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Cutting Out or Postponing College

I’ve written about the idea of not going straight to a four-year school in the past. On this week’s World website,, Esther Eaton wrote a great short article on “Cutting Out College.” Let’s look at the article ideas and add to them.

The article talks about an alternative to college. I spoke of that in my book, “Say No! To College Debt”, but I didn’t cover what this article does, training courses with certifications. Google, Coursera, Facebook, Apple, and even traditional textbook publisher, Pearson are offering courses of study that can lead to certifications in many career fields.

While the delivery of these courses is new and innovative, this kind of study track is not new. When I was growing up, I saw advertisements on comic books and magazines for self-study courses and certifications. What’s new is that many companies will now hire for entry-level jobs based on achieving those certifications. When I came out of college, a degree was required for most of those entry-level jobs.

The downside of the certification is that having only the certification will probably mean a lack of promotability. The big upside is something that I made use of to earn three of my four college degrees, graduating each time with no debt. I used company tuition reimbursement plans to get my education at night while working during the day. My companies paid for sizeable chunks of my education, while I worked for them and I brought home a good wage at the same time.

Sure, it will take a little bit longer to get that degree. But not having the crushing debt that many are suffering under is worth some delayed gratification and a bit of hard work along the way.

Thanks for reading.

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