Have student loans? You’re not alone. It is estimated that the average student loan debt for 2016 college graduates from a 4 year institution is $30,000. Grad school is even higher, with law degree students owing up to $140,000 and med students owing $160,000.
That’s a lot of money.
In other words, most college students need to get a good paying job right out of the gate, because those student loan payments are right around the corner. That is no small feat, so the federal government established a program that promised to repay their remaining student loans after they work 10 years in a public service job.
This is a great idea on two fronts: it helps ease the anxiety of having to pay so much debt, and it ensures the public service gets plenty of qualified talent to fill positions that are often lower paying.
Unfortunately, there’s one small problem: The Department of Education recently came out and said student loan forgiveness approval loan letters may be invalid.
If this is true, thousands of students will suddenly be stuck with student loan debt they thought would be forgiven. Read the story HERE.
We’re told at a young age that if we want to get a good job, we must to go to school and get a degree. That sounds good and may have worked for previous generations, but this is a new day. What we’re NOT told about is the student loans many of us accrue and the intense competition for those jobs. (You’re not the only person graduating and looking for work.)
Many of the jobs that our parents and grandparents had coming out of college either moved overseas or have become automated.
On top of that, many of today’s entry level jobs are lower paying so, a person coming out of college has to balance paying back thousands of dollars of student loans with basic living necessities like cars, food, and rent.
If the Department of Education decides those letters are invalid, it is estimated that more than half a million people will find themselves forced to pay back tens of thousands of dollars in student loans they thought were taken care of.
Is It Worth It?
Time will tell how this plays out, but it’s time we start facing some harsh realities:
- Having a degree does not guarantee you a well paying job.
- Student loan debt can take YEARS to repay.
- Student loans and other debt can deter a person from starting their own business.
- College teaches you how to work for someone else.
Starting a career with $30,000 or more in student loan debt can be daunting. How many people are working just to pay the bills? How many people are forced to take a job just to make ends meet? How many people are working in jobs not related to their degree?
By having large financial responsibilities so early in life, a person who wants to start their own business may feel it is impossible because they need money NOW. They have bills that MUST be paid. TODAY. (Not to mention defaulting on student loans can affect a person’s credit score, which can affect them for years to come.)
Unfortunately, many businesses can take years to grow and become profitable, so the dream of being an entrepreneur is often put on the back burner. In many cases, that dream is all but forgotten once a person has children to take care of.
This is not deter a person from getting a college degree, but to make them think.
Many professions require a degree to be hired to work in that profession, but to start a business you don’t need a degree, you need tenacity, passion, hard work, and a strong desire to succeed.
Not having thousands of dollars in student loans helps too.
The following successful business owners didn’t complete a formal education:
Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College, yet he was the co-founder of Apple with Steve Wozniak, also a college dropout. At the time of his death, Mr. Jobs was worth $11 billion.
Richard Branson. Richard Branson dropped out of high school at 16 but went on to create Virgin Airways, Virgin Records, and Virgin Mobile. He is now worth $4.9 billion.
Dave Thomas. Dave Thomas is the founder of Wendy’s. He dropped out of high school to work at the Hobby House restaurant. At the time of his death, his net worth was $99 million.
Larry Ellison. Larry Ellison is the founder of Oracle. He dropped out of not one, but two colleges. Currently, he is currently worth $48.3 billion.
Rachael Ray. Rachel Ray never attended college, but that did not stop her from becoming an author and TV star. She is reportedly worth $66 million.
We are not saying or suggesting for you to quit college or that college is a waste of time. We are simply saying that it’s time to be realistic about what to expect after graduating from that 4 year institution. We are also saying no matter who you are or what your educational level is, you CAN become a successful business owner. The key is to learn everything you can about your profession and learn everything you can about running a business.
That can be accomplished with or without a degree.
This is why Jeffrey White and I wrote our book Readi – Set Go: A Simple Guide to Establishing a Successful Small Business. Too many of us are living a life that seems to be choreographed by someone else. We are following a path that we may not have wanted to follow.
Isn’t it time we started to think outside the box? Isn’t it time to do what YOU want to do and not what society tells you that you should do?
Don’t just go to school and hope someone gives you a job. Acquire the skills to create one for yourself. Pick up your copy HERE today!