Why university/college is a waste of time and money

University and college, is largely a waste of time.*

*The exception being people who are dead set on being doctors/laywers/neuroscientists, have done work experience in those fields, and know that it’s certainly for them.


Most people graduate not knowing much relevant stuff about the real world.

Not being able to sell themselves.

Being socially awkward.

Struggling to find a job, and being horrendously in debt.

I mean let’s look at the cost.

In the UK – it costs £9,000 a year to go to university. Plus about £6,000 a year in living expenses for rent, food and books etc.

So an average 3 year course costs £45,000 total.

Then you have the time element. 3 whole years.

£45,000 and 3 years is a lot of resources.

Especially if it’s not going to lead anywhere.

Let’s start with the youth unemployment issue.

Everyone blames the economy, there are no jobs… yada yada.


If you know how to sell, there’s a million and one sales jobs out there.

And if your “dream job” doesn’t exist, create it.

And if it does exist. Start doing it. Unpaid, and sending your work to people. If you want to be a writer start, writing stuff and sending it to magazines. For example.

Don’t wait for other people’s permission to start doing your dream job. Just do. When you start doing, they see you can do the work for them.

And you make it easy for them to say yes.

Or just turn up in a company’s reception. Know who you want to meet. And sit there until you get to meet them.

If they shoo you out. So what? Loads of small businesses would be impressed with your initiative and tenacity.

Then we have the issue of time.

3 years is an awful lots of time.

Especially if you’re getting something silly like 7 hours a week of lectures or less.

There’s so much blank space. What are you paying for?

And for the lectures themselves. You’re taught to write an horribly academic language, about impractical knowledge and outdated theories.

Where is the content?

If you were in a job and they wanted 1500 words on a subject. They wouldn’t give you 2 months. They’d give you a day maximum.

If you were in a job, they wouldn’t give you textbooks. They’d give you a couple of modern, interesting books, and ask you to find everything else out on Google.

Copying another student is called plagiarism. Copying a colleague is called collaboration.

If you were in a job, they’d pay you. At university you pay them.

Then there’s socialising and networking.

It’s all very well talking about alumni networks and all the people you meet at university. etc. But most of the time you’re surrounded by students who are the same as you.

They know the same stuff. They’re the same age. They’re impoverished. And they don’t really know anybody.

You gain little from being around them.

Plonk yourself in London, San Francisco or any big city however, go to meetups and networking events. You’ll start tapping into things.

Market-leading expertise. Brilliance. People with money. People with businesses.

And if you start making friends with them, you’ll find job opportunities and career progression really rather quickly.

OK, OK. Maybe you’re not enamoured by finding a job, or setting up a business. Fine.

Maybe you want to travel the world, or go volunteering or something.

Well, £45,000 is a lot of money, and 3 years is a lot of time.

You could travel the world for several years with that kind of money… without having to work.

The point I’m trying to make is – it’s really hard to find the value that university adds for most people.

University education is ripe for change, and for programs like the Uncollege gap year which I’m going on next year.

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