One Trillion for Marketing

Back when I had a college loan, I consoled myself with the fact that it was a brain debt–the best kind of debt to have. Now, after paying it off–and seeing the benefits from the degree which I purchased–I would really question doing it again with today’s dollars.

Brain debts in the US are now approaching a total of 1 trillion dollars. That is also more debt than US residents are currently carrying on their credit cards. I’ll grant that the interest rates are probably much better on the educational debt, but that is still a great deal of risk.

Seth Godin makes a good point:

The question is whether a trillion dollars is the right amount for individuals to spend marketing themselves. What would happen if people spent it building up a work history instead? On becoming smarter, more flexible, more self-sufficient and yes, able to take more risk because they owe less money…

I’m thinking of two friends who went the non-college route.  By the age of 25, each of them had achieved the same financial base as college graduates who were 5 to 10 years older.

With the rapidly increasing costs of higher education, my friends may well be in the vanguard of the movement.

2 thoughts on “One Trillion for Marketing

  1. If your purpose in going to college is to make more money, it’s a lousy investment. Making more money is a result of increased productivity and increased productivity is a matter of efficient work habits, not term papers.

    There are other reasons for going to college, but we must get away from the silly and false notion that it is necessary to success. Indeed, given the things taught at colleges that just ain’t so, it may be a serious impediment to many.

    1. While I think that going to college to make more money used to be a valid reason (for my father’s generation, let’s say) I think that all too many people go to college now as a means of postponing the onset of adulthood and grown-up responsibilities–at least, that is how they seem to act once at college.

      You are correct in saying that college is not necessary for success. Unfortunately, we have a powerful contingent of people (administrators and professors) who have a vested interest in telling us many things that just aren’t so.

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