When I write about college here it is almost always to say that it’s a waste of time. Though sometimes I am scolding myself for caring about getting my kids into a great college given that I also believe it’s a waste of time.
In any case, though, it’s not all that controversial to say that college is becoming useless. Google college wastes time and money, and you’ll get results from mainstream publications like the Wall St. Journal, the Economist, and the Atlantic.
But increasingly I’m noticing that girls suffer much more from the time wasted at college than boys do.
For starters, did you know that it’s mostly women taking the GRE?
1. It is disproportionately girls who are obsessed with schooling.
I did a little research. I talked to I was talking to Jennifer Dziura who makes a good living tutoring people for the GRE. She told me that you don’t need a good GRE score to get into humanities programs, but people don’t know that so they pay to get tutoring. Also, women are starting to see that the timing for leveraging an MBA requires you to work very hard in your early 30s instead of having kids. So even though top business schools started accepting women younger than men, they still can’t get enough women.
So now top MBA programs accept the GRE instead of the GMAT so that women don’t have to be intimidated by the quantitative sections on the GMAT. Only people who don’t understand the rules take the GRE. Only low performers who don’t have someone recommending them are taking the GRE. And the only people who truly understand how useless the GRE is are the people who tutor for the GRE.
2. You don’t need higher education to be great at what you do.
I love these plates by Jason Burnett. He is making a living as a ceramic artist and he did not get a master’s in art. Do you know why? People who have something to contribute to the world do not need to take the GRE to prove it.
3. Women are in a time crunch that men don’t experience.
I’m starting to see a bigger picture with women and school. For example, if you are going to do a startup, you need to do it when you’re young and you don’t have expenses or kids or other trappings of adult life.
But women need to start getting ready to get married when they are 28 if they are going to have kids by the time they are 30. Which means that women don’t have time to go to college if they want to do the fun, risky high-flying career stuff before they have kids. Men can do this stuff until they are 40. Or even 45. It just doesn’t matter. But women have a biological clock. So for women, the cost of going to college is much higher than for men.
4. There is no reason to delay adulthood four years.
We know that college-aged kids are perfectly capable of launching a successful startup, and we know that skills for running your own business are not learned in college, so if women want exciting careers before they have kids they should skip college and do it themselves.
5. College is part of a timeline that is too limiting for women.
Women don’t have time to be on someone else’s ladder that requires following a timetable for people who aren’t having kids. Women can’t afford to wade through corporate BS to get to a good spot, finally, in their late 20s, because their career is probably going to take a siesta, or at least a plateau, at that point. So college is a total waste of time for women because it doesn’t open doors for them and it comes at a crucial time in their young adult lives.