My younger sister, who was only 12 at the time, came home one evening to tell us that her teacher had written how much money each student could expect to earn, dependent on the level of education they received.
As you can imagine, this infuriated my Mum.
According to this “exact” scale someone without a-levels or a degree could only hope to earn just over minimum wage.
Of course, this myth wasn’t difficult explain to my sister as I, a person with barely a GCSE to my name, was earning many multiple times that amount.
Obviously the teacher was well meaning. She wasn’t trying to make the kids feel like potential failures.
But why did she get it so wrong? Why do so many people get it so wrong?
I think it’s because university, for some unknown reason, makes everything more complicated than it should be.
In reality, the world benefits greatly from simplicity.
My experience is that people who attend university, by no fault of their own, over-complicate everything. Everything is more simple than graduates make it.
“Students get their degree by writing a thesis. And a thesis is taking something really simple and making it complicated” – Dave Trott.
I can’t understand why universities think training their students to think this way helps them or the normal world at all!?
Whatever they think, they’re making the beginnings of their students careers much more difficult.
DHH said that the first thing a recent graduate needs to do is to unlearn everything they’ve been taught.
But he is right.
My good friend Daniel Kirby, CEO of The Tech Dept, was asked by a local university what they could do to persuade him to employ graduate students. His reply – “I’ll do it if you give me the money to retrain them from scratch”.
Often, complexity will lead you down the wrong road. And once you leave uni you’re all on your own. There’s no lecturer to give you a brief. You’ve got to create your own.
Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, not attending Uni was probably my greatest decision so far.
Most people I know who are successful either dropped out, or avoided it altogether.
If you’re thinking about a career outside of the usual Law, Medicine, etc, I highly recommend thinking twice before you apply.