“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – attributed to Mark Twain
We’ve reached that time of year again and school is back in session. In the spirit of Mr. Twain’s timeless quote, let’s focus on post high-school opportunities for a moment. The parents and professors in our little university town may disagree with this post, but I would argue this is the perfect time to look seriously at forgoing college. While continued education is a must, we need to remember the point of all of the education (both in school and in life) we receive. To learn how to best serve our fellow man. Of course you can go to school to study medicine, engineering, coding, and so forth, but those are specific skills. The ultimate goal is to get to the point where you can sell those skills in the marketplace to those who value your service.
With that in mind, there is a growing need in all of our communities for quality tradesmen. Plumbers, HVAC technicians, electricians, carpenters, and so forth. Just as I’m not saying everyone should become a doctor or engineer, clearly not everyone needs to run out learn a trade. These are just a few examples of the careers available to a person fresh out of high-school. All that is required is a willingness to learn and the ability to work hard.
When thinking about alternatives to a four-year college degree, please understand this is open to everyone. The easy way to write this option off is to think it only applies to people who “can’t make it” in the university classroom. Nothing could be further from the truth. More than anything, this is a matter of choice. What do you value? What can you do to meet a need in your community and beyond? Who are your mentors and how can you best follow in their footsteps? Where do you see yourself in five years (and beyond)? And what are you willing to give up in order to get there?
This last question is key because there is a cost to everything, whether we are talking four-year college tuition or time spent working as an apprentice. You can research the cost of tuition at your preferred university, but the average debt load for a 2016 grad was $37,172(i). That translates into monthly payments of $407 over the next 10 years, so hopefully the average grad was able to parlay that schooling into some very marketable skills. Compare that to gaining four years of on the job experience in a trade, learning to meet a client’s (and bosses) needs, and building a professional network. Don’t forget you’ll be getting paid.
Whatever your age, education and level of schooling, the Perpetual Wealth Code is something that can be applied to your life. All you need is a desire to control your capital and recapture some of the taxes and fees lost to traditional investments. If you have that, I look forward to talking with you further.
P.S. – for friends within driving distance of Des Moines, IA, click here for details on an event being held on September 28 discussing bringing significance back to the Iowa trades.
(i) – https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/