More Strong Evidence College Degrees Are Crazy Worthless

The “Perspective” section of the June 2, 2013 Denver Post leads with the following question: Cheating Epidemic?

The column is quite good, but the statistics are what I’m interested in. Pulling from a variety of sources, The Post reports the following figures:

  • 60.8% of students have admitted to cheating
  • 3.41 is the GPA of students who have admitted to cheating
  • 2.85 is the GPA of students who did not cheat
  • 95% of cheaters do not get caught

If we assume the statistics published by The Denver Post are reliable, we can then build a few hypotheses. For example…

  • Students with a GPA below 3.0 may actually be better educated than students with a GPA above 3.4.
  • More than half of students who have been given a college degree have only proven they can lie and cheat.
  • Employers who require job applicants to have 4-year degrees have a greater than 50% chance of attracting the best liars and cheats on the market today.
  • It may be that those with college degrees are the ones least well-equipped to succeed in the real world.

I’ve long believed that most college degrees are a complete waste of time and money — unless you are entering a highly technical field like chemistry or mechanical engineering.

And if cheating is as rampant as the statistics imply, then college degrees are worth even less than I thought.

As a student, I always refused to cheat.

I remember typing class in particular. We were supposed to learn how to type without looking at the keyboard. Plastic covers were placed over our hands so we couldn’t see.

And yet many students continuously peeked at the keys.

I couldn’t understand why. If a student really wants to learn how to type, then he should follow the teacher’s instructions.

So that’s what I did. And I learned how to type much faster than my peers.

Even as an adult, I have refused to look up cheat codes for video games or how-to videos for complex metal puzzles. Why spoil the intellectual challenge? Why rob myself of the gratification of solving a puzzle on my own?

For me, the journey is more than half the fun.

But for more than half of college students, the journey must be a necessary evil. The destination is all they care about — even if it’s a dirty truck stop on the side of two-lane highway.

What do you think — do college degrees have value, or are they merely a leftover relic from the 20th Century?

-Ryan M. Healy

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

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