College Degrees Are (Largely) Obsolete

Here’s how to succeed without further education.

Adrian Drew


Photo by Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

Although less fixed than they were in previous generations, our attitudes about career success haven’t changed much. Most of us still think that without a degree, you won’t make it very far.

Of course, there are exceptions.

There’s Gates, Zuckerberg, and Branson — but we’re taught that that’s all they are. Exceptions. Outliers. And you don’t stand a chance of getting anywhere unless you get a college education.

I know the debate all too well.

Nearing the end of secondary school, all of my classmates heading away to top universities to receive class-A degrees, my teachers weren’t best pleased to hear I was declining my university offers to pursue a career as a freelance writer.

  • Why don’t you get a real job?
  • Ever thought about a Bachelor’s in English?
  • We’re worried you’re going off track, Adrian.

Going against the grain is never easy, but with more and more people saying no to college and doing things their own way, the creatives and entrepreneurs amongst us stand in good company.

The truth is, the degree isn’t for everybody.

And it might not be for you, either.

Defying Odds

My sixth-form mentors strongly advised against my decision to ditch university and go freelance.

Before making that choice, I was all set to move away to study psychology for three years in Nottingham. Why? I had no idea.

Well actually, I did know why. Because I felt like I had no other option. As far as the school system is concerned, it was university or failure.

Alas, it isn’t easy going against the status quo, especially when everybody around you is moving in a different direction. But sometimes, for the sake of your sanity, you just have to do it.

After months of deliberating and doubting myself, I figured that if I didn’t give freelancing my best shot, I’d be a pretty miserable psychologist for the rest of my life.



Adrian Drew

Owner of Mind Cafe | Let’s chat on Instagram: @adriandrew__