Of course, if you’re a college sports jock who can run, kick or pass like a pro, or a six-foot-eight basketball stuffer, you’ll earn your degree for free without ever bothering too much about sitting in classroom. If that’s the case, your degree is actually unnecessary and has little to do with your success from signing with a pro sports team for millions of bucks a year.
If you’re a streetwise crack dealer and/or rock squawker, you can succeed by writing some discordant music with anti-social lyrics that would cause any grammar school English teacher or clergyman to throw a heart attack. Then, as you haul in the millions you get from your efforts, it doesn’t really matter if you’ve earned a college degree, or for that matter, a kindergarten attendance certificate.
However, for the rest of us, a legitimate college degree is necessary for those who want to enter the job market with some chance to climb that traditional ladder as far as possible. The effort should prove to be financially rewarding enough to start a family, buy a grossly-overpriced house and drive a grossly-overpriced gas hog SUV. Of course, a college degree isn’t always the only key to success. The major you choose in college is at least as important.
A computer engineering degree from MIT, a BA in economics from Yale and/or an MBA from Harvard will certainly get you in the employment line ahead of high school grads, as well as those with a liberal arts degrees in Early Polish Poets or Pre-Columbian Pottery. A serious student who, as far back as high school days, has seriously worked hard to become totally aware of job market opportunities out there in the cruel, cruel world, obviously has the best chances to succeed.
Those kinds of savvy students will select college courses for their value in earning a valid degree, as well as acquiring the skills needed to apply it to real life situations. Don’t get me wrong. It shouldn’t be all books and burning of midnight oil. It is perfectly natural for a young person who has just escaped the constraints of the parental nest to enjoy some freedom and high flying while at college. But after the graduation ceremony is history, that person is invariably much better suited than the non-graduate to apply the brand-new college degree to succeed in career and life.