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QotD: Quit College

Question: Do you think quitting school (college) is a "good thing?"

My Answer: Like Wil, I started my own software company. None of the jobs for which I've ever applied asked to see my college degree, because I've always proven myself to be a suitable candidate outside of my schooling.

However, advising people to quit school is stupid and short-sighted. It's almost as bad as his "don't do unit tests, like, EVAR!" post. It may work for Steve Jobs (or Wil), but it won't work for 99% of the students out there. A college degree gets your foot in a lot of doors. What I learned in college, even though I've yet to "use" my degree for anything, is invaluable in day-to-day life. Reality can crush some people, and it probably would have crushed me at 18. At 22, I was ready to face reality.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

9 Responses to "QotD: Quit College"

  1. That article reads very oddly. Given the whole literally-setting-things-on-fire thing, and the "I am, in fact, the most clever person in the world, and every word I say is like pure gold" remark at the end, do you really think it's intended to be serious?

    Maybe it's some cryptically satirical way of saying that dropping out of college works for some people but not for others... but on the other hand, maybe he's just a nutcase who happens to write good code (without unit testing). I don't know.

    To answer the question: the same, it works for some people but not for others. So I don't think people should be advising it, because everyone should have the chance to decide for themselves. I'm starting college two years early on a partial merit scholarship, and there's no way I'm giving up this opportunity. I don't understand how this experience could not be worthwhile and valuable. So saying "everybody should drop out of college, no exceptions" is incredibly shortsighted and subjective.

    I heard that Aaron Swartz has decided to stop attending Stanford to work on his startup company (which some venture capitalists have actually been interested in funding, apparently). But I'm not sure if he's dropping out or just taking a year off or something.

  2. QotD: Quit College

    Question: Do you think quitting school (college) is a “good thing?” As a holder of three different degrees (BS,MEng, MBA) I think that Wil in the original article is right: if you want to be like him then there is...

  3. I quit college to go work for the company that I currently work for. I am quite happy that I quit. College was not for me. It's not that I am conceted but yeah, I was too smart for school and it was a waste of my time and a waste of a ton of money.

  4. I love education as a lifelong pursuit, but "A college degree" was a scam perpetuated on our parents generation. Its advantage is RELATIVE. For their generation it was for a privileged few, for their children, it was often like four years of summer camp, and lost its advantage when nine out of ten of your generation were also on the camp bus.

  5. I just quit college a few weeks ago, and am currently in the process of finding out if it was a good idea or not. I now have a part time job doing tech work, and have applied for several full time positions at various places. We'll see if it works out, or if it's the biggest mistake I've ever made. I'm rather confident in my technical abilities, though.. so I'm hoping they get me somewhere.

    As for why I quit, it was mostly the lack of good teaching at my college. The professors I had for CSIS either spoke with a really strong Indian accent (no offense to anyone), or simply didn't do their own work. I found test material and presentations that were given in class on Google, lifted from other universities' sites and repackaged to look original. I'm not going to pay for that - I can go find information on the 'net by myself. I find that I learn far more by reading a good computer book and/or hacking around with code than sitting in class. Of course, the piece of paper is what counts... so I'm told.

  6. I think quitting school is a good thing, but like it has been said it is only for a few. Obviously, if you want to be a doctor, lawyer, accountant, teacher, etc it won't work to quit school. On the other hand, if you already have a job that is paying as much or more than the starting pay of most college graduates, and you need to devote more time to it then I'd support someone moving in that direction.

    So, I am totally against speculative quitting. If you're going to quit school you'd better be trading up in a big way.

  7. i quit college today, god bless be, im fucked for life.

  8. So... I'm on the net looking for an easy way to tell my parents that I've dropped out of college. I'm fed up with school. Pretty much burned out to the point that I don't care whether I'm missing out on earning more money or not. I think it's mostly due to the lack of professionalism in the community college I attended. The teachers couldn't care less about being there, and the advisors were never on the same page about what classes to put students in for a particular program. I'm going to tell my parents tomorrow that I've dropped my classes for this Spring semester. Hope all goes as well as possible!!
    P.S. I was told by a (very successful) previous employer that she tried college. Twice. And quit both times. It doesn't make you less of a person if you don't have a $15,000 piece of paper. I'm trying to get that through my head. Hope that insight helped someone else.

  9. Yea, I am in the process of quiting college. I have no financial support from my family, and the college is awful. I have been able to take only one or two classes a semester because the ones I need are not offered. I have a job and live on my own. I want to get another better paying job so I can save to buy a car and save for my wedding. I am engaged (he just graduated) and we have to pay for our own wedding. We want to live life and start a family, and well school doesn't fit into the picture. I say I can always go back if I need to.