NPR logo

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/90374006/90374577" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Don't Go to College

Don't Go to College

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/90374006/90374577" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Here's a new one for you — conventional wisdom insists that college is the place to pull yourself upwards and onwards. Better jobs — and more mobility — are the dividends. But career coach Marty Nemko disagrees. In his op-ed he writes:

Among my saddest moments as a career counselor is when I hear a story like this: "I wasn't a good student in high school, but I wanted to prove that I can get a college diploma. I'd be the first one in my family to do it. But it's been five years and $80,000, and I still have 45 credits to go."... Most college dropouts leave campus having learned little of value, and with a mountain of debt and devastated self-esteem. Perhaps worst of all, even those who do manage to graduate too rarely end up in careers that require a college education. So when you hop in a cab or walk into a restaurant, you're likely to meet workers who spent years and their family's life savings on college, only to end up with a job they could have done as a high school dropout.

It's not your run-of-the-mill advice, and plenty of people would disagree with him. Which makes him good, provocative fodder for our Opinion Page... Let the debate begin!

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.