Two Opinions Concerning College

What is your opinion about college? I hang mostly with other parents, and I get two opinions when the discussion comes up. I’ve had my share of applying both opinions, and I have an opportunity for you to find answers for yourself concerning all your options.

First, there is the pro-college opinion. They know that college costs a boatload of money, but they believe it is an essential reality to getting a step ahead of everyone else. They enter the workforce beyond college with certification, an automatic badge of approval when applying for jobs or engaging in pretty much any career-related activity.

Second, there is the anti-college opinion. This opinion recognizes the incredible cost burden of a college degree. Students leave college overwhelmed with debt. The current economic reality is that college doesn’t lead to the jobs it once boasted. Besides, this opinion is of the notion that the essential skills necessary for attaining a job are mostly attained outside of college.

I’m sympathetic to both opinions as I’ve walked both roads in my life. I got my undergrad by age 23 and was an English teacher for seven years following. After pursuing the professional life, I sought entrepreneurship and picked up an MBA in 2004. I can’t say the MBA taught me much about mastering business administration; it would have helped if I were looking for a raise or a promotion, but I was looking to run a business and ministry. This I do have: a mound of debt I’m still paying off.

Do you go back and forth on whether college is important or helpful? I do, and I don’t pretend to know the answers.

I mainly run debate camps for a living, but I’m launching the For Action Conference in a few weeks. The idea is to pull together students from the millennial generation (ages 16-24) to give them focus for the work they’re being called to do. The big question: Where does college fit into their life? I suspect this is a question every millennial is wrestling with today.

I may share both opinions, but our speakers are a mixed bunch. All the speakers are successful in life, many at a very young age, which is the point of the modeling at the conference. Many have their degrees to show they’ve been certified (Isaiah McPeak and I are among them). But some are opposite: James O’Keefe dropped out of law school, and Andrew Pudewa will be sharing his drop-out testimony, as will professional debate coach Travis Herche.

This is why I asked Taryn DiMartile to be a part of the For Action Conference. She’s a manager for CollegePlus, an organization that attempts to think outside the box concerning a young person’s academic goals. She’ll be giving a speech called “Doing College the Right Way,” listing the many options and opportunities young people have when considering their post-secondary options.

She touches on some of what she will be sharing in this interview. Taryn will be available for the entire weekend of the conference. If you or a young adult in your life is pondering these opinions, come to the conference. Space is still available:

For Action Conference

January 2-4, 2014
Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs

Click to watch on YouTube.

Click to watch on YouTube.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • michaelsampson

    The upcoming conference sounds wonderful Chris. Only sorry I’m not a bit closer so I could come … and bring my older sons too.

    • We’ll try to have a good time without you, Michael. 😉

  • BulldogPT

    You guy never heard of Dave Ramsey? Debt is dumb…borrower is slave to the lender. Yes, I said SLAVE. Cash-flow college. It’s worth it, work hard to pay for it.