Books & Review | Sam Goodwin
Updated: Mar 05, 2013 07:57 AM EST

Dale Stephens' Hacking Your Education

Dale Stephens' Hacking Your Education (Photo : hackingyoureducation.org)

Since going to college is as expensive as $60,000 for a state university, Dale Stephens addresses the commonly asked question - "Is college really worth it?" in his new book.

According to NPR, a college degree from a state university in the U.S. could cost as much as $60,000 and four times as much in a private college. College loan debts far exceed credit card debts and people have begun to wonder whether a college education is actually worth that much money. People have begun to take the example of college dropouts like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison and their success to further question the essence of a college education.

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Author Dale Stephens, who is also the founder of UnCollege.org, has written a book titled "Hacking Your Education" which encourages students to educate themselves differently, away from a college campus. According to Stephens, education is an investment, so people need to think about the returns as well. He says college is not meant for everyone and people who don't think they can do college for various reasons should take up self-education and use networking to the best of its advantage.

Stephens, a college dropout himself, says he left college because it wasn't a place that gave him the freedom to learn. He explains how his book teaches students to ditch tuition fees and find a way to educate themselves. His book helps people "figuring out how to find the mentors, how to build the network, how to find the content and put those together in a package that works for you."

According to him, schools and colleges have created a myth which makes students believe that they all need to learn the same things in the same way. However, Stephens thinks that is not at all true and people have different ways of learning, at different times and at different speeds.

Stephens says going to college to get a job is not enough these days. People constantly talk about the gap between what is taught in schools and colleges and what companies actually look for while hiring. So, the author says, it's up to people to decide what they want to learn and how they want to learn it so that they could be capable of landing a job.

The author also states that the decision regarding whether to go to college or not is a big gamble in itself. Firstly, one needs to commit four year of his or her life to the university. Secondly, when an average student graduates with $27,000 in debt and looking for an entry level job, there is immense pressure to pay back that debt. According to Stephens, risking not going to college is a far lesser gamble than going to college and then having the pressure to pay off the debt. Stephen says college is not going away so if not going to college doesn't work out, a person can always return to it later.

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