Great article. I’m 38 years old. At 30, I was frustrated working in my family business. While I had been a good student in high school with an aptitude for the sciences and a love of computers, I never ended up going to university. I got involved in my dad’s business at a very early age and just kept with it. There came a day when I realized that while I was very good at what I did and appreciated for my talents, I was bored. On top of that, my dad just couldn’t pay me what I was worth.
I decided to go back to school and learn to program since that was what I had always wanted to do. I lucked out. Within a year of starting school, I was able to make a connection and get a job coding prior to earning my degree. I did learn a lot in school and I was able to retain a lot of it, but that’s because I was actively in the field while learning. If I hadn’t, much of my education would have been wasted. I would have had to relearn a lot starting on day one at my job.
I’m on the fence about a college education. I think knowing that I was going for it gave my employer confidence to hire me. I did learn some good practices that I was able to compare and contrast against what was currently being done in the company. This helped me to solidify the concepts and sometimes stand out, being able to make a contribution early on that improved my group. On the other hand, I have a lot of debt. Many of the classes such as programming classes were of about the same quality as a coding class I might be able to take on Udemy. Considering I only buy classes on sale there, I could have spend $10.00 instead of the astronomical per credit cost that I did pay.
I’m still of the mind to encourage my kids to go to university, but I have a lot of caveats that I could see changing my mind in the next few years.