Can You Become Wealthy Without a College Degree?
Welcome back to Survey Sunday. Most Sundays I post a question for my readers to consider; this week we’ll find out whether you believe a person can become wealthy without a college degree. The goal is to get you to share your answers, rationale, thoughts and ideas in the Comments. Why is this important? Because each person is on a different path and each path leads to a different outcome.
We can all learn from each other and in doing so, tweak our own plans to help ensure a better outcome. So here goes…read on for the set-up to this week’s question!
The Set Up
First of all, let me stress that I have nothing against pursuing a college degree and believe that for many people, achieving one is a very wise choice. All I want to do here is to open the discussion about whether it’s possible to become wealthy without a college degree.
Consider this excerpt from a Forbes article:
Of course, the article is referring to the uber rich like Bill Gates and Ingvar Kamprad (think IKEA). I think we can agree that these people are at the extremes of the term wealthy. For the rest of us, though, I don’t think that a person can really answer this Survey Sunday question until they know what “wealthy” means to them.
It’s a very personal definition. To some it means having $2 million in investable assets, to others it’s having a paid-for roof over their heads, a healthy family and enough saved to supplement Social Security income by $500/mo. If you don’t have a clear vision of what living a wealthy or prosperous life means to you, I wrote a few posts that might help you figure that out, click here, here and here.
Now back to the question. I would argue that it is quite possible to become wealthy without a college degree. Why? Simply based on personal experience. While I’m certainly no Bill Gates I have managed to build wealth without a degree.
Today, there are so many alternative ways to learn that cost little or nothing. Information is readily available; some of the most valuable skills I’ve learned have simply been through the observation of others.
I attended college over the years for various reasons, sometimes to work on general education requirements (that was early on) and other times to tick off courses needed for certifications (like technical writing or project management). But other than a high school diploma, I have no paper credentials to back me up. No fancy college name to put on a resume.
Maybe it’s luck or maybe it’s because having no degree made me try harder, I’m not sure, but what I can tell you is that not having one has not hindered me on my path. My experience, however, may not be the same for everyone.
The book The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, while a dated, is a must read for anyone wanting to grow wealth (don’t take my word for it, check out the reviews). The authors present some interesting statistics about the makeup of a typical millionaire. The whole book is worth your time, but for it’s relevance to our question, Appendix 3 at the back of the book lists the business/occupations of self-employed millionaires. While some of these require a college degree, there are many that do not.
That’s enough from me, now it’s your turn!
Can you become wealthy without a college degree?
Please share your thoughts, story or opinion in the Comments below. What you add could be just what someone else needs to hear to move forward, get inspired or feel “okay” about their own choices. So please, don’t be shy about contributing!
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