This Week’s Book Review – Class Dismissed: Why College Isn’t the Answer

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.

Book Review

‘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.

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3 thoughts on “This Week’s Book Review – Class Dismissed: Why College Isn’t the Answer”

  1. “In excess of $50,000”? Yuh, try $240,000. And that’s just for a social marker,what  high school used to be. It’s essentially a 4 year winter sleepover camp.  Except you don’t get the food included..

    If you challenge the orthodoxy that everyone should attend a 4 year residential college,  you get two common responses:

    1.  18 year olds need a transition to adult independent living.

    Really? That’s  what you’re paying over $6K/ month for? To get the kid outta the house?

    2. Sharing and discussing ideas with their peers is an important experience.

    Yeah, but: that’s free!  Just ask the million sof Americans who participate in book clubs.

    No, I think the only reason we’re still following this outdated model is that if 18-21 year olds were all in the job market, unemployment rate would skyrocket.

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  2. Hypatia:
    1.  18 year olds need a transition to adult independent living.

    Gee, my dad did that before college.  It was called World War II.

    Hypatia:
    2. Sharing and discussing ideas with their peers is an important experience. Yeah, but: that’s free!  Just ask the million sof Americans who participate in book clubs.

    Well, if you do not corral them in appropriate-think environments they may get different ideas than the Politically Correct ones.

    Besides, with a non-dischargable $50K-250K debt they behave like proper peons.

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