Is college 100% pure garbage? (Yes, but…)


Hey TechLead here, welcome back Is college worth it? It seems that a lot of people get really confused about this question and I see it come up over and over again and they’re just wondering “I don’t know, should I go? Should I go college? Is it good? Is it going to be worth it? Maybe I should just not go college.” And few things in life are really 50-50 equivalent decisions. It’s not like 49% – 51% in one direction or another. The actual answer is going to be very clear. It’s going to be like 200% yeah you probably should have gone to college. If you had the ability to travel back and forth in time You would probably be able to see that one path led you clearly way higher than another path. And so what I’m trying to say is that, likely, a lot of people are just coming up with excuses to avoid a difficult decision. Like if you’re just trying to run away from college, if you just don’t want to apply, you don’t want to put in the work then, that’s not really a great decision. A lot of people like to reference Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates who dropped out of college but in reality these people they got into Harvard, they went through all the work. They weren’t really running away from college. They had gotten in and then they were going on to something higher than that. Now, the diploma is a very interesting thing to think about and one thing that we can relate it to is the Youtube silver creator award. This is very much like a diploma and we’re going to unbox this for you just so that you can understand why this might be interesting for you. Now a lot of you guys like to make fun but this is where I actually have a multitool which I can use to open this package. And I will have a link for this in the description below It is a Leatherman charged tool titanium I received this actually from Google as well. You can see actually It’s very cool. It has a Youtube logo on there. If you want one, you wanna go apply to Youtube and go work there then you can pick one of these too. Now the funny thing is when I worked at Youtube everyone would call each other Youtubers but they weren’t Youtubers. They were just engineers. THIS (the silver button) means that you are a Youtuber. So, as I was saying, the diploma is one way you can use to prove what you know. You know, you don’t necessarily need to point people to a bunch of random of projects and things that you may have done and then people have to wonder: “Was this real? Are you just lying? How can I validate any of this? Was this really what I think it is? Or was it something less?” You know, the diploma is just going to be a very easy way to just prove your accomplishments. It is one of your easiest and fastest ticket into a company. So my question is: what else are you going to do with your time? Right? Like… yeah you can go off and you can create a bunch of your own little web projects and little web applications and maybe some of them will succeed, some of them won’t succeed. Even if one of them do succeed, if it doesn’t generate significant revenue or if it doesn’t provide for you the sufficient technical background to land a full time job after that then that’s going to be a short term lived thing. And so what I’m really saying is I think that in my eyes a college degree is just a really fun and easy path into getting something that may help you get a job. Right? Like There’s a bunch of different ways to land your first job. Most of them are going to be very difficult. You got to really hustle. You gotta do a bunch of stuff. You gotta work on some ideas. And then, here, one of the key components into landing a job like say getting a degree, there’s a very clear and easy simple path. And what’s better is it’s usually a pretty fun path. Like College is generally a time that is a little bit funnier than other times in your life You are gonna want to come by and take a look at what I’m doing here because this is getting interesting. Let’s unbox this here. Ow that’s nice. It’s a nice little letter. The Youtube Silver award presented to… TechLead. So this is my diploma. And by the way Thanks to all the subscribers that made this happen. I like how it’s a mirror so you can actually see yourself in the logo. So with this if I ever wanted to apply for a job to be like a Youtuber then all I have to do is to show the employer this and they might hire me to be like their official Youtuber or something like that. And this is instant validation. You know it’s funny that there’s been a trend towards people bashing on education and people saying like you know, “college is useless”, “it costs a bunch”. But it’s funny that when I look around at the office, it’s like everyone’s got degrees. If you actually take a look at what they are doing and not just listen to what they’re telling you, you’ll see that a lot of people in this day and age are still looking for your education on your resume and they still want to know where you went to school, what your major was. And it’s unfortunate that that’s what this world is like right now, but that’s just the way it is. All you need to do is go on LinkedIn, find some company that you maybe interesting in and check the people who work there. What sort of educational background these people have? About a year ago I checked out the educational backgrounds of all the senior leadership. People who are directors, vice presidents, senior management. And if you take a look at the educational background of all of them I was surprised to find, was pretty serious education like, really good schools, they had serious degrees. And a good number of them had gone on to secondary education where they got either like a MBA or Master’s or PhD in some field. It just made me really reconsider and think maybe I should go off and get a MBA or something because it seems like education is more important than I have personally imagined. That’s not to say it’s not possible but it’s just going to be uphill if you go that way. And the best thing to do is really to just apply and see what you can get. Right? Like. And I think that even goes for higher education. Like for people who are thinking about getting a Master’s program, it may not be a bad idea just to apply around and see if you can get anything interesting. And let me just get this out the way for everybody. Hum… Yeah. College is stupid. A lot of the parts of it are stupid. And you don’t necessarily need to be the one defending this and putting yourself on the line just to make this statement. You know. We all know it. Everybody knows it. And education is being changed, is being reformed and people are starting to have other thoughts about what to do about it. But you don’t necessarily need to make it the hill upon which you will crucify yourself in order to make that statement. Like I remember there were some courses where the professor seemed completely disinterested in the students, not interested in teaching. They had not passion for their work and they just randomly scribbled stuff on the board. And they abused their power. And they didn’t really care at all. Homework assignments may be completely crazy. with very little guidance from the professor. You know, it could be just a bunch of busy work and grades may be assigned unfairly. And then there might a bunch of stress involved. Probably the funniest part about it was really, like, studying abroad. And then, the overall social dynamics like just being in school. It actually wasn’t a very good time. And I felt that probably in terms of technical education there were like five courses that were useful and the rest none of them really contributed that much to me in a professional way. But you know, I wouldn’t say I was really in a hurry. Like, that was a fun chapter of my life. There’s lot more to it than just, say, how much technical knowledge can you absorb out of this course given a certain amount of money that you put in to the tuition. It was a time that for me was a little bit fun, mostly stressful, filled with lot of personal growth where I could explore area that I may be interested in. And it’s time to do a bit of learning because once you get out you found out that you don’t really learn much in the real world, like most of the time you’re busy working a job, you know, you’re not going to just sit down and spend a whole day reading a textbook and then doing the homework problems out of it like you might be pressured to do in college. I heard an interesting story the other day about a tech executive who, everyday when her child came home from school she would ask him what risks did he take that day. And he would ask her what risks did she take that day. And I thought that was excellent. It was training people to be risk takers. I might even go a step further and ask a child: why did you learn from your failures today? What did you learn from your mistakes? Because, in my opinion, failure is something that a lot of schools teach you to avoid and in the real world failure is something that people need to learn to accept. And in the act of learning from a mistake is something that will really benefit you in the future. You making a mistake usually isn’t going to be the end of the world. And the cause is in actuality sometimes not that big. However, schools may teach you that if you make a mistake on a test or something like that, it’s the end of the world, your grades are going to be permanently damaged and it just teaches people to be completely failure adverse. I’ve also seen people come out of relatively top universities like UC Berkeley which was my school and you might think that they would have a job all lined up and that’s not really the case. I knew that many of them actually struggled in getting a job and a number of them even just quit the major entirely and went into, say bartending. College by no means is a golden ticket to success and a lot of people would just waste their educations using all the time to go drinking and partying. And that’s really not the right way to go about things. The key to realize is that maybe college is not going to be the key to success that it used to be but at the same time, it’s not completely useless and in fact it may be very useful in helping you get your foot into the door. Overall, though, I would say that the best thing you can probably do if you’re curious about it is think about: What would make you say yes to, say, the option of college? What institutions would be interesting for you? And then just apply to those institutions and see if you can gain anything interesting. You know, if you can’t then fine you know, maybe just forget it. But give it a shot and remember that there might a lot of other fun things to come out of it. Like if you’re only going there such that you can learn to get a job I wouldn’t say that that’s really going to be quite worth it for you. But if you’re gonna go and you’re excited about going and you gonna go, like, and you wanna go meet people, learn things, try networking, maybe learn a few other random topics, you know, experience life in that location like, you know, I went to UC San Diego for grad school and I really wanted to go there because my brother and my sister were gonna be there, I was going to be next to the beach. And yeah, overall, that was kind of a fun time for me. So, that’ll do for me. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you like the video, give it a like and subscribe and I will see you next time. Bye.

100 Replies to “Is college 100% pure garbage? (Yes, but…)”

  1. It is true, because of a few things. For one, it's a normalizing factor. Two, it's a community thing and three, people rarely take a risk to that point, you are that risk. I ran into this but finally after 10 years of experience, it was not too much of a problem unless I wanted to work with a fortune 500 company. Then I look like a risk 😉

  2. College is an investment first and foremost. It's taken too lightly, as a right of passage and then people get in over their heads in student loan debt and regrets after realizing that they chose the wrong major, when it's too late. An 18 year old should not be making these decisions! Now, they have figure out how their entry level job will pay their student loan debt. Most people are not becoming doctors, lawyers and IT professionals. Those professions would be worth the investment, if they're lucky.

  3. College isn't a scam.
    The people that say that simply don't understand it's purpose.
    It's purpose is to be used mostly as a filtering mechanism that potential employees can use to determine if you meet certain baseline or advanced criteria. It also gives insight into a person's values and personality.

    Understand that although it increases your chances of gaining employment opportunities, there are no guarantees in life. You also need to understand the link between your major and what job prospects and salary the market will provide in the short and long term. It's really no more complicated than that. 😶

  4. I think the reason it's hated more now because it's more expensive and the quality is going down.  Usually most industries offer more value over time.  Since I have been in Cali I have met so many self taught techies.  They see college as status seeking (which is not inaccurate)

  5. It's useless, especially the more advanced the society is. For example Scandinavian countries have completely free college/uni degrees. Some countries even pay you for studying by covering their basic needs. And so you can study until you're bored by it. But now imagine living in a society where everyone has a bachelors, masters or PhD? It has very little value. On a separate note, college degrees are great for academics to impress other academics. Also, to gatekeep self-taught people from entering a specific field.

  6. Initially it was amazing college was bomb but after the 3rd year my girlfriend cheating on me and things start spiraling all I want now is to get out and continue balling in moneys

  7. You spit facts!
    I just looked up a random digital marketing agency in New York City and found the LinkedIn profiles of 14 employees (from Managers, Directors, Vice Presidents and Seniors).
    13 of them graduated from college and one of them I assumed dropped out. Y'all can do the same thing for any company you're willing to work for.

  8. College is what you make of it. If you go to college to be taught, then you don't have the right mindset. You need to go to college to learn.

    Go to office hours. Read extra textbooks. Do extra projects. Be a fucking adult and take it seriously

  9. Lol. Most of the time your wasted time are in these lengths of year 1-12th!! That's wasted.
    Not in college where you can just get it in 2-3yrs anyway provided you choose the right subject, So the answer is homeschool. Altered your own study. Don't follow the systems.

  10. College and university don't matter anymore but people who went tho these things act as gate keepers because they don't like when people like me can come in there and make them look complacent

  11. My degree is in history. I work as a tech lead, engineer, and tech manager and I am a world-class expert on some specific topics.

    There is an important aspect of getting a degree (any degree, not necessarily in tech) is that there are cases where merely having the paperwork can fulfil hurdles. My history degree has been important because it has helped me move around the world in search of interesting technical challenges. Merely having a 4 year degree meets some legal checkboxes in many countries' immigration law.

    My tangible accomplishments are many and I won't go into them here, but I will say simply…… they are what get me jobs, but even an unrelated degree helps open doors.

  12. To me college is good for 2 things.
    1) networking
    2) a open door (employers are more willing to look at your resume if it has a college degree listed)

    But what most people goto college to do is learn, but that's all false, college will only teach you the fundamental, they will never teach you the software etc.

  13. Education and educational institutions are different things. Education is what makes you who your are. It forms substantial part of your mentality and thus personality overall. It comprises your analytical skills, actual knowledge, learning skills. I wouldn't be me without my education. But in today's world, there is no single and fully proven objective measure of what you really are, how you perform in a long or short run, how trustworthy you are, etc. Thus, educational institutions come into play. They serve as platform to make you "officially educated" by handing you the degree and telling others "there, this guy is now officially a job material, you can take him with reduced risk". They also provide a path for networking, building connections with people who make decisions, "hype certificate" (if you attended top rating college that everybody heard about, you're in for better chances than those who didn't, even if they're dumber than you). So you have to give in to that path and accept it, if you want people around you to take you seriously with much less effort. Proving you're worth it will be more difficult without playing by the rules.
    To sum it up, I would choose any top rating university just for the sake of it being on my resume so it gave smoother integration into society. But for education itself as it is, I'd be more critical and looked into many other possibilities.

  14. you seem like a pretty chill guy. even thou i dont know why i watch this or any show really because it has nothing to do with learning code

  15. I’m watching TechLead and Joma’s ad. What’s the difference? Nothing. They sound the same and act the same way.

  16. Hmm, not really any options if you want to be a scientist like me, you have to get a PhD.
    So I did, but if you want to make loads of money, then it's more important to get experience running a company.
    I agree that failure is good. University people (academics) are far too concerned with not ever failing or risking anything, boring!
    The idea of being a tenured professor with no chance of being fired makes me hate the idea of ever being a professor.

  17. college is scam in the us because it costs money. germany etc is pretty much free. its ineffective learning method because u have obligatory courses that u dont need really. some are really useful though. is it worth 4-5 years of your time? no but yes because eployers want u to have a degree.sad truth. but if u want to own ur own business and dont need it, well done. u played the system.

  18. Went to part time uni to get a pay raise and opportunity to get into a direct position… Diploma was enough for me to get a subcontractor job….

  19. If you're a good programmer with no degree you can just go talk to employers in person to skip the resume pool and introduce yourself directly. If you make a good impression, they'll most likely call you back for an interview just by virtue of the fact that they now know you, then you just have to prove yourself in the coding test and the interview. Once you get your first medium to high level job, your degree becomes useless.

    Knowing that, is tens of thousands of dollars of debt and investing 4 years into something you could learn online for free in a fraction of the time and most likely even learn better really worth it? The litteral only use for college for engineers (and most professions really) is for people with no initiative and no discipline who want to be told everything without seeking anything by themselves. Not that there's anything wrong with that, most people are like that, but that's what it is.

  20. looks like TechLead turned out more wiser with his life experiences of leaving Google, getting fired from FB, separating from wife….he talks sense…but does brag about being the most badass TechLead!!

  21. I didn't take any courses that mattered in mechanical engineering until my third year. Freshman and sophomore year is literally a waste of time and money It's so stupid that universities make you take absolutely worthless classes like geography, chemistry, and literature.

  22. Got into the channel couple days ago and I finally found a video where The TechLead himself couldn't hold his laugh !

  23. Actually, learning and acquiring a better education never ends. Jewish seminary students study all their lives, whether formal education or informal. Of course, it depends largely on what one is studying.

  24. If you are thinking of an academic route, a college degree is a must. Let's you build on a basic grad degree to masters, to doctorate…. Let's you teach if you are tired of research. Or just chill. Also many animators are hired on skill and imagination. Think about that.

  25. There is no one single answer formula to success. But, school, work, or in business; individuals who are forced to deal with challenges and continuously find themselves in difficult situations eventually will succeed. So, keep pushing and take as many chances as you can. Life is awesome

  26. I don't know if you will even read this, but here I go. I live in a small Balkan country and failed my education (due to disinterest on my part, I was lazy also), regardless I got a job as a PHP web dev, I've been working for 3 years now and feel comfortable in the field, but I don't like the pay I get right now. I am 26 years old and wonder if I should apply to college so I can find a better paying job, or try with my experience alone. Found you channel recently and I am really enjoying it and learning a lot. It is a long shot but I would love to read your opinion about my situation. Keep up the great work!

  27. I guarantee one fucking thing. If a student shows interest, a professor will show interest. Otherwise go fuck yourself.

  28. In my opinion, a technical degree (such as comp sci or eng) teaches abstraction and how to perform a task using minimal resources. Consistently, 100% of the time. Say to boil a kettle you need kettle, water and a working electrical outlet.

    Non comp sci grads may think it also requires hands (to press the button), legs (to walk over to it) and brain (to coordinate muscles). So this shows in algorithms, which suddenly become overcomplicated. In reality, for my kettle example, if you had a smart kettle and it already had water, you could activate it using voice command (so no walking, no physically pressing the button etc).

    It might seem obvious with real world examples like this, but trust me it's nowhere near that obvious, when it comes to 100000+ lines of code, to figure out which one of those are really needed, and which ones are there due to lack of understanding – either requirements, language features, boolean logic etc.

    Trying to understand higher math from college helps a lot (e.g. Ax + B = 0, where A and B are matrices), laying foundation in your brain for an analytical mindset, which helps down the road, then many things become obvious to you (and extremely complex to your peers), talking about architecture and even simple method structuring.

  29. Wow I didn't know you went to UCSD! I went to SDSU and then lived in La Jolla a couple years after graduation 2009-2010. UCSD's campus was awesome and so were the people. <3 You probably went to UTC every once in awhile I bet! 🙂

  30. I hit a brick wall at calc 3 and physics 2, I worked my way all the way up from intermediate algebra. I'm so irritated that out of 60 credit hours 6 were for programming. Getting a degree is just like being part of a clique. Jobs obviously want someone with credit card debts and student loans. Bills that come in the mail keeps your ass to the fire. Giving reason why to go back to a unfulfilling job. We have exchanged our humanity for instant gratification. Sorry for the rant it just kinda builds up.

  31. I dropped my bachelor's. That's the reason I had to move abroad do IT jobs in MY language outsourced in other countries. But now I have a really good job as an TAM in the south of Europe in my language which is a hard skill to find for companies.

  32. As many people have noticed, indeed university is a scum in the sense of being far too expensive and time consuming for the amount of knowledge it really offers, knowledge which though large in volume is quickly forgotten even a couple of years after graduation all while the vast majority of people, particularly those in stem fields, quickly find out that they use less than 5% of what they have learnt, spending their days mostly in MS Word-written reports adorned with MS Excel little charts and that is all, i.e. stuff that even a high-school graduate could fulfill. I will never forget an ex-colleague saying I got a PhD to end up playing with little charts on Excel But…. well there is always a a but….. As many people have noticed, the university degree is a kind of competence test, a kind of IQ test. If you passed to a univestity, the most renown the better for you, then the employed has at least a basic re-assurance that you have at least some basic skills, something which he cannot assume for someone who has no degree even if he has better skills. So all in all it still pays off. It will stop paying off at the moment when people will see that they just don't get much more money than non-graduates. In some countries this trend has already started. In USA this has started being the case for specific non-stem fields, fields which should not exist in the first place as academic curriculum.

  33. It’s worth it for me as a 30 year old. I’ve been making about 80k a year as a local truck driver for a few years but I have a love for technology, software, games and film so I want to learn to write software so I decided to go back to school as a computer science major. Late? Maybe….. but who gives a shit. Thats kind of the way you need to see things so that fear doesnt make you procrastinate. So if you happen to see my comment on this old video and you are thinking about college at ages 21-30 stop trying to validate your idea and just DO IT

  34. Mine reason to pursue college is to experience college, to learn advanced math and other science subjects. Seems from what I have researched that college should be side project, not whole investment of your time.

  35. 2 years into computer science. My opinions:
    Honestly it feels like bullshit. I feel I'm wasting my time when I could be learning things directly applicable to software engineering jobs I'm interested in. I wish I could focus more on side projects than class HW I need submit at 11:59PM on (fill in the blank) day.

    But I am still learning important things like Data Structures, and was able to build a foundation in Java. But I'm also learning things I probably won't even use. Learning programming is also just not meant for the traditional academic environment.

    But CS is still a better degree than most degrees imo. You won't have to worry about ending up as a barista at Starbucks.

  36. let me warn you something,a year from this video,you will be kicked out of facebook, became an ex-google-ex-facebook techlead.

  37. Congratulations and your YT award AND college education. I would have to say the the people that are around me that are the most successful have degrees. Those who dont have degrees but have some level of success work very hard and long hours. My dad was a farm worker who was able to support his family and save for his retirement by making many sacrifices and sticking to his goals. Never bought a brand new car but always had the money for repairs. People like that are rare. I have a college education and dont have to work long hours like he did. I do have more " luxurious " but not as many savings as he did. I dont think you can ever regret being educated but you must also be wise with the opportunities it offers you.

  38. when people advise young people to shun college, they are advising for people who are more fit for trades school than engineers, esp engineers in FANG

  39. That button is awesome! I don't view a Master's Degree from a program that doesn't screen without a GRE as valid for post graduate.

  40. Question to Tech Lead: As someone with no coding background,should I go to college for “Software Engineer Technician”?? I hear alot of people say they were self taught in this field and got a job.

    Thoughts ???

  41. It really depends. If you are book smart, then you absolutely need a college degree. If you are street smart, you may not need a college degree, but it will definitely help.

  42. I used to be a lead engineer at a large aerospace company, and involved with hiring engineers. Most if not all positions require a degree. Resumes are screened by human resource department first . Those resumes without a degree won’t even reach me for review.

  43. Yes and no. Post secondary credentials are "useful" depending on what you do with them. Think of them as a ticket into the vexpress lanes which gives holders a leg up on a career track. At a minimum, it shows potential employers that you have the basic discipline, intellect and drive to see an endeavor to completion. Using famous college dropouts to dismiss the value of a college degree is a red herring that completely missed the point. Ivy leaguers like Gates and Zuckerberg already have the right stuffs even before they were admitted (the former had been coding since middle school and programming professionally for several large companies at 16 before he could drive!), There are rare exceptions like the Unabomber (who attended Berkeley and Harvard for undergrad and grad studies, respectively) who was a mental basket case. Finally, boot camp programmers may possess higher software development proficiency than new CS grads through experience or sheet will, but digging deeper under the hood at the foundational level when technical problems inevitably arrive and CS engineers can prove to be more nimble interm of conceptually grasping the root causes and providing permeant solutions not to mention picking up new tech stacks with ease, an important distinction given how rapid technologies change today. That said, one can overcome any obstacle through sheer will and hard work to achieve almost anything irrespective of a college degree.

  44. 2:30 Tehclead: how can i validate this work without a diploma….
    Well implying that people don't cheat to get good grades and finish college. I had 50 out of 100 people on my math class cheat. 5 of them that surrounded me constantly kept asking me for the solution to the math test problem. That's why I dropped out. Not because I'm the next prodigy like mark or bill, but because I found myself in a room full of clueless people who just play games all day and think that coding is some fairy tale job that they can do in-between game breaks, and worst of all they think they can get their gateway paper by cheating on every single exam. Next thing you know, the guy who cheated off of you has your job because the his paper tells he is "smarter" than you, and you end up in your mid 20s wondering whether all the time and money you put into that place was really worth it. College is a good thing, is just not for me

  45. Would really like your opinion on the "starving artist" lifestyle, life passions that seem unattainable and whether to go to school or not for something in the art field like music

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