Going to college isn’t worth it unless you want to have fun. This is what Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, thinks, and there is good data to support his position. And not only because of the fact that many things can already be learned without going to the classroom, but also because the financial cost of studying in the best universities is less and less worth it.
Elon Musk constantly reminds that to work in his companies you do not need a university degree, but simply know about Artificial Intelligence and be able to apply that knowledge to generate innovations. But the problem may run deeper: In the United States, fewer than half of graduates under the age of 25 work in a job that requires a degree.
Is it worth investing in a bachelor’s degree?
The worst thing is that the education of a member of a family, in the United States, costs the household up to 40 percent of the income, without this meaning a guarantee for a good job in the near future.
In Mexico, some careers have a better return on investment than others. According to the analysis of the IMCO (Mexican Institute for Competitiveness), Medicine, finance, political science and engineering and construction are the careers with the highest rate of return. “The return on investment measures the relationship between the cost of studying a career and the salary increase it generates,” defines the IMCO.
In contrast, careers such as Fine Arts, Therapy and Rehabilitation, or Motor Vehicle Engineering are rated in the top 10 highest risk. This means that there is a high probability of ending up unemployed after studying them.
Self-taught vs university students
On the other hand, while online education options advance, both because of their offer and because of their low cost, many young people end up acquiring skills for work in a self-taught way. However, finishing a university degree also implies effort, discipline and fun, as Elon Musk says.
But this fun, in turn, involves the creation of very valuable personal and professional relationships. These last advantages are still relevant when competing in the labor market.
According to Elon Musk, to hire someone, take into account creativity and ability to innovate, before academic achievement. In addition, he neglects the importance of the verticality of the orders, allowing collaborators to take action to develop an idea without the need to ask for authorization.
Either way, if someone has those skills plus a college degree, they may be at an advantage against other candidates.