I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday.
‘Class Dismissed’ argues college isn’t the only answer
By MARK LARDAS
Feb 19, 2019
“Class Dismissed: Why College Isn’t the Answer,” by Nick Adams, Post Hill Press, 2019, 192 pages, $25
Is a four-year college degree the minimum requirement for a successful life? It comes with a price tag in excess of $50,000.
“Class Dismissed: Why College Isn’t the Answer,” by Nick Adams argues college may not be the best road to success. Instead, for many it may prove a four-year detour to a successful career.
Adams doesn’t argue college is never the answer. He argues it’s not the only answer. For many, skipping college and getting on with life may be a better solution. Sometimes going straight to a four-year college out of high school sets up someone for a lifetime of failure.
Adams opens the book explaining why he believes college is a poor choice for many, using his own life and the lives of his childhood friends as examples. He grew up in Australia, which is more status-conscious than the United States, and was from a station where a four-year degree is expected.
Adams has a four-year degree. He enjoyed college, but found it a four-year coast. College didn’t contribute to his becoming the youngest city councilman in Sydney, Australia. He was in college when elected. By contrasts, his childhood friend Alan bucked expectations and became a plumber instead of going to college. By the time Adams graduated Alan was running 10 plumbing trucks and earning over $100,000 annually.
Additionally, college today is extremely expensive. It shelters students from reality (for fear of “triggering” them). It is also increasingly about politically-correct indoctrination rather than education.
Adams argues more people could follow Alan’s path. He has a chapter listing extremely successful people who never attended or finished college. The list includes Paul Allen, James Cameron, Michael Dell, Ted Turner, and Anna Wintour.
He discusses paths to career success that avoid college. He devotes nearly half the book listing careers attainable though trade schools or community college certifications. Each entry outlines the career, the preparation, and salary expectations.
“Class Dismissed” is short; only 40,000 words. It provides a cogent argument, and offers solid advice. Anyone unsure whether college is for them should read it.
Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, amateur historian, and model-maker, lives in League City. His website is marklardas.com.