As I continue to work on becoming financially independent, there is no doubt I MUST educate myself. Going into real estate investing and every other type of investing requires mitigating risk. That can only be accomplished through education and control. Traditional guidance suggests taking classes at a local college, trade school or university. Additionally, there are seminars and webinars available for those who choose to go that route. Some are free and others cost so now the question comes into play. What Education Should I Pay For? Let’s Discuss!
There are plenty of people with college degrees and certifications. In today’s job market, having a college degree is supposed to yield more pay than the average worker. To a point, this is true, however, being someone who hires others, the experience is just as good if not better. Therein lies the gray area where I question its worth.
Growing up, I was always told: “go to college and get an education”. Ok… They didn’t say what to learn, it was just “go to college”, so I did. I never completed it for various reasons. Two main reasons were the system and the cost. I never understood why I had to take “General Education” classes when I JUST got out of high school where I got my “general education”. Then I had to pay for it! On top of that, I had to pay for the classes I wanted to take but had to complete my GE courses before I can graduate. That sounded stupid to me.
A college degree is to show proof that you have completed the required courses and are educated in a particular subject or field. You are supposed to take it to an employer and your chances of being hired are supposed to have increased. It shows you have invested in yourself, learned your craft, and are ready to take on the workforce.
Seminars and Webinars
Seminars and Webinars are typically put on by “gurus” of a particular subject or field. Many of them have a ridiculous amount of experience and expertise in their area. However, there are some who just read a few books, conversed with a few people, probably wrote a book, and put together a system for others to buy into. I have taken part in seminars and webinars alike. Some were good and some not so much. I suggest if you do plan on attending one, do research on the person or company putting it on.
What I hear most from people is that they don’t like the upsells that are associated with these. They almost always want you to take an in-depth course for a fee or a book/DVD to buy. I believe this gets a bad rap from those who are expecting something for nothing, those looking for one thing and finding out another, those who don’t value education to the fullest, and those who take advantage of the people they are supposed to be educating. Either way, these can be fantastic ways to get educated.
Price Of Education
Paying for education will come in 2 forms, Money & Time or Experience. Street smarts normally come from experience and academics usually come as a result of money and time. The best education comes from a combination of everything in my opinion. Let’s talk price.
College Tuition and Fees
It is no secret that college has become and is continuing to be more expensive. The system is sticking people with crazy loans that will take an extensive amount of time to pay off. As of today, the average tuitions are a follows:
Average College Tuition and Fees 2018-2019
- Public Tw0-Year College (in-state): $9,716
- Public Two-Year College (out-of-state): $21,629
- Private: $35,676
Seminar and Webinar Cost
When it comes to the cost for seminars and webinars, they can range between $0 to $100k+. Clearly, that range is quite wide however, just like college tuition, the price really depends on what field and topics are being taught. The difference here is around the clinician. Most who teach seminars and webinars are industry professionals who are living and shaping how the industry moves. Additionally, they seem to be more focused on a particular area they have (or should have) extensive experience in. In my opinion, these are the people you should learn from (college or other).
Why Should I Pay For an Education?
Listen, there is absolutely nothing wrong with paying for your education. You can pay $35k+ for a college degree that is designed to get you a job or pay for education in other ways. One way or another, you will pay for it. The goal is to invest in yourself! If there is a webinar on Investing that is free and they upsell you on a $150 in-depth course, so what? If you’ve learned something from the free one, why not?
What if I pay for it and learn nothing, I just wasted $150!
If this is how you feel, then it means you should evaluate the value you put on your education. Remember, you are investing in yourself. Investments have ups and downs. None of us have money to waste, so make sure you’re not learning just to learn. I caution you not to get caught up in analysis paralysis. Jump in and get yourself educated.
In the spirit of full disclosure, everything I’ve written in this blog did not come from a college education. I did attend college but I never finished. My knowledge gained as a Software Engineer and Investor literally came from experience, books, online classes, free and paid webinars. I was not taught to be an entrepreneur from college. Believe it or not, I spent less money on all of that than I did on my limited college education. Nothing against college, it just wasn’t for me.
The point of this article is to express a different look at the status quo when it comes to education. I believe all education is necessary and we should never stop learning. From time to time, people ask me “how do you know all this?”, and when I tell them, I often get a “shocked” kind of response. The key part is that I took action, applied, and continue to apply what I’ve learned. I hope you do the same and not limit yourself to traditional methods.
If you are looking for some encouragement or motivation to kickstart things, check out Forget Plan B, Failure Is Not An Option. Get focussed and start somewhere! Maybe you are considering starting your own business, here are 5 Lessons I Learned When Starting an LLC for FREE! Let’s say you are working a 9-5 and want to maximize your time, check out A Career Mission for My Vision.
There is nothing wrong with trying and failing (Embrace Failure Without Feeling Like One). Additionally, there is Nothing wrong with doing something and realizing you don’t like it halfway through. Don’t beat yourself up for educating yourself. Most people won’t even think out of the box. The fact that you are reading this now is telling me you want more than the status quo.
You’ve got this!