Benjamin Spak

5 Reasons Why College is a Waste of Money & Time


  • – Info is outdated
  • – No guaranteed job
  • – Theory, not experience
  • – Instructors have little hands on experience
  • – instructor one on one time limited
  • What to do instead:
  • – Get a job
  • – YouTube
  • – Udemy
  • – Used books
  • – Mentor
  • – Industry leaders

Hey there! Ben with Seize Success again. Today I want to talk about 5 reasons why college is both a waste of time and money. And bear with me. Have him buy coffee yet today. So if I seem like I haven’t been to college I may need to. Don’t be too harsh.

So my 1st reason is that. It’s totally outdated. I remember taking this web development class back in college and you know mind you this is back 0708. So sure things like bootstrap and frameworks like that weren’t that popular yet. But from what I’ve been told just by speaking with other students who are still taking that course that’s still the curriculum. They’re teaching things like Dreamweaver which you know, years and years out of date.

Reason number 2. You’re not guaranteed to actually get a job. I know plenty of people with master’s degrees and they may be flipping burgers or let’s say you go for Political Science or something if you don’t feel like moving to where that degree is located where there’s an actual industry like say film design moving to L.A. or PolSci moving to Washington. Kinda SOL.

Reason Number 3 and reason number 4 are kind of wrapped into one. So reason number 3, is it’s mostly theory and not experience based. And the fourth one is a lot of instructors don’t have the experience in the actual field that they’re teaching.

So let’s say for example you get a business instructor and you’re expecting them to tell you about how to run a business. How to start a business what sort of lessons they learned because they failed on a couple of things or even connect to with people or colleagues that have been doing that sort of thing. They’re probably not going to be able to help you. They probably went and got a college degree in education and then took just a few core courses relating to the subject that they’re teaching.

Reason Number 5. Most instructor time is very limited. They’re teaching maybe four or five courses that require their in-person attention. You know this is different with say online courses for example with online courses. You can kind of reach out to them they can get back to you whenever and a lot of times there’s really not that many people asking questions. So. You’re way better off not taking college courses if you’re looking for some one on one communication and some direct feedback on your strengths and your weaknesses. Anything of that nature. So what should you do instead of actually investing in college and spending a bunch of time and money that you just don’t have. Well most people who are successful like Mike Rowe for example is a large proponent of saying “hey why don’t you just go out and get a job”. Same thing with financial advisor Dave Ramsey. He’s saying Dude why don’t you just go out and get a job make money instead of spending money. That just makes sense. And there’s a few other ways or a handful of ways that you can actually go and gain the experience they would want anyway from college. And most cases you’ll get way more experience and way more insight than just going to college.

So the first one is YouTube videos. I mean that was kind of simple. You’re on YouTube, you’re kind of poking around. Just find people that you need to follow. And you know people like Gary Vaynerchuk are really good for like social media marketing business that sort of stuff. Marie Foleo she’s really good about running your own business. Tim Ferriss when I was about to do this Tim Ferriss he. He wrote “The 4-Hour Workweek, 4-Hour Chef and 4-Hour Body” and he continuously does this amazing podcast where he has world class athletes actors performers on there and they’re always talking about their favorite books and that sort of stuff.

The second one you can take online classes with platforms like you Udemy. You can also use Coursera. You want to do programming there’s things like code school and a lot of these have free trials. And there’s a lot of hands on experience from the instructors that teach them. You know a lot of times you can get discount codes on Udemy and you can take courses for I want to say somewhere around like $10. So I mean if you don’t have $5-$10 dollars to spend on a course like what are you doing. You could learn more I think in one Udemy course. For $10 than you could in an entire semester in maybe two courses in sales or like Client management, maybe even more. An entire degree which is kind of scary.

The third thing to do is you can buy used books on Amazon. You know you get yourself an Amazon Prime membership or a student one which I don’t think requires much verification but I’ll include a link in the description down below so that you can kind of suss that out for yourself and see if you want to get Amazon Prime in the first place. But the cool thing with Prime is you get like free two day shipping on practically all of your orders and as a student it’s only like $50 a year. So that’s cheaper than one course book. Actually for the price of a college course book let’s say for example it’s $150 right?. Two hundred dollars for that hundred fifty dollars and get an Amazon Prime membership and then buy used books that usually only cost. You can get like a decent condition book on say business or something of that nature that’s been a bestseller and can give you a ton of the applicable info for you know sometimes used $2-$3 and if you’re getting free shipping I mean like let’s do the simple math on that. Let’s say you get 50 books or not 50 books let’s say 30 books add say $2 a pop. That’s $16 Plus Amazon Prime membership and that’s still cheaper than one college book. Like you could basically study your whole major worth of books for less than the cost of one college book I mean that’s just insane.

So the fourth thing you can do instead of wasting your time and money on college is find yourself a mentor. There’s a ton of great free resources out there. Small business of America. I know there’s a score for how that one stands for. Just a ton a ton of resources out there for free where you can find someone who’s done something in your industry and knows what they’re talking about. A lot of times people will volunteer their experience and you can meet with someone who is a captain of their industry for free. I mean going to do is cost you a little bit of time. Take yourself a notepad write down like everything that they struggled with early on in their career or their industry. You’ll learn tons more than actually taking a college course.

The fifth and final tactic has to do with finding industry leaders and reaching out to them. Places like Twitter, LinkedIn, all that good stuff are really good networks that you can find these mentors and reach out for these industry leaders.

A lot of times you can even find their email address. For example Derek Sivers of, who also founded CD Baby, has put out a bunch of books and does book reviews and stuff on his website as a terrific resource. You know men I think over ten million dollars on the sale of CD Baby and he spends the majority of his time just learning coding on Ruby on Rails and he painstakingly responds to every email that people send them because that’s just something he wants to do with his time. So that’s a great way to get in contact with someone like Derek Silvers who has been involved in e-commerce and that sort of stuff. You can also get in contact with people like Rand Fishkin for example. Rand is the former CEO of Moz, a Web technology company which does SEO software and I’ve been talking back and forth with him for a number of years you know I mean obviously I’m trying to be considerate of his time so they’ll be kind of one off questions here and there but because able to actually strike up a conversation and get him to do an interview that goes along with one of the free SEO courses that I’m putting out. And in doing that you know I’m helping him kind of promote his keyword research tool. And there’s also Danny Dover. I really like Danny and I stumbled upon him when he was with Moz back in the day actually I think he worked there from like 2010. Maybe a little bit sooner 2010 for a few years and then just decided to totally change up its life and now he does he’s into minimalism. He does a lot of like travel blogging type stuff and he’s really involved in checking items off of his life list. That’s actually where I got the term. You can check him out he’s got like a and he does YouTube videos he does. You know just like a lot of free writing and he’s really accessible you can reach out to him on Twitter and LinkedIn probably.

Well you might be able to get him on YouTube but you know how YouTube comments go. People don’t interact as much but yeah definitely. It’s simple to connect with an industry leader be a Social media or anything like that.

So what’s your excuse why are you wasting time and money on college. Don’t do it. Get a shitty job learn what you want to learn. Get some hands on experience go out there make failures make mistakes learn some shit and then you can either get yourself a good job or start your own business. Because I mean do you really want to be working for someone anyway. So this is Ben. Go out there and seize success.

So I totally forgot to mention I’m taking these shaky videos on my iPhone so soon I’m getting a tripod with an attachment so I can actually haul it around and set it up so you don’t get this wobbly shaky horrible sort of background. So I’m excited for that and hopefully you are too.