More and more, people are discussing the question of whether the four-year college degree is worth the time and money invested. This article is not going to focus on that, but a subset argument of that question that virtually everyone is missing. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free When people make a case for the four-year degree, they have several arguments that work well. And most of them I tend to agree with or at least see their validity. Arguments such as the following: The connections made during those four years are invaluable. College students learn to navigate the demands of attaining their degree, which teaches time management and hard work. The lessons learned through the social environment of college are beneficial later in life. College classes can be rigorous and impart valuable information. The Other, Less Talked About, Argument But there’s one argument for attaining a college degree that has never sat well with me. It’s the argument that many young people have decided on their desired career around the time of their high school graduation, and very often, that career requires or encourages them to pursue that four-year degree. It’s the argument where people often say: “But what if the young person really wants to pursue a career that requires a degree. They’ve always wanted to be a (fill in the blank), and they need that degree. Are they supposed to give up on their dream? Are they supposed to abandon the career they’ve wanted for so long?” When challenged with this argument, it’s tough for someone to say, “Yes, they should resign that dream in favor of another one that does not take a four-year degree to achieve.” Related: The American Dream: Are Traditional Values and Beliefs Helpful or Harmful Today? College’s Unfair Advantage But the entire career decision-making process is rigged from the get-go. The four-year degree has an enormous and unfair advantage to gain the aspirations of the young person in question. And it starts early on. This argument assumes that a young person knows all of their options, has considered them all over a period of time, has weighed the pros and cons, and then made the best choice for their future goals. But this situation is not the truth. It’s not the reality that young people have. Real Estate as a Career Path Virtually all young students are never presented the option of passive income investing as a career choice that will cut their mandatory working careers from 45 years in half, or even down to 10 years or less. What if they were presented that option much earlier in life at the same time they first considered being a nurse, policeman, firefighter, or doctor? What if they spent their formative years contemplating the advantages of a passive income career and the freedom it brings compared to other career paths? What if the passive income career had 10 or more years to simmer in their minds as most other career options do? Would they still be as steadfast to the path towards a four-year degree? Probably not. Related: How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing as a College Student (or Recent Grad) The problem is that very few young people know about the options and benefits that exist with passive income careers, so they cannot give fair consideration to this option until it’s too late—until they’re trapped in the rat race and can’t escape. I am not advocating that young people should not pursue a four-year degree. My goal here is to point out that the passive career path, which usually does not require a degree, should be given more exposure to our students so they can make a truly informed decision in pursuit of their best life. What are your thoughts on this argument and would you have pursued your degree if you had known about passive income at age 18? Share with a comment below!