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Why Skipping College Was One of the Smartest Decisions of My Life

And here are some Worthless tips for choosing your major.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

April 12, 2012 - 12:00 pm
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Clarey’s other advice?

The highest paying professions fall into the “STEM” category: science, technology, engineering, and math.

He insists, contra Barbie, that math isn’t that hard, and also unpacks the STEM rule by explaining why not all engineering degrees are created equal, either.

It likely goes without saying that Clarey thinks English degrees are useless, but he thinks the same thing about bachelors in “business administration” and “finance,” too.

(Do NOT get him started on law school and MBAs.)

Clarey also reveals the nefarious business model that teachers’ unions and universities are using to profit off you and/or your child’s worthless degree, to the tune of billions of dollars. (Hint: it involves their clever use of the word “median income” when describing your post-grad job prospects, when you should be looking at “mean income” instead.)

He also explains why grade inflation has rendered the Dean’s List a joke, why “critical thinking” is the exact opposite of what you’d expect, and why internships are (mostly) stupid. He also explodes other myths (“you need a bachelor’s degree just to get in the door”).

The story of how he went from being an over-educated security guard to making $350/hour doing something you’d never guess is an inspiration.

One quibble, though: I share Clarey’s disdain for English degrees, but he needs to hire a proofreader for his next manuscript. A second pair of eyes would have improved the authority of Worthless tenfold. (For example, “behooves” doesn’t mean what he thinks it means.)

That said, Aaron Clarey’s Worthless is a breezy read that even the most impatient young person could digest in one sitting, or in small doses. (I suggest leaving it in the bathroom.)

I’m not sure this book can possibly counterbalance years of outdated cultural and familial assumptions about going to college — just look at the grief Rick Santorum received for daring to raise the subject — but it’s part of a growing push back against these myths that’s been a long time coming. In that respect, Worthless is worthwhile indeed.

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(KATHY SHAIDLE is a blogging pioneer who runs FiveFeetOfFury, now in its 14th year. She's been called "one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our time," by MARK STEYN. Her NEW book is Confessions of A Failed Slut (Thought Catalog, 2014).
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