What you need to know about a degree-hustle

HUSTLE IS MY MBA

I have absolutely no plan to go back to college to get an advanced degree. Why? Well because I KNOW that it would have minimal impact on me professionally, as it does for most that do so. I’m not trying to down play the major accomplishment – just saying that in the reality of my world – it wouldn’t do much to serve me.

My colleagues that have a MBA’s did receive some positive impact on their career.  Which is great. I’ve done the same – without the financial burden (MBA = avg. $80k) or time investment (avg. 2-3 years).Their MBAs helped get them to the position their in…I used another method to get to the same position.

THE ALTERNATIVE

I’ve educated myself by being present and aware; by extending my learning in areas that directly contribute to my ability to do my job. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and taken on projects that have expanded my business intelligence. I’ve maximized on-the-job training. I take complete ownership of my role and responsibilities.

This approach has helped me become the standard in positions that I’ve taken. When you’re the standard, you become the point that others are judged from. It’s a position sure to help progress your career over what any degree can do – in my experience.

If you feel disadvantaged because you can’t fill up the Education part of your resume – don’t fear. Showcase your skill sets, accomplishments and willingness to self-educate outside of traditional study. Be willing to work harder than everyone else, which will naturally place you on the stage of being the standard. Before you know it, you’ll be working in the same peer group as those who pay thousands of dollars each month to cover student loan payments that they wish they would have done without.

I’d love to assist anyone, especially those without a college degree, put together a Grade-A resume.

I’M AN ADVOCATE OF EDUCATION

From where this post has gone, you might think that I was against education. But in reality, I’m the biggest advocate of education that I know. I just try not to get caught up in academia and the prestige behind where he or she got a degree (only because it really doesn’t matter and most people don’t care).

A few months ago in a post called Street Smarts Reigns Supreme, I shared that schools such as Yale and MIT offer free online courses open to the public. I actually take courses offered by these institutions based on subjects that I have interests in and that will help me be better at my job.

I have a lot of respect for those who have made the commitment to complete college; under graduate and graduate level. I have a friend who has his PhD and I think it’s the coolest thing in the world. But also I have a great deal of respect for those who didn’t have the opportunity to go to college – because I think they can make just as big of a splash as the next person.

CONCLUSION

I have a bachelor’s degree. Having it served a good purpose at one point in my career. That purpose being that it satisfied a requirement to get a certain level of job when I graduated. That’s it. 75% (maybe more) of the courses that I took were pointless in the scheme of my life today. Who in the world needs a geology class if they don’t care one lick about rocks (I hated that classes). How in the world can you make a Chinese Dynasty class a prerequisite, but fail to teach young adults how to manage money? The system seems a little twisted. It’s getting a little too expensive…and frankly, having a degree is more of a formality than a means for preparation.

For those of you who don’t or didn’t have the opportunity to go to college – I think you’ll be okay if you’re willing to hustle. But for those who aren’t so willing to work hard, college degree or not, I’m not sure if higher ed will do a thing for you. Just because a person has a degree doesn’t mean that life’s any easier…hard work is the requirement under all job descriptions.

To those with a college degree, don’t think you’re “black belt” is all that you need if you want to be successful…it’s not enough. Before my attitude changed, I was stuck in regular run-of-the-mill jobs that paid average wages and it sucked my energy dry.

Bottom line, college degree or not – you own your results…not some piece of paper, no abbreviations or letters after your name, not the state of the economy and surely not any of your excuses. If you want to win – then go do something about it…and win.

I’m not advocating that anyone should pass on the opportunity to go to college. If you can go – don’t let the opportunity pass you by. But if you can’t…you know what to do.

DISCUSSION

I said a lot here and didn’t cover the bulk of my thoughts. College seems like it’s a racket nowadays; all about hiking up the costs but not truly preparing young adults for the real world. What are your thoughts on this? If you have an MBA – do you think it gives you an edge over high achievers? And finally, share anything you’d like on this subject that may offer additional value to the community. -Jk