama [00:15:15]:
And then we wonder, this is a little bit of an offshoot, but the other day we were watching that Scott Galway Ted talk about how America hates young people and basically just making it really tough for young people to make it in life. And we'll have to do a breakdown of that video because it was so interesting and it had a lot to do with what we're talking about, but he came to of course the absolute wrong conclusion because he's a college professor. So he cannot come to the conclusion that the fault of all of this starts with academia. He cannot do that because it's too difficult because he is part of that academic class. Basically he's shooting at academia, but from a really safe position, which is it's everybody else's fault, not it's academia's fault. It's just interesting because there is no other product that we would allow to be sold to 17 18 year old kids that has a 45% failure rate. Can Can you imagine people selling cars to the parents of 17 18 year old kids that has a 45% crash rate? That's insane. That's so crazy.

Hannah Maruyama [00:16:15]:
And just watching people still send their kids to this and not realize that there is a 45% chance, or really, I think it's greater than this because I think this data is actually hard to track because after a certain length of unemployment, people just drop off the radar. The government can't track them anymore because there's no information on them because they drop off the radar. Just watching something that scary happen. And it's not clicking that they should stop buying. That is the answer. In fact.

Ryan Maruyama [00:16:41]:
So we did want to talk about a couple of things. We can talk about STEM in a little bit, if you want to, if you want to get into that. But I did want to talk about a couple of things. The Scott Galloway Ted talk to what you said is that basically, you know, he's not recognizing that as academia's fault. I didn't wanna give him his due. He is recognizing that it is academia's fault. He gets all of it right. He pretty much gets everything right in his presentation.

Ryan Maruyama [00:17:04]:
The only thing that he really gets wrong in it is that he still thinks that you should go to college. His main argument is that college is still good to go. The thing that's stopping you, the main argument is the price of college. It's gotten way out of hand, and it should be made affordable or free or whatever for everybody. That's his main argument. He thinks that college still has usefulness in getting you into a different social class or getting you into work. He does address that it is academia's fault.

Hannah Maruyama [00:17:36]:
He talks more about the wealth aspect of it, and he thinks that's more of a policy level in transferring and taxation. So I agree, but I don't agree at the same time. We'll do a deep dive dive

Ryan Maruyama [00:17:45]:
on the video. I wanted to represent what he was saying correctly. And I think I did there 45% failure rate is what you were talking about a decade later. These people are buying $104,000 product and 45% failure rate is that they're still underemployed. Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the way that they're selling their product, there's no goal with it. What I mean by that is a lot of people go to college to go to college. A lot of people go to college for quote education. They go there for some ethereal reason that isn't job placement, or at least that's what the college has market to you.

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:21]:
And if you don't know what to do, go to college. If you have no idea where you're going with life, go to college.

Hannah Maruyama [00:18:27]:
If you're lost pay.

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:28]:
And it makes a lot of sense because for parents, and then also for the pale young adults going through it as well, that action feels better than the alternative, which is waiting, which is what feels like inaction. What I mean by that is the action of going to college feels better than flipping burgers at McDonald's.

Hannah Maruyama [00:18:53]:
Even if that's going to end you in a financially better position.

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:56]:
Exactly. And as the parent, the parent can be like when they have conversations with their colleagues, when they have conversation with their friends and everything like that. And if you're really honest with yourself, if you're a parent of somebody in this age range or somebody that has been through this age range, you know, people like this, or you are somebody like this, you feel proud of what they're doing. The reason why I know this is because we have these conversations every single day. They're like, oh, well, yeah, my kid's in college for insert the major that they're in college for their psychology degree or whatever, whatever, or my kid is going to UCLA or my kids at Pepperdine or my kids at Harvard or whatever, whatever, whatever. That's like the identity. Oh, that's what they're doing. And I'm proud of that.

Ryan Maruyama [00:19:35]:
As a parent, you feel much prouder to say that than say, oh, they're a dishwasher at a local fast food restaurant. Oh, they're trying to figure out their life still. We have these conversations every single day. So I mean, like, sure. Maybe you listen to it. I don't say that. All right. That's cool.

Ryan Maruyama [00:19:51]:
But like on broad strokes, I talk to more people in this age bracket than you do. This absolutely is how people feel, especially when they have 2 kids. That's when the difference it really is. It's when they have 2 kids and they say, oh, yeah, this kid is a whatever major. And it's not even like a stem major or something like that. They're communications major at university of fill in state school.

Hannah Maruyama [00:20:14]:
She's going for blah, blah, blah. And then he's just not college bound.

Ryan Maruyama [00:20:18]:
Yeah, exactly.

Hannah Maruyama [00:20:19]:
That's how it said, even if the parent is open to other things, but that is how people talk about them. It's because college is and has historically. And what's interesting is Scott Galloway bought, right? He believes that buying a degree is entry into a different social class. When the numbers say that it's not. Cause the best case for that would be your top universities. Like your Harvard, Yale, like all the big colleges, but less than 1% of the people that go in that are in the lower 50% of income come out above that. College changes absolutely nothing for them. And it's crazy.

Hannah Maruyama [00:20:53]:
And he just completely ignores that. Maybe because that's a really inconvenient. Cause you go, Interesting. The people that come in in this circumstance rarely leave outside of this circumstance. Therefore it has very little to do with the college. They're not impacting that whatsoever.

Ryan Maruyama [00:21:05]:
Can you clarify what you were saying? The 1% bottom 50%.

Hannah Maruyama [00:21:09]:
Yeah. So basically what I'm saying is that if you come from the bottom 50% of income distribution and you go into an institution like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, whatever, there is a 1% chance that you will break out of that lower 50% of earnings. What that shows you is that it has almost nothing to do with the college. The college has zero impact on that trajectory. Almost none. 1% is nothing. That's laughable, especially when you consider the amount of students that go into those schools that come from the bottom 50% of Instagram distribution. Most of them are going to like 77% of them are in the top 50% of income distribution.

Hannah Maruyama [00:21:45]:
So anyway, what I'm saying is that Scott Galway thinks that going to college is going to change your social class. But in fact, what I think is that going in, if you are from lower middle income families, then it's going to cement you in the bottom because you're not able to disservice the debt burden, like the kids from the top 50%. And so it's going to disparately impact you way more. Anyway, that's an offshoot. This is a thought that's coming to me as I look at all of these things from a different lens than a lot of people, especially than Scott Galway. And he can't look at that too close because it's not a nice picture and it kind of defeats his entire foundation.

Ryan Maruyama [00:22:19]:
Well, his argument isn't necessarily about the top schools. It's just about getting into a school.

Hannah Maruyama [00:22:25]:
The other schools have worse results than that. I'm using the top ones because if the results are that bad at a top school where you're getting big network, big jobs, whatever. But

Ryan Maruyama [00:22:33]:
what he's saying is that it should be more affordable.

Hannah Maruyama [00:22:36]:
I understand.

Ryan Maruyama [00:22:37]:
Yes. I just want to make it clear for the people listening that what he's saying, we are not going to agree with him because he is coming with a base assumption that college is useful no matter what.

Hannah Maruyama [00:22:50]:
College is always good.

Ryan Maruyama [00:22:52]:
College is always good. That is the base assumption that he's coming with. And he's saying that it should just be more affordable. It should be cheaper and more accessible for people to go to. That is what he's saying. He's saying that the classes that they make up. Up. So when you break that down, like, okay, college is always good.

Ryan Maruyama [00:23:05]:
Okay. So what does that actually mean when college is good? Really what they mean is that the course work that they've created, the courses that they offer and the coursework that they've created and the curriculum that they created for whatever degree, for whatever major, for whatever studies you're going to take there is what you need to know in your life for whatever you're gonna do in your life. I think it's my argument that you go to college to get work. That's my argument.

Hannah Maruyama [00:23:33]:
Parents believe as well.

Ryan Maruyama [00:23:34]:
That's why

Hannah Maruyama [00:23:34]:
they buy.

Ryan Maruyama [00:23:35]:
That goes back to what I was saying. It's why they are proud. They're proud because they have hope. They have hope for the future. I mean, your child being a communication as a major at some university of fill in the state school's name is in and of itself, not very impressive, but what you're saying is that, oh, I'm proud that in the future, that this communications degree is going to help them live or just live the life they want because of the job. They're going to get a good job. And then that job is going to service their debt payment and it's going to enable them to live the life they want. That's what you're saying.

Ryan Maruyama [00:24:11]:
That's the hope that you're given. And you're not hopeful when you are talking about your other child, when your other child is working in fast food, when they're just working a bunch of odd jobs, they're driving Uber or Lyft or whatever they're doing. That is what I'm talking about. When I'm talking about the 45% failure rate and talking about, like, okay, you think it's a failure rate, but the colleges, if sold correctly, it's an ethereal thing. If the colleges do their job of selling you the product, then you're going to be happy no matter what, you are going to be happy because you just bought it for education sake. And you're going to be like, oh, it doesn't matter about your life outcomes. What an amazing business to be in.

Hannah Maruyama [00:24:54]:
Even if you fail, you still succeed.

Ryan Maruyama [00:24:56]:
Right. And so you are coming to it with a very practical approach with a 45% failure rate, But that is not how everybody views it because we know this because people tell this every single day.

Hannah Maruyama [00:25:09]:
The way I'm defining failure rate is according to parents, because the motivation of most parents is to help their kid get a job. That is what they think the outcome of attending a college will be. They're not buying for, oh, well, my kid will be educated or well rounded. They're are doing that because they believe that that is the best path or the only path to good work. That is why they do it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:25:27]:
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 second, 3rd, or 4th episode that you're tuning into, if you could just ship this to a friend, just click that one 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 [00:26:03]:
You and I know this. Colleges, that's how they market. That is how they market. They're not saying, oh, come to us and buy this because then you'll be educated. No, no, no. They're saying come here because if you come here and you buy this thing from us, you'll get a good job. That's what they're doing.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:15]:
Yeah. I think that a lot of the people that we talk to care about their children, their young adults getting jobs.

Hannah Maruyama [00:26:23]:
Yes, they do.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:24]:
That's the selection bias that we have. And this is just a transparency thing. You're not going

Hannah Maruyama [00:26:28]:
to hire our team if you don't want your child to get a good job, because that's what we're doing.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:31]:
Yeah. Right. We come at it with a completely different approach with a very practical approach instead of like

Hannah Maruyama [00:26:38]:
college is always good. It's college is rarely necessary.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:41]:
Yeah. Well, not only that it's not even college. It's just, we care about work because we believe that work is what enables you to do everything else in your life. Including become educated. Yes, exactly. We think that life goals comes first. Okay. Identify your life goals.

Ryan Maruyama [00:26:59]:
Once you've identified and solidified those, then you find work and avenues to get to that work that fulfill those life goals. It's that simple. That's what we do. And so all the parents that we speak to want their kids to get good jobs, want their kids to get good jobs. They also hold that same worldview. You can be educated and also work towards getting a job. Like college isn't the only place where education happens. Education can happen in your regular life as well.

Ryan Maruyama [00:27:28]:
So I just want to get that selection bias out of the way, because that is absolutely true. The people that we talk to care about that, but there is a cohort of people. And I don't know if it's a majority. I don't know if it's minority, but there is a cohort of people that just want their child to go to college because they want them to be quote educated. So I'm saying 45% failure rate. How many of those people really think it's a failure?

Hannah Maruyama [00:27:49]:
Well, I think that most of them would probably define it as a failure if their kids can't service their student loan debt burden. And if they paid what the average cost of college is, then they're not being able to do that. And I would think that most people would define that as a failure rate. The college has failed those graduates. Next, I want to address what usually the next knee jerk reaction is, which is, well, if they just get a STEM degree, No. STEM is not going to save you. I have to say this until I'm blue in the face because on TikTok people just say, Oh, they're picking the wrong majors. No, it's not that at all.

Hannah Maruyama [00:28:19]:
Actually College graduates that graduate with STEM degrees, nearly 47% of them are underemployed 5 years after graduating college. And because most people are not going in and getting quantitative mathematics degrees, most people are going in and getting biology degrees. They're getting other pre med majors. They're getting healthcare administration degrees. Those are STEM degrees. However, those one college degrees for for the most part don't lead to jobs necessarily, but people that buy those types of degrees don't come out and then go into high paying fields. For the most part, they come out and they struggle to find work and the available work. And this is something I'm so tired of seeing.

Hannah Maruyama [00:28:59]:
So I just want to say this by itself. It does not matter how much you pay for your college degree. The available wage is the available wage. I'm going to say it again for people that didn't hear. It does not matter how much you pay a college for your degree or degrees. The available wage that was available before you went into college is still the available wage after. So it does not matter if you spend, if you buy, if you go and you get a social work degree, I saw this the other day on TikTok. You get a social work degree, you get master's degree in psychology, you get graduate degree in social work.

Hannah Maruyama [00:29:29]:
And then when I went in to apply at the local center at the local clinic, and they said that the starting wage was $39,000 and this girl is horrified. Yeah, that was probably the wage before you bought all those degrees. It's still the wage after. I am not talking about whether or not that should be the wage or we have a shortage or mental health is important. None of that stuff. All I am saying is that the job that she was going to be qualified for that's in quotes, for those of you listening to the podcast before she bought 3 college degrees and was in school for 8 years, paid $39,000 after she spent, I think she said it was like $196,000 on degrees. 8 years later, the available wage for the job she was qualified for was still $39,000 The purchase of a degree had absolutely no effect on the end wage. And that is something that I think the STEM people need to think about a little bit because they just say, oh, as long as it's a stem degree, they're going to be fine.

Hannah Maruyama [00:30:25]:
There is absolutely no guarantee of that. Not at all. STEM is not a guarantee.

Ryan Maruyama [00:30:29]:
Yeah. I think a lot of it has to do with going in to whatever degree you're getting STEM or not STEM, STEM or anything going into it without a plan. And you're saying, okay, well, this degree is my plan. When you go in it with that mindset, that is where it goes wrong. It can go wrong many other places as well, but that's starting off on the wrong foot from the get go. Okay. I have a very clear goal that I want to get to and whatever this degree is going to help me service that thing, that goal while that's much, much better, but it's those people that are like, well, just go get a stem degree for what, to what end, like literally to what end? Like, where are we going with that? Because if you're just throwing darts at a dartboard, that is a very heavy and expensive dart to throw. Also.

Ryan Maruyama [00:31:19]:
Right. Exactly. But it's just like, why are we throwing that? For what job? For what reason? The thing is, is like, well, that job, the, whatever job that I'm trying to get requires a degree. How do you know? Have you tried to get whatever job is right now before you go to college or in college? Have you tried to apply to those jobs and try to land them and to see if they actually require a degree? And then also you could go through the legal requirement breakdown that's in the book that's coming out as well. You can just go through and, and we went through it already in another episode, but it's literally, does this require a license? Yes or no. And does that license require a degree to get? That's it. And then there are some outlier jobs that absolutely require, legally require a degree

Hannah Maruyama [00:32:07]:
We go over in the book.

Ryan Maruyama [00:32:07]:
Which we go over. I mean, it's just government jobs. I mean, I'll tell you right there. It's fine. Yeah. Government jobs are pretty much the only ones. And once again, if you know of anyone that legally requires a degree, like anything, any job that legally requires a degree, I want to know about it.

Hannah Maruyama [00:32:23]:
We want to know about it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:32:24]:
Yeah. Put it in the YouTube comments. I wanted to hone in on what you were saying about the $39,000 that job paying the same prior to you going to college. And after you're going to college, nobody cares. The truth of the matter is, is like, nobody cares how much you paid to get a college degree. Nobody cares how much your child has paid to get a degree. It is what it is. And if you're staring down the barrel of a $30,000 a year purchase, and you're like, well, I'm not sure if they need to get a degree to do whatever the role is.

Ryan Maruyama [00:32:59]:
The thing that you should be doing at the very first thing is just apply to those roles. That's free. You don't have to spend $30,000 to do it.

Hannah Maruyama [00:33:06]:
Yeah. You can just give it a shot. The reason too is the biology science thing is such a problem. I've talked about this before, but there are so many girls that want to go into things that have to do with animals and make sense. Right? Animals are interesting and cool, and they want to go into something having to do with animals. And I don't mean vet necessarily, but other animal jobs. And I always ask the parents, I just say, Hey, have you looked at just applying at a local? I want to be a marine biologist. Okay.

Hannah Maruyama [00:33:33]:
Well, can you afford to do that? And then I just say, why don't you just take a look at the jobs at the local fishery and see what that pays? Because if you look at the jobs that fishery technicians make versus people that are required in quotes to have masters or graduate degrees in marine biology, the pay is very, very similar. And if they want to scratch that itch and try to work in that industry, they should just go apply for an inter level job in that industry and test it out and then see if they want to spend 200,000 a quarter of a $1,000,000 in order to make $5 more an hour. See if they want to do that. See if that seems like a good investment, a good return on their money and time.

Ryan Maruyama [00:34:11]:
Or fish animals.

Hannah Maruyama [00:34:12]:
Well, you know, I'm not a biology major, so no, but I think in the term that parents and they're interested, 16 to 20 year olds are referring to it to me. Yes.

Ryan Maruyama [00:34:25]:
I'm not convinced fish are animals. I don't see it.

Hannah Maruyama [00:34:28]:
Are animals not living things that aren't humans? Well, I mean, I guess humans are animals too.

Ryan Maruyama [00:34:32]:
That's why we got to go to college.

Hannah Maruyama [00:34:33]:
Wow. I'm so.

Ryan Maruyama [00:34:34]:
You're going to get educated.

Hannah Maruyama [00:34:35]:
I just don't know. Let me go go find a college to pay a $100,000 to. But you know what I mean? Living things that are not humans is my definition of animals in this regard. That's what I'm talking about. That's gonna do numbers on TikTok. I can already hear the comments. I'm not asleep tonight.

Ryan Maruyama [00:34:52]:
No, I wasn't even being like literal about fish being animals. I'm just thinking to myself, if I wanted to work with animals, like, would I regard fish?

Hannah Maruyama [00:35:01]:
Well, I was using briefly.

Ryan Maruyama [00:35:03]:
I'm literally not thinking like, literally I am not thinking literally. I'm just thinking like, Oh, I think when you think of working with animals, I'm thinking of hugging puppies all day or petting horses or that type

Hannah Maruyama [00:35:17]:
of working with animals is,

Ryan Maruyama [00:35:18]:
I don't know, now they're like, Oh, marine biologist. Now we're in the ocean. No. Now we're I'm thinking about just being on a fishing boat. That doesn't seem like that's my vision of working with animals.

Hannah Maruyama [00:35:29]:
So this, but yeah, I don't know if there are fish animals. I need a Marine biologist to tell me. But anyway, that's not my point. My point is that if your kid wants to work with horses, then you don't need to go buy them an equine degree. What you need to do is go see if there's farrier ships available or they want to work with livestock. Go see if I just had someone message me about a cattle analyzer job, which is so interesting, but that's basically the breeding and I work with animals. Don't go buy a biology degree or whatever in order to get into that. But I think that that's pretty solid for what I wanted to talk about.

Hannah Maruyama [00:36:13]:
And the last thing that I want to talk about was I had a story that I wanted to tell you folks. So we got a message that I have not been able to get out of my head. And the reason is because we get messages that are in this form all the time, but this one specifically was, I think just the straw that broke the camel's back and the message said, what are good careers for my ADHD child? Okay. There is so much to unpack here. I'm going to try to do it succinctly, but basically the answer to the question, what are good jobs for my ADHD child is the same answer as what are good jobs for my anything else child. And that is jobs that fit the needs that they have. That is the answer. There is a worrying trend that I have noticed, which is parents will try to select careers or jobs or industries for their children to go into based on some factor about them before they've explored a lot of jobs.

Hannah Maruyama [00:37:19]:
And this becomes a problem because there's not a lot of vocational creativity as we talk about all the time. But if a kid only knows 6 to 8 jobs, and then they further narrow that list by saying what jobs are good for my ADHD child, they're going to end up with 1 job and that one job likely will not have been broken out and the parent and the student will not have gone. Is this going to enable me to support myself? Is this going to pay my bills? Is this going to let me live where I want to live? Is this going to give me the type of schedule that works for me? And especially if they do have a insert here issue. Right. And so that's something that I think is really important to note. And the reason I wanted to say that is because there is not a broad blanket that you can put over all kids that have insert issue here or specifically in this case, ADHD. So you can't just say, oh, these are good jobs for ADHD kids because one, a job that might be good for an ADHD 19 year old boy who wants to live in Key West would be to go work on a fishing boat and get his captain's license. But a good job for an ADHD girl who lives in Oregon and is 17 years old and wants to live down the road from her sister because she has 2 nieces that she wants to spend time with.

Hannah Maruyama [00:38:27]:
And she wants to own her own little house. Those are completely different. And so it just shows what a problem we have around the conversation about work. Cause we're going, what are good careers? Like we're already way down the tracks. We need to go way back to the beginning and say, what does your child need to support themselves? What do they need to get to the goals that they want? And then after you nail those things down, what do they want out of work? If you can even get there, because you might have a very small list from what do they need in order to pay their bills. And then you look at jobs from that lens, which is how we do it in the launch program.

Ryan Maruyama [00:38:57]:
Yeah. So I think a different way of putting that is that to think about these things, to think about job prospects and how to get a job and vocational creativity from the perspective of how do I accommodate whatever limiting factor that you think is a limiting factor? How do I do that? That's starting off on the wrong foot already. That is a bad place to put the filter first. The way that I think about it and the way that I've written it in our book that we're releasing degreefree.c04/otheroptions to preorder is you need to figure out what their needs and wants are. Need is going to be absolutely necessary must haves out of jobs. And then wants are, quote, nice to have. So let's just say for income, usually that is a need or at least like a certain level of income is a need. So a need, it could be I need to make $15 an hour.

Ryan Maruyama [00:39:53]:
I need to make $20 an hour in order to pay my bills, whatever, whatever, whatever.

Hannah Maruyama [00:39:57]:
Save, invest, do what I want. Yeah.

Ryan Maruyama [00:39:59]:
And then you might want to make $30 an hour. Okay, perfect. So the, yeah, if you need and if you want, you look for jobs that fill, however many needs you have on your needs list. And you don't stop until you find a bunch of jobs that fill all those needs. And I think just as a tangential thing, this is why there's so low work life satisfaction is because people don't take this practical approach to finding work.

Hannah Maruyama [00:40:29]:
That's why so few college graduates also end up using their degrees and work in their industry even at all. They end up weighing something else because they didn't think about that beforehand.

Ryan Maruyama [00:40:37]:
Yeah. So the work life satisfaction part of it, I don't make enough money or whatever insert anything that you've bitched about before about your job or or anybody that you know or Carl down the in the other desk clump is like he's always like, oh my god. This sucks in. Be probably because they didn't think about, like, okay. This is what I need. This is what I want. So these are my nonnegotiables, and I'm not gonna stop until I get this thing. That's really where we our approach comes from.

Ryan Maruyama [00:41:02]:
Define your goals and then find work to fulfill those goals. Right now, what these parents that message us these things and insert anything there, ADHD, literally anything you're putting that filter before something else you're putting that filter before everything else. So you're limiting your child and you're limiting your young adults prospects from the get go when really that filter should be placed after their needs and wants or within their needs and wants. That works as well. But just to say, okay, well, which ones work for ADHD people? That's like, I don't know. What are their goals? What does that mean? ADHD? Like, do they not want to talk to people? Does that mean like they want they're hyperactive or they want to talk to a lot of people? Do they want to be outside? Do they want to be inside? What does that mean? Asking that question is the wrong filter to put first. And I'll talk about for myself for a second. I can't talk about anybody else's experience in life, but for me, I have one of these quote limiting things and especially more prevalent in my younger life.

Ryan Maruyama [00:42:07]:
I had eczema and I have eczema still to this day. It's like a rash that you have. And it was really bad. 10 years ago, 15 years ago, It was really, really bad, like visibly bad. Like, if you look at all the pictures of me when I was a middle schooler, high schooler, like, I always have, like, a towel around my neck or, like, a shirt around my neck because it was all open wounds and people thought it was weird. And anyway, that very much so is a limiting factor in the amount of work that I could get, like the types of jobs that I could get, but I shouldn't let that stop me from looking at all the different roles. I looked at like, okay, well, what do I want to do? I didn't have this needs and wants approach yet, which is more like want to do. And so I would look at things that I wanted to do and I would be like, okay, well, can I do that? All right, well, no, no, I can't.

Ryan Maruyama [00:42:57]:
I have to be outside all the time. Going into the military was one of the things I couldn't do. Literally went to the air force recruiter and I was with my friends at the time. And we were talking 3 of us there. We were talking with the guy and he was all in because there's like 3 of us there. And so he was just like, yeah, his, yeah, he was like licking his chops. Right. And I tell him he's basically, oh, are you guys all healthy? Whatever, whatever.

Ryan Maruyama [00:43:24]:
Yeah, pretty much. Oh, but I have eczema and he just stopped talking to me. He literally just stopped talking to me. And I was like, it was funny because I was in the middle. I was like, so there's 3 of us. Right. And then the guy's desk. And then we pulled up 3 chairs because usually there's only 2 chairs there.

Ryan Maruyama [00:43:42]:
And so we pulled up another chair. There was my friend to the left of me and my friend to the right of me, but I was sitting dead at center in the middle. And as soon as he found out that I had eczema, I was like, disqualifies. He's like, you're not going to get through maps for the rest of the conversation. He kept having to look over the both of the guys' names were Rob. And so they had to look at Rob on my right and Rob on my left. He just like went right over me.

Hannah Maruyama [00:44:04]:
Would you say that you were robbed

Ryan Maruyama [00:44:06]:
of your

Hannah Maruyama [00:44:07]:
chance to get into the air force?

Ryan Maruyama [00:44:10]:
By the Robs?

Hannah Maruyama [00:44:10]:
By the Robs.

Ryan Maruyama [00:44:11]:
Yeah. And so I let the careers themselves filter out. I at least looked into it though. You look into it

Hannah Maruyama [00:44:20]:
and then it eliminates itself. Cause it's not a good fit. Now, you know, that that's not a fit, but you

Ryan Maruyama [00:44:25]:
don't limit first, you limit last.

Hannah Maruyama [00:44:25]:
Exactly. Instead of thinking like, oh, okay, well, what could people with

Ryan Maruyama [00:44:26]:
eczema do? You know what I mean? Like, oh, well they can't do this, this and that, this and this and that.

Hannah Maruyama [00:44:33]:
You know, what are jobs that meet their needs and then of those jobs, which ones are good for those with the type of ADHD you have, but more niche than that, which jobs are good for you specifically with your brand of whatever.

Ryan Maruyama [00:44:45]:
And that's where it comes down to putting it into a needs and want and more naming your demons, naming your wants, naming their needs, that type of thing. Okay. Well, my child has ADHD and that manifests in they can't get anything done or they're hyperactive and they want to work outside. Okay. That is incredibly actionable.

Hannah Maruyama [00:45:10]:

Ryan Maruyama [00:45:11]:
Wanting to work outside is incredibly actionable.

Hannah Maruyama [00:45:14]:

Ryan Maruyama [00:45:15]:
But having ADHD is not. And if you want to insert whatever other limitation, whether it be physical handicap or something else. Okay, perfect. Like, you know, if you're a paraplegic, like, well, you can't walk around, So you're going to have to do a job that not walking around in the oil field all day.

Hannah Maruyama [00:45:34]:
Right. So for somebody in that situation, number 1 on that would be work environment. You have to be somewhere where you don't have to constantly move around because that's difficult if that's your criteria.

Ryan Maruyama [00:45:43]:
Or if there's an easy way to get around, like if there's a ADA type of way to get around in that job, you look for it. Yes. Anyway, it's just a different way. When you think from that perspective of I'm going to let this limiting factor limit my job options and I'm going to cater to those things first, that doesn't make a lot of sense. Drill down. What is the limitation? Name it, and then put that on your needs and wants list. Yep. Like I said,

Hannah Maruyama [00:46:10]:
in the correct order,

Ryan Maruyama [00:46:11]:
we walk you through this whole process in the book degreefree.cofor/otheroptions. And, I mean, I just laid out the whole process for you right now.

Hannah Maruyama [00:46:17]:
I cannot wait for people to get their hands on this

Ryan Maruyama [00:46:19]:
And literally just do it right there too.

Hannah Maruyama [00:46:20]:
Yep. I'm stoked for this book to come out because that solves this problem for a lot of people. I'm just so excited for it, but yeah, folks, I think that's it for today.

Ryan Maruyama [00:46:27]:
Yep. That's pretty much it for today. I think that was a good episode. What do you think?

Hannah Maruyama [00:46:31]:
I think so too.

Ryan Maruyama [00:46:31]:
Yeah. I'm excited to get feedback as usual. YouTube. Once again, guys, if there's a job that requires a college degree, not a license gated by a college degree, I want to know about it.

Hannah Maruyama [00:46:42]:
Me too.

Ryan Maruyama [00:46:43]:
So leave it in YouTube comments, Spotify comments. Let me know. I think that's pretty much it for this week guys until next week.

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