I run an executive recruiting firm meaning that I only recruit employers who are at a base salary of $ 100,000 and above and I’m writing this article because I hope you want to be at this level someday. I will be straight about it; you will not succeed if you don’t finish college. Yes, there are people like Bill Gates who dropped out of college and had a huge career, reinventing the way the world works. However, would you move to Los Angeles just because Nicholas Cage got paid 10 million dollars last film? Here are some reasons, both obvious and underlying, as to why you have no choice when it comes to finishing your degree.
1. You will not be viable on the open job market. If I think somebody is right for a job, I send them to my client. However, I always have to put on the resume “did not finish school.” It is my obligation to my clients and most decline to interview the candidate. I have to really push to get someone who did not finish college into these interviews. Though, with so many good applicants applying who have their degree, why would I continue to pitch the single person who does not?
Yes. Without finishing school, you can be successful. However, when trying to get into an executive level position, do you want a “did not finish school” tag on your resume? If you don’t finish school, don’t bother thinking about this question because 99% of the time, it won’t be a concern to you. You won’t make it to that level. Your career counselors aren’t lying to you.
2. Your writing skills will lack. Writing is so important these days. Nobody likes to speak on the phone anymore. Everything is done via email. In business, you not only have to formulate really strong ideas, but you have to be able to convey them in a succinct, clear manner. Plus, for marketing purposes, writing is getting more and more important.
3. You will get the most miserable jobs – we’re talking subpar miserable. Throughout college I had a job as a doorman at a 5th Avenue, very plush Manhattan building. For some reason, it did not have automatic elevators. My job was to take these people up and down the elevator all day. The only reason I got this job was through a connection from high school and it paid great. On the flip side, imagine going to work every day and not being able to use your creativity. Your brain shuts off and when that happens, you become complacent. Complacency is the enemy of success.
4. It can give people leverage over you. Let’s say that you were up against somebody for a promotion and they were a real you know what. Any time they want to, they make a snide remark, in a roundabout way regarding your education. Don’t give people an excuse to believe they are somehow better than you.
5. You will feel uncomfortable in social situations. For the rest of your life, you are not going to be part of a club that most adults are in or the weight your professional opinion holds. Now, when you get older, what college you went to is going to come up in conversations from time to time and you will feel embarrassed. Additionally, people will hold your comments and opinions with far less weight. It’s not fair, but it’s the real world. In 99% of situations, who would you take a stock tip from – a MBA or college drop-out.
6. You will feel uncomfortable in business situations. Some people like to be uninteresting, annoying, etc., and they do this via bragging about the college they went to. If they were as important as they claimed they were, they probably would not have time to go on about college in New Haven. However, always be polite and never point this out. It’s a fact of life that you are going to run into these people.
7. For the rest of your life, you will feel as if you did not complete nor accomplish what so many others have. I can promise you that this one will stick. I own my business and, if I didn’t finish school, I would regret it. I thought about it at times. I’m glad I stuck through as the work which I have done is now part of who I am.
8. Good Will Hunting is just a movie. If I were to pick 2,000 U.S. universities and we were to be how many janitors at each of those colleges is fit to be an executive, how many would you say there are?
Ken Sundheim runs KAS Placement, a sales and marketing recruitment agency with multiple divisions: Recruitment Agencies Sales Staffing Agencies with a group that handles New York Recruitment Agencies New York Staffing Agencies and the DC marketing division Recruitment Agencies Washington DC Marketing Recruiters