Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Unscripted Talk: The Case Against College

I've just talked into my webcam for 13 minutes making the case against college (and graduate school.)

I like it because it is an unvarnished presentation of my thoughts, with no glitz. Its honesty and substantiveness seem to shine through.

On the other hand, its lack of polish (not to mention my not particularly looking into the camera) makes it less entertaining and less tightly structured than if it were a prepared speech.

I figure it doesn't hurt to share it with you.

It presents:
  • A case against college and graduate school
  • Who should and shouldn't consider attending
  • Questions you should ask of a college you're considering attending
  • A plea that government mandate all colleges to post a substantive College Report Card on itself, as I've written about previously.


Anonymous said...

Hi Marty,

I'm curious - In all your experience/encounters, how many millionaire plumbers have you actually met/known?



Marty Nemko said...

Indeed, I have met a good number of people who are making a good to excellent livings, yes, including but not usually millionaires in blue-collar professions, especially when they run their own business and taken the time and had the sustained focus to make it work. I believe that with the ever growing oversupply of college graduates and undersupply of skilled blue collar workers, especially those with entrepreneurial skills, the not-particularly academically oriented person might want to consider foregoing college in favor of learning a trade, especially at the elbow of a successful ethical business owner.

Unlike what the colleges and the media would have you believe, college is not the only path to financial success or to the life well-led. That is the message of the talk I gave on this video.

Justin Wehr said...

Excellent! So glad you did this, and hope to see such videos from you more often. (You made my list of people I would most like to hear ramble: http://wehrintheworld.blogspot.com/2011/04/ramble-on-me.html)

I am completely with you on the overratedness of higher ed and on it not being one size fits all. The main question I have on the topic is how, concretely, can one go about determining whether he or she is "right" for higher ed?

And P.S., if you're taking requests, I'd love to see you ramble on a number of other topics, and here are the first that come to mind: entrepreneurship, relationships, meaning-of-life, public speaking, interviewing.

Anonymous said...


You said that many professors in the U.S.A. don't speak English. Do you have (real-life) examples? Some links?


University Graduate

Marty Nemko said...

I wrote that many professors, especially in the sciences, speak poor English. Universities make liberal use of Asian professors, who are brilliant researchers and apparently don't care much whether they speak good English.

Here's a link to an example: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/399017-foreign-professors-who-cant-speak-english-why.html