For the past six months, I’ve been struggling deciding whether or not college was right for me.
After reading a few entrepreneurial books and some of my followers responses on Twitter on this subject, it’s been hard not thinking about the time I’m possibly wasting.
At the same time, dropping out is a huge decision that could result in me missing out on a ton of opportunity, both from a career & personal standpoint. I’d be missing out on connections I could make, skills I could learn, and most of all, the experience of college.
But the University of Florida hasn’t made it easy to stay focused on school. My computer science program requires me to take two semesters of Chemistry, two of Physics, as well as Calculus 1, 2, 3, and differential equations. All so I can learn how to code!! The only real, valuable learning I’ve done so far is outside of the classroom when I’m diving into online programming classes.
This has all led me to this conclusion: if you want to do anything tech related, college is the farthest thing from a requirement.
Universities do not keep up with the times, and for the rising costs they’re now charging students, it’s sometimes difficult to justify college all together.
I can vouch first hand because I’m currently a college student who’s talked to professors, actively taking classes (I am in a class about Java at the moment), and getting involved. Sure, you could say my school is the exception, not the rule, but the University of Florida is considered one of the best 5 public schools in the nation, so it’s hard to justify it’ll be much better elsewhere in this aspect.
There is hope that this might change, though. A few days ago I emailed Adam Penenberg letting him know just how awesome he is for teaching students at New York University about topics like blogging, entrepreneurial journalism, and data journalism. It’s easy telling entrepreneurs to stay in school if they’re getting taught that material, but unfortunately that’s not the case for most.
But why is that? Why don’t we see more schools paying attention to internet business? There are so many grad students struggling to find jobs, yet every day on Twitter I see an agency hiring another 10 people or a startup looking to bring on a few more developers. The Internet is a huge business channel, yet universities are largely ignoring it, even in 2012!
For me, I guess only time will tell. The reason I’ve continued with my studies is because I think the risk of lost opportunity is greater staying in school than dropping out, and seeing how I’m doing with a few of my recent entrepreneurial ventures, financials aren’t going to be an issue. But who knows? If one of my projects really takes off in the next few months, I’d almost be forced to dedicate more time to it.