Are you going to throw money away on a useless college degree?

Written on
December 23, 2017
Peter Hostrawser

As I was checking out at my local grocery store the other day, I heard an interaction that reminded me why it is important to stop the false promises a college degree does for some students.

The woman at the register was a grandmother and was having a conversation with a customer that was a friend.  The grandmother was talking about how proud she was of her grandson.  She stated he was in college and finishing his finals.  What she said next stunned me.  She told the customer he wants to become a physical trainer and own his own gym.  Wait...what!?!?!  My limited mathematical skills began to kick in.

Here’s where my mind blew up inside…

My first thought was WHY is this kid in college!?!  Let’s do some calculations.  The average cost of college ranges depending on factors such as private or public universities and in state versus out of state students.  I have no idea where this woman’s grandson was going to college so I can’t say exactly how much it is costing so in my calculations, I will use the lowest average cost of college in the United States for 2017.  That figure is $9,970 for an in state student at a public institution.  So lets times that by 4 years assuming this young man will actually finish in 4 years (with is only about 19% of students).  So I am being VERY conservative in my math.  That comes out to be $39,880 for an education.  That education is to be used to learn how to become a personal trainer and run a gym.

That is a rip off.  A huge rip off.  This is an extremely large waste of money.

Here’s why.  In about an hours, I researched how to become certified as a personal trainer.  I came across the National Federation of Personal Trainers website and started to compare programs.  Many were listed with a range of certification costs from $199 to $1999.  Annual fees to retain certification were in a range of $85 to $474.  Now I am not an expert in this field but I do know basic math.  Let me calculate the most expensive program here for 4 years jst to make a point.  The National Academy of Sports Medicine has the most expensive certification program ($1999)  in addition to annual fees ($474).  Let’s do the math for 4 years.  Take the $1999 and add $474 times 3 for the annual fees after certification.  That is a total cost of $3,421 for the most expensive program out there to become a certified trainer.

I did an hour of investigation and found out how this grandson of a grocery worker could have saved $36,459!!!!

 But what about the “starting his own business” part you ask?  Experience is the best teacher.  This young man could actually get PAID to learn how to run a gym.  Here’s how.  Find a job at a gym.  I don’t care what kind of job.  Clean the bathrooms.  Wash the towels.  Answer the phone.  Get coffee for the owners.  It doesn’t matter what this kids beginning job could be in a gym.  Just being around the inner workings of a gym is the important part.  Observing and taking note of everyday activity will teach him how a gym works.  Asking the certified trainers currently working there would give him a plethora of knowledge worth it’s weight in gold.  Being curious and humbling and asking the gym manager or owner about themselves and how they run things will yield amazing learning.

And oh yes, even if he is cleaning the toilets, HE IS GETTING PAID TO LEARN!!!!

So that was the flood of information that came into my brain in an instant when this conversation happened.  Unfortunately, the misconception of everyone should go to college or you will be a failure costs this kid big time.  It’s amazes me how blind we have become in the realm of authentic learning in these times.

Stop and think about what you are doing with your learning experiences.  Ask why you are doing it.  Do some research and don’t just listen to what certain people say.  Take time and think it out before you throw big money away.

Take time to #disrupteducation.

Peter Hostrawser
Creator of Disrupt Education
My value is to help you show your value. #Blogger | #KeynoteSpeaker | #Teacher | #Designthinker | #disrupteducation
Thanks! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.