Frustrated college graduate?

college graduates

College Graduates will be homeless slaves with massive debt…the story continues

Two years ago I wrote this piece that continues to get input. In this week’s episode I share current questions from college graduates who feel trapped by virtue of their college degrees. But no one is trapped. We all have so many options to take our personal talents and move into our dream position.

Episode #680 September 06, 2019

Hi, this is Dan Miller – and yes you’re listening to the 48 Days Radio show – where each week we take 48 minutes to dive into real life questions about finding your passion, deciding what kind of life you want to live – and then finding or creating work that allows you to show up every day, excited to be able to do something that is meaningful, fulfilling – and profitable. This is where normal, indecision and ambiguity come to die. Welcome to the 48 Days Radio Show.

I’m not dissing getting a college degree. I have more degrees than anyone needs, but not with the idea that it was going to get me a particular job. I have those degrees for the sole purpose of learning and engaging with others.


I’m on day 25 of the 48-day plan, I sent introductions via Linked In, but now that I’m getting ready to send my resume and cover letter to these contacts, I’m realizing I can’t send them through Linked In and their e-mail addresses aren’t available. What do you recommend as my next step?

In 48 Days To the Work You Love, I recommend your introduction be the first of three contacts. After sending your introduction letter, send the resume and cover letter and then a phone follow-up. If you have limited information on Linked In, that does make it tough. I would encourage you to make Linked In about 1% of your job search process and move on to the other more traditional ways of contacting people.

I’ve got a degree in teaching but don’t want to be a teacher

10 years after graduation, 85% of college graduates are working in something other than what they have their college degree in. So we have to realize that a college degree is not a direct route to a particular career. There are two reasons to get a college degree:

  1. To get a piece of paper that positions you to get a job in a particular area.
  2. For the personal development

Many college graduates only have #1 as their goal. If the first one is your only goal, you may be disappointed.

There’s nothing to prevent you from positioning yourself to do anything you want to do. Having the degree is not a negative in any way. It does show employers that you have the discipline to complete a degree. I would encourage you to be aggressive in pursuing the jobs you really want. Make personal contacts. Go through the job search process, identifying 30-40 organizations that you think could really use the things you bring to the table. You’re going to get takers.

From a higher education insider: I see a lot of examples of the wastefulness of attending college.

A 25% graduation is considered good. The price of education has risen dramatically. I’ve come to view getting a standard degree as a paid hurdle to get over. Though we all want a well-trained physician, a computer programmer can get everything they need with Udemy classes.

1st year of college at no cost –

I am a 45-year old attorney (married with four children) working for a non-profit making $48,000/year.

I owe more in student loans than I did when I graduated 11 years ago.

Should I go back to work for a toxic employer because I need the money?

Absolutely not.

The bottom line is nobody is trapped. You should be able to walk into any one of 15 other things and double your income and enjoy what you’re doing.

Is it possible to transition more of your time in selling on Amazon? How long would it take you to make up the gap if you did that? It is likely you could double your current income quickly doing that. But would there be a prestige challenge in having a law degree and selling lawn mowers online? That depends on the individual.

There is no way to justify the emotional, spiritual and physical costs of working in such a toxic environment. But the job offer should give you the confidence that there are probably 10 other companies that would like you to do the same thing. I would encourage you to do a job search for another position as an attorney.

My son has a 2 degrees, one in Communication Speech and one in Theater. He considers himself an actor and does short films in our state as a side which doesn’t pay. He has $83,000 in school debt and can’t see himself climbing out of the black hole anytime soon, if ever.

David Foster is a music producer. He says he was good but not great. Not being great forced him to look for other ways to be involved in music. So he writes and produces for other musicians that he considers better than he is. There are a lot of people who are wonderful artists, but they don’t force their art to put food on the table and pay the bills. Read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic. Sometimes making your passion your only source of income can ruin it.

Comments from Two years ago from frustrated college graduates:

I have a master’s degree and live in a homeless shelter. I have a blog. I’ve written five screenplays, three stage plays, and a novel. None of this is making me any money, and I’m medically limited to a desk job, and I had done some of this before I even finished my bachelor’s. The problem is a 108:1 application to job interview ratio, which is entirely the fault of others.

Going to college is the dumbest thing one can do in the modern age. There is the internet, all that money could have been invested to start your own business or something. It’s truly sad.

I can’t get entry level harvesting work with a college degree in horticulture.


'Formal education will make you a living, self education will make you a fortune.' - Jim RohnClick To Tweet


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