No. of Recommendations: 5
Education is now not the goal, but rather the diploma. Just like any other investment, it has to be worth what you pay for it.

I don't think this is all that true. There is a vibrant homeschooling community which is growing. The whole MOOC thing (of which MIT is a part) is busy searching for a credentialing mechanism that works. Something will eventually. I think employers will be very happy to hire people with no degree who have educated themselves in some way relevant to the job they're looking to do.

One of my kids eschewed higher education entirely. He went straight into Silicon Valley startup land with no prior knowledge, learned the job on the job (starting with games tester, moving to games testing tools builder, moving to IT expert, moving to security expert, moving to networking expert), and now gets called a "site reliability engineer" and gets paid very well. And he's all of 25 years old. Now Silicon Valley is well known for not caring much how you got to know what you know, so perhaps this is an outlier. And Silicon Valley uses the term "engineer" very, very loosely. But they do pay quite well.

Another of my kids was home schooled. From what would have been 8th-12th grades he did almost nothing but math, much on his own. For some he audited classes at local universities, mostly grad classes because he quickly got through high school and much of undergraduate college mathematics. I ended up sending him to Cambridge for his undergrad degree, in part because they don't care how you got to be good at math, and in part because he could spend most of his time there doing graduate classes in things he didn't know rather than repeating things he did know. You know, learning stuff. Now he's a grad student in mathematics at UCLA, so that seems to be working out. And he knows way more than the typical grad student in mathematics, which I'm sure will stand him in good stead going forward. He'll never get "credit" for most of what he's learned. So what? He's in it to learn interesting things, and if that takes him to a Ph.D. that's nice, but it doesn't really matter. Meanwhile, they pay him to learn. He's 21.

An episode of "The Big Bang Theory" comes to mind when Sheldon wouldn't acknowledge...

Please remember that this is fiction, and nothing like what Caltech is really like.

My experience is that education most certainly will get you ahead. Of course some people are incapable of taking advantage of this, and so don't get ahead at all. And also the getting ahead part is not all academic education, but also socialization and getting to know people who can help you. You don't get all that much of that by learning on your own.

As to the original topic, I come down on the side of marrying (for the purpose of being) rich is for idiots. It stands little chance of making you happy or producing worthwhile offspring. Marrying the right person, and having them happen to get rich is all good. My wife did that.

-IGU-
(and it's still better to be lucky than good)
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