Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and one of the major investors in Facebook, could have given you $100,000 if you dropped out of college. Of course, it is not that simple. You needed to be under 20 years of age and have a brilliant world changing idea that deserves a hundred thousand grand funding. Twenty fellows were chosen at the start of this year and the social experiment is well under way.
At the heart of the debate is Thiel’s argument that too many kids in America are going to college. Though he has a law degree from Stanford, he considers time spent in college to be a wastage. Not a compliment to Stanford and there are other debates going on about it anyway.
My only concern is that, in India, Thiel’s advice can run you into a lot of trouble with the housing loan companies. Because, one of the crucial factors they look at is education. Unlike USA where a master’s degree means a lot, here a master’s will fly under the assessor’s pen. Just like Thiel, they believe that it has been a wastage of your time and now, theirs.
What is valued, by the way, is technical education. A diploma or degree in software, applications, engineering, dentistry, chemistry, electrical, mechanical, business management and human resource management etc etc can save you a few pitiful stares.
Now, I understand that banking is one of the most advanced sciences and here no bias is without reason. The logic that banks follow is that under adverse economic conditions, those with high technical education will be the last to be handed the pink slips. Thus, all they are doing is protecting their money.
During the last couple of recessions, which hit internet and banking companies hardest, it seemed the techs and suits lost most of the jobs. But both these meltdowns affected the economy around the world, so an industry specific analysis may no longer paint a true picture.
In the US, Federal Reserve and Census Bureau released data showing that people with less than average incomes were the one who lost most of the jobs. This was after the banking services went kaput in 2008. Jobs paying less than $600 a week were the bloodiest segment whereas jobs that paid more than $2000 a week actually gained in numbers.
Now, you can say that your countries economy may not be like the one in US. But in today’s global world, most economies, their financial structures & business logic. So, it seems banks are right. Thiel is wrong. May be, you should get a degree.