Is Formal Education the Right Choice?

Norma LaFonteEducation56 Comments

Is Formal Education the Right Choice?

While we are not against additional education beyond High School, we really encourage people to think about what may be RIGHT for their children.

Higher education has a place in society. Trust me, I truly value and appreciate the University level professions that I need in my life, Dr’s, Lawyers, Accountants etc. I also appreciate the professions that require Technical skills such as Plumbers, Electricians and Surveyors.

But not all people want or need to go on to higher education, or quite frankly are ready to go based on maturity, financials or emotions to make a decision that is going to financially impact their life (or the lives of their parents in some cases).

Some people believe that at minimum, getting an MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a great step to take. Both for getting traditional employment or for use in the entrepreneurial world. I’m not going to argue that it is, or isn’t, but want you to consider the following:

Cost

An MBA program can be very expensive, not only in actual costs; $25,000 to $100,000 depending on your school and location, but also in time. 24 months of full-time attendance in school is also time that most people cannot generate an income. So, a loss of income generation during this time period can easily add up to another $60,000 in lost opportunity.

There is no guarantee that having a degree will equal a bigger paycheque or a successful business.

Structure

An MBA Program is also very structured and does not offer a lot of room for change. Most entrepreneurial people like to deviate from formal structure and forge their own path. They learn best by doing, making mistakes, changing directions and learning from their experience.

If your child thrives on structure – this might be a good fit for them, but if they do not, it will likely lead to frustration and dropping out.

Product or Service

While having an MBA can boost your credibility in the market place and help you with building connections with others, few customers really care about the paperwork on the wall.

They want to know that you are providing an exceptional product or service that suits their needs.

Mentors & Experience

In our book we talk about Mentorship and creating what we call a “Circle of Six”, people that are either smarter than you or who are on the same path and seeking to become better at who they are or what the do.

Find your own Circle of Six and surround yourself with great mentors, go to conferences and courses and meet other people. Learn from them. In our book we talk about our favorite mentors, some of who we started learning from simply by reading their books. It was in a book we read by Robert Kiyosaki who encouraged us to hurry up and fail.

Experience is a great teacher. The quicker you fall and learn to get up and learn from your mistakes, the faster you will master your area of expertise.

Learn with and through others, grow both your skillset and mindset, move forward – that’s an MBA in the most practical way!

Alternative Education

There are many places you can learn from beyond University, Colleges or Technical schools. Take an online course, attend conferences, read books, listen to podcasts – they are all valuable resources.

Bottom Line

Chose an education style that is right for the person. Don’t feel pressured into deciding, simply because someone else says it’s the right thing to do.

Personal Experience

My granddaughter was encouraged by many to go straight from high school into University. She was smart, got good grades and could certainly apply for and get financial scholarships.

She had also been exposed to a lot of entrepreneurial people (we would take her to conferences) and she decided she would not bow to the pressure of her school teachers and other family members. Instead she chose to take a couple of years and find out what she wanted to do, or rather what she didn’t want to do.

She spent 18 months living on her own and financially supporting herself though working at a variety of jobs. She learned about living with room mates, money management and a lot about herself.

A year ago, she asked to come and live with us. She wanted to get back into a Circle of Six mindset and hang out with people who could elevate and support her goals. She recently returned to school while maintaining a full-time job. She also has asked smart questions about where she can invest her own money. Although she is the same age of many of her fellow students – her maturity level is far higher than most, and I trust that she will take her own path to happiness and financial security.

I hope you will allow your own kids to find their path too!

Have Your Considered Your Children’s Future YET?

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