Is college really necessary?

20 Replies

Is a college degree really necessary for an agent? I’m in the middle of my senior year of high school and I do not want to go to college because I feel like it’s worthless for an entrepreneur. Any advice is much appreciated

@Devon White you'll get a LOT of differing opinions on this topic, but here's mine.  I would HIGHLY encourage you to pursue a degree for two main reasons.

First, generally speaking, it takes a good credit score with good W-2 income to get started in life in general and specifically in real estate.  Banks won't normally talk to you about loans for rental properties, let alone a personal residence, without both these things.

Second, a high-quality degree from a high-quality university generally leads to higher W-2 income.  There are worthless degrees and worthless education institutions, so quality counts.  Keep in mind, though, that quality doesn't necessarily mean expensive.

I know you feel college is useless, so I'd recommend refining your mindset.  Instead of approaching college and your classes as a distraction or drudgery, focus on a major in a field related to real estate like finance, construction management, or business (many to choose from that would directly support a real estate career).  Then approach each class by asking yourself, how will this help me in real estate.  Apply everything you're learning to how you will build your real estate business.

Also lots of real-estate related education you can gain outside the classroom. Books, podcasts, BP, etc. All good sources to supplement.

You can also do many things on the side to gain experience and build your network.  Lots of possibilities here.  Be a real estate agent, flip homes, house hack a duplex, work at a bank, etc.

Point is to laser focus on your end goal by pursuing related education and doing as much on the side as possible.  Then, after graduation, you'll hopefully get some serious W-2 income, have great credit, and be able to apply your background, network, and education to pursuing your dreams.

Best of luck as you decide your future. You've started on the right foot, though, seeking and being open to the advice of others further than the path!

if you have always known you were meant to own your own business, meaning you have already started 3 or 4 businesses by now, then I would forget about college

If you have not then I would recommend you go to college as you will probably spend the rest of your working life working for someone else and they usually like to hire people with degrees 


I have a GED and make great money.

That being said it depends what you want to do and what type of person you are. I’ve always been an entrepreneur and can put up with the incredible discomfort that it comes with because I love to build things and create opportunities.

At the same time it wouldn’t hurt to go to a community college and get an associates for a very affordable education that would leave you options in the future and work in a brokerage while in college. My biggest issue with college is the debt, I don’t think the education will hurt.

I also went to and finished about 3 years of college. All of it was at community colleges and state colleges so I have no debt because of it. I don’t regret it at all.

The connections from a top school are important

Interesting. No one has said to go to college to be a better educated person who understands the world and has the tools to think critically and keep learning. College didn't used to be viewed as a vocational school or merely a qualification to make a lot of money. Education makes someone a citizen better able to understand the complicated issues facing our country and world. 

Besides, I know almost no one who is doing what they thought they would at 17, or even 22.

PS: maybe a college education would lead someone to actually read the paragraph at the top of the forum of what a category marked DIY is about, and not post twice about life decisions in a construction forum.

Originally posted by @Aquarea Pearl :

The connections from a top school are important

 Not for everyone, thankfully.

I would say no.  I have only a ged. As a matter a fact I am the only of my siblings and first cousins with only a ged.. They have a combined 33 years of school between the 4 of them Including 2 doctorates. I am worth more than all of them combined. And work a heck of a lot less.

My advice would get into the building trades and go through an apprenticeship. You will get paid as you learn...You will make an above average wage from the start.  When you reach journeyman it is not uncommon to surpass 6 figures in income. You will then have the knowledge and skill to maintain and properly analyze real estate.

Save Your Money!!! Put a down payment on a duplex, 4plex whatever you can get your hands as soon as you can and house hack. As your knowledge and income grow, your porfolio should grow with it.  

This is not the most popular path to financial freedom as most people don't like getting dirty but definatley is the best option in my opinion. It worked for me.

It’s not necessary but it helps. But ideally make sure you can do it with minimal debt. Very few undergrad degrees are worth 100k debt

Many people view the choice of going to college or starting work as in either/or choice.  Aspirational people can do both.  There are also ways to make college affordable with proper planning.

Learners are earners.

Plus, college is fun...hate for you to miss that experience.

@Aquarea Pearl
Not everyone makes connections even if they go to a top school though . Wouldn't you say that someone that is able to make connections while at college or university would be able to make them in the outside world too ?

If you are talking a top private school especially the fees are super high . Seems there would be less expensive ways to make connections.

Average tuition at private colleges is now over $33,000 a year . That would buy a lot of entrances to conferences , networking events etc

@Mike Dymski yeah I agree . When I was younger I viewed things too much as either/or .

@Devon White

If you view it as worthless it will be worthless .
Definitely not necessary for an entrepreneur .... but most successful entrepreneurs did go to college versus not going .

The media likes to talk about the ones that dropped out or never attended but they are the exception .

I agree it's smart to do it without a lot of debt . Look into community colleges .

It'll be easier to go to college now versus if you decide to do it later on .

Why not take the courses that will make you a better entrepreneur? Marketing , accounting , writing courses , etc could all be helpful .

I went to a vocational school for two years got some small business and  some construction and running a business experience. And some great computer and accounting training so could manage my own books for couple of yrs. than work for a property manager company and a apprenticeship with a real estate mentor for about a year or two on and off to really learn all parts of real estate in and out. To get a better understanding how it all works!

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@Devon White from McConnell AFB you ask a very thoughtful and intelligent question.  My answer is only go to college if it is needed to pursue what you want to do in life.  Your decision is easy if you KNOW what you want to do.  I take it you want to become a Real Estate Agent.  If that is the case, no you don't need a college education for that.  

I'm 62 years old and the old school answer is of course go to college.  I happen to have a BS degree and a Masters Degree. Both of those degrees were only used to open doors but I have never really used the degrees themselves. I see you are living at McConnell AFB, well my first degree was as good as a basket weaving degree but it did open doors to become a Lieutenant in the USAF.  I was able to go to pilot training and retired a LtCol in the USAF.  The Masters degree helped me get promoted to LtCol just to fill a square that I had a graduate degree.  So if you say, I want to go in the military and become an officer, then yes I would say you need a degree.

Some people say, you should go to College because it is fun and it gives you a little more time to grow up.  I agree with that as well, but the problem with that is, it is too expensive to go and have fun these days in college.  It is a crime that most college graduates leave school with 50k-100k in debt before they even start their careers.  

After retiring from the USAF, I became a financial planner and believe it or not a degree is not required to do that either.  If you are motivated, and a self-starter then going straight into business will serve you well.  Unless you have parents that want to spend their money for you to figure it out in college, I would forego the college experience, especially if your not looking forward to it anyway.  

Invest in your brain. College is the place to be. My junior and senior year of college I was an agent, it wasn't overly lucrative but great beer money. What is a little college debt if you are going to be a successful entrepreneur? You can always fall back on your education. Meet some cool people, rock the casbah, and sing the alma mater.

Everything @Chris Jensen said and also......that's where all the GIRLS are!!!!!! Don't forget to have loads of fun on this journey called life!

I would definitely suggest going to college if you can afford it. I am a freshman at UConn right now and I am loving every minute of it! The clubs, the school spirit, and yes, the girls all add up to create magnificent experiences every day! I am one of the lucky ones, as my schooling will actually help me in real estate (I am a real estate major). While I agree that some classes might have no use, I think that most classes have a cumulative positive effect!

I'm also just like you as I'm very entrepreneurial and started a few businesses as well. However, I think that the benefits of college outweigh some of the cons, especially if it's feasible financially.

Necessary - no. Valuable - yes!

Don't just look at it as a piece of paper. There are other things that come along with college that may be even more valuable than that! I'll list some below.

-"Real world" experience in a "Non- Real world" environment.

- Unlimited connections across various industries, backgrounds and cultures.

- Ability to explore yourself. Try new classes, focus on ones you love, find a passion.

- Ability to fail in a welcoming environment, with limited risk.

These are just naming a few. Do I hate paying student loans? YES. Would I go back and do it differently? NO WAY! I wouldn't be where I am today without college.

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