Why do students of East Asian descent do so well in school? Because parents are the primary educators.
So concludes Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her column on the subject was published July 31, 2017.
While American parents are concerned with how engaging their child’s teacher is, how much homework their child will have and whether their child will be able to balance school and other activities, such as band or soccer, in East Asian countries, parents are worried about one thing: whether their child will learn, Downey writes.
The Asian children’s success will depend not only on their own effort, but that of their parents, she writes.
That difference may explain the performance gap between American students and those from East Asian countries, Downey writes.
According to a research scholar on East Asian education, this lagging performance by American students will not change unless we upend two beliefs: teachers are responsible for student achievement and parents play a supportive, rather than primary, role in their child’s education, Downey writes.
Cornelius N. Grove, author and researcher on East Asian education, has challenged the assumption that school performance is determined by innate aptitude, Downey writes. He says children bring – or don’t bring, in the case of some U.S. students – a receptiveness to learning and a moral and cultural imperative to excel, Downey writes.
Students who fail an algebra test here might say, “I’m just not good at math,” Downey quotes Grove. East Asian students use failure to figure out what they don’t know and redirect their study plan, Downey quotes Grove.
One could argue that while education is important, so are other things in life. The balance American parents look for in their children is a worthy endeavor. We want children to have a life, to do things that kids do, to enjoy growing up and not be put in a pressure cooker.
On the other hand, some parents can be too loosey-goosey, fret about the child’s self-esteem, etc.
Those old enough may remember when parents sent kids to school, let them figure out what to do, perhaps had one or two conferences a year with teachers and that was it. Some parents were disinclined, or perhaps even incapable, of helping with homework.
Still, “we have masses of young people (In the U.S) who aren’t able to do simple math, who have trouble reading a sentence,” Downey quotes Grove.
Yet, she quotes him, “we are not short of entrepreneurs in this country.” If your child is an entrepreneur, and is looking for something to apply that trait that could earn him potentially a lot of money, there are many vehicles out there that may fit him or her. To check out one of the best, message me.
The bottom line is that parents have to find the happy medium in which their child can excel in school, and still be a kid. The parents have to devote a higher priority on education, and not leave everything up to teachers and schools.
The children have to want to learn. A parent who cultivates a child’s desire to learn is parenting at its best. So let your kids be kids, let them do what they enjoy, yet still have focus on education. Perhaps the parents can take a leading role in increasing school performance of American children.


#BoringSchools #education #HappyStudents
A graduate from an affluent New York high school told a panel of education experts that school was like a prison.
“The only difference,” said Nikhil Goyal, “is that in schools, students are paroled at the same time every day. Does school really have to be this horrible, this boring and monotonous thing that you have to wake up every day at 7 a.m. and go to?” he asked.
Goyal was quoted in a June 13, 2016, column by Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Goyal, now 21, has written a book titled, “Schools on Trial: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice,” Downey writes.
Schools should bend to accommodate students rather than forcing children to learn in lockstep and labeling them as failures if they fall out of step, Downey writes, attributing the statement to Goyal.
Why can’t we design schools “where kids are happy and excited to be there?” Downey quotes Goyal.
As we’ve learned, particularly in recent years, it’s difficult to absolutely quantify learning.
Couple that with the advancing technology, in which information is readily available, and we begin to wonder what we are teaching kids, and whether those things are going to actually help them.
The best way we know to quantify learning is through test scores, term papers and the like. In many instances, the students are merely spitting back information they might not ever use – not to mention how easy it will be to find if they do use it.
Employers may not be looking for what a person knows, but how he thinks and whether his way of thinking will mesh with what the company wants to accomplish.
We want to teach kids how to think, but exactly how to do that, in a way that is quantifiable, is a real challenge for educators.
Perhaps, as the educators perfect that, students will feel more excited in school.
Downey says Goyal told her that students measured their self-worth by the number of Advanced Placement classes they took and the academic honors they received. Most were sleep-deprived and some depended on prescription drugs, like Adder-all and Ritalin, to survive, Downey writes.
Certainly, some independent schools, with less emphasis on quantifying learning, let students rely on their own innate curiosity and creativity to lead them to what they should learn, Downey writes. That, she attributes to Goyal, will allow students to learn with enthusiasm and joy.
As the debate continues on how best to educate children, and how much that education should cost, it’s important for children to know that education of any type is valuable, though not all education will make one a living.
There are many ways out there to earn money, regardless of education. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
Meanwhile, as a society, we need to find the best way to educate children for today’s world. We also know that education that creates enthusiasm among students can only benefit them in the long run.


#grit #innovate #GradePointAverage
Creative people are good at asking new questions, but the grade-point average rewards those who can answer other people’s questions.
So writes New York Times columnist David Brooks, in a column published in the May 13, 2016, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Brooks calls the grade-point average “one of the more destructive elements in American education.”
“In life, we want independent thinking and risk-taking, but the GPA system encourages students to be deferential and risk-averse, giving their teachers what they want,” Brooks writes.
In other words, the education system highly rewards students who are good at a lot of things, rather than those who are very good at one or two things.
Even if you are not good at something, the education system wants students to use their grit, and do things they don’t like, to grind out a good GPA.
There is certainly nothing wrong with grit. It helps people overcome obstacles and gets people through difficult times.
But the education system is designed for students to learn things, and they are evaluated by how well they can spit those things back.
“Schools across America are busy teaching their students to be gritty and to have ‘character’ – by which they mean skills like self-discipline and resilience that contribute to career success,” Brooks writes.
In other words, they teach kids to be good employees, rather than innovators.
In today’s world, innovators are handsomely rewarded, providing they solve a problem that needs solving.
In one adage, the “A” students end up working for the “C” students.
How does one deal with this?
There are a couple of ways. First, be a rebel.
Take the grit that you learned to develop in school, and use it to innovate.
Thomas Edison tried many times before he successfully invented the light bulb, so he had enough grit to know to stay with his idea.
If you are not an innovator, or if you have resigned yourself that you will work for someone else forever, there are many alternative ways to make money outside of a traditional job. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Sometimes duplication, rather than innovation, can create potential fortunes.
As for the education system, it’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Learning is difficult to quantify, and the GPA system is, up to now, the best way educators have found to quantify learning.
In recent times, an array of competency tests has come into vogue. These tests have been used to evaluate teachers, much to the chagrin of the educators.
A good teacher should not be penalized, since students’ performance on competency tests can be attributed to many things.
So use the education system to cultivate grit, but use that grit to go out and do great things for others.


“When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.”
Paul Simon lyric from “Kodachrome”

#HighSchool #learning #education
What did you learn in high school that you use today?
Perhaps you use some household math. Perhaps, if you took vocational courses, you use what you learned in auto mechanics, machine shop etc.
Most of us, though, would be hard pressed to think of much that we use today from our high school learning.
As it turns out, high schools were designed more than a century ago to produce efficient workers who could follow instructions, according to Ted Dintersmith, venture-capitalist-turned reformer.
“Henry Ford did not need creative, bold innovative assembly-line workers,” Dintersmith said.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, took on the topic of high schools in a January 2016 column. She interviewed Dintersmith as part of it.
Now that the U.S. economy has changed from manufacturing to innovation, have high schools changed with it? Downey asks.
Downey points out that most of us believed that basic jobs, such as truck driving and delivery services, were immune to change as technology advanced. But Google’s self-driving car and Amazon Prime Air delivery drones are changing that.
So that begs the question: will high schools change the way they educate to conform to the changing economy, and the changing technological requirements?
Today, a high school education is not good enough, in many cases, to land a good-paying job. Even some who graduate college are finding they cannot parlay their brainpower into an economically exhilarating career.
So will high schools become irrelevant? Will some college curriculums become an expensive luxury?
Let’s break down the concept of education. Throughout most of our years in school, we learn “things.” We were expected to spit back those “things” on tests, to get our grades. Now, with technology, the “things” we were taught are available at our fingertips. What we really need to know is how to take those “things,” turn them first into ideas and then into action. In other words, gather your “things,” go forth and innovate.
It’s tough to put a finger on those jobs that will never go away. Perhaps some of you have had jobs you thought would never go away, but have. Were you replaced by a machine? Did what you do become irrelevant to the company as technology changed? Or, more likely, did the company just find it too expensive to keep you, so it figured out a way to do without you?
All those “things” you learned help you in trivia games, but they don’t move you forward in a changing world.
Let’s look further into colleges. We are starting to hear that the liberal arts is virtually useless in terms of finding one a job. We are hearing that the STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math) are the only really employable fields to get into. But we all know that not everyone is cut out for those fields. So what is a person who wants to study the arts to do?
There are many ways to earn money while one pursues his artistic passion. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may find a way to work full time on your passion, and part time on your fortune.
We will always need people to do basic jobs. But those jobs hardly create lucrative careers. Are you learning to think the way innovators do? Or, are you just learning “things,” or how to follow orders?
Schools will eventually have to catch up with the rest of the world. In the meantime, if your school isn’t doing what you think is right for you, use your time outside of school to make things right by you.


#Shakespeare #Education #Literature #Drama
Many of us have read something William Shakespeare has written.
Some love him. Some hate him. Certainly, though his language is pure, it’s not always easy to understand. We certainly don’t talk like that in daily conversation.
For many of us, he was required reading at some point in our education. Today, however, a debate is raging over not only whether he is relevant to today’s world, but whether, in the name of diversity, he’s just another dead white guy.
Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis had this very debate in a column they wrote together. It was published in the June 21, 2015, edition of the News Sentinel of Knoxville, Tenn.
Boychuck is associate editor of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Mathis is associate editor of Philadelphia Magazine.
In Boychuk’s view, if a teacher can’t make violence, murder, insanity, greed, witchcraft, betrayal and other elements of Shakespeare come alive in the classroom, he or she is probably in the wrong job. Some of us, when studying Shakespeare or performing in one of his plays, could hurdle what language barrier there was – his old-time English and modern English.
Mathis, however, had the benefit of translation pages when he studied Shakespeare in school. Were it not for those, he says, he may not have survived that course.
“There’s a WORLD of really exciting literature out there that better speaks to the needs of my very ethnically diverse and wonderfully curious, modern-day students,” says Dana Dusbiber, a teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif. She told in a Washington Post column that she hates teaching Shakespeare.
Boychuk and Mathis refer to her column in their column.
If any student’s education is devoid of Shakespeare, how would they know that centuries ago, people actually talked and wrote that way.
On the other hand, many of today’s students have English as a second language. Do they need literature whose English is a bit more basic, to better master their second language?
The Boychuk-Mathis column points out that plays are best seen performed than read. Very few other playwrights get the attention in school that Shakespeare does. Perhaps that’s because Shakespeare is special, and, as the column points out, many of the phrases used today originated with Shakespeare, i.e. “there’s the rub,” it’s Greek to me,” to thine own self be true.”
No matter how one feels about what and how we teach kids, it’s clear that kids need a well-rounded education. They need to learn the niceties as well as the evils of today’s and yesterday’s world.
They need to be able to communicate clearly, to talk so as to be universally understood, to sell themselves to a prospective employer or client. A smattering of Shakespeare can teach them a good bit of how the language was formed and modernized.
Also, they need to develop a great image of themselves. How do you feel about yourself? Are you still looking for who you really are, or are you having to change things up to thrive in today’s world. If so, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Many of those whom you will see may, or may not, be Shakespeare fans, but they’ve certainly learned that their curiosity has paid great dividends.
Studying the Bard may be hard, but he has many lessons to teach.


We think of childhood as a simple time –fancy free, no worries, necessities provided without effort.
But Vicki Abeles sees childhood differently.
She produced a 2009 video titled, “Race to Nowhere,” that told stories of students who were burned out and overworked by the pressure-cooker education culture. She featured her son, Zak, in the video and in her column on the subject, published Sept. 26, 2014, in USA Today.
In decades past, the philosophy was that a busy child stayed out of trouble. Many education systems stressed rigor, lots of homework, even busy work to keep kids’ minds on one thing: school.
That evolved a bit, as kids got into sports, music, drama, debate and other excellent extracurricular activities. It was thought then that those things helped balance a student’s life.
Today, as we see our education system documented as hardly the best in the world, we have created kids that are overworked, overstressed and still not achieving what they should.
“In some places across the country, the frantic pace of modern life has even trickled down to kindergarten, where students are already bringing home piles of homework,” Abeles writes.
She says young people nationwide suffer from alarming rates of anxiety, sleep loss and depression. She quotes a survey by the American Psychological Association that one in four teens reported feeling extreme levels of stress during the school year.
Teens may not seem stressed to you. Of course, there are normal stresses for teens, including boy-girl relationships, having to look good to your peers, wearing the “right” clothes etc. But, if you have or know a teenager, does his or her stress level seem abnormal? If the teen is open to talking to you frankly, ask him or her about it.
We need an education system that makes kids not just learn, but WANT to learn. Just as we adults need a work-life balance, kids need a school-life balance. Sure, school is their job. But it should not be their life.
They should be able to easily mix academic demands, extracurricular activities and free time to hang with friends, date (if they are old enough) or just do what they want. After all, they are only kids once.
Sometimes, kids find their life calling by having the freedom to do what they want.
They should certainly learn that some structure is important. We can’t raise children to believe that they can ALWAYS do what they want, no matter what. A job requires some commitment to structure that the employer requires. Higher education requires some structure to get a degree.
But making kids a slave to structure at an early age will probably hurt them more than help them. It might cause them to develop mental, even physical injuries that could stay with them for life. What kind of waste of potential would that be?
While students need to learn some structure, they also should learn that there are ways to make a life that may not require the structure we are teaching them. It may require a different, more enjoyable kind of structure. For a look at one such lifestyle, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
If you are over a certain age, you learned the importance of structure in life. As a teen, you may have even rebelled at such structure. More than likely, you got over your rebellion and got “structured” again. Abeles believes today’s kids are over-structured. If you have a teen, or know one, you might want to cut them some slack.
Instead of making sure every minute of the day, and night, is tied up with some activity, give them some time to be them. You may be pleasantly surprised at not only how they use that time, but also how it could make them much better adults.


Traditionally, students went to school to see and listen to teachers.
They took what they learned home to practice – what we know as homework.
They brought it back to school the next day to see what they did right, and what they did wrong.
But what if it were reversed?
What if students heard and saw the teachers at home, and came to class to practice what they’d learned. Or, better yet, to see what they could do with what they’d learned?
In a two-day conference titled “Online Learning and the Future of Residential Education,” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman asked himself the following question: why am I paying $50,000 a year for my kid to go to college, when he can learn all he wants for free from massive, open online courses?
Friedman’s friend, Michael Sandel, teaches the famous, Socratic “Justice” course at Harvard, which has 1,000 students. The class is launching March 12, 2013, as the first humanities offering on the MIT-Harvard edX online learning platform.
In the blended education model, Friedman says students at San Jose State watch MIT lectures on circuits and electronics, and do the exercises at home. Then they come to class, ask the SJSU professor questions about the lectures, then devote most of the class time to problem-solving and discussion.
At the college level, this model allows more students to learn from the best teachers in the world. It also could lower the cost of college, because so much is available online. But it also gives colleges the flexibility to add more to the college experience while lowering the cost. It gives students the chance not just to learn, but also to apply what they’ve learned in practical situations. Students will not just get a degree, but could come out of college with some working knowledge in a given area.
But at the high school or middle school level, it could really lower costs. Suppose a high school student heard lectures on history, math, English etc. on his computer at home. Then, he came to school to do his “homework,” and to take tests. What if he could e-mail his questions to the lecturer and get answers via e-mail? What if the student had to log in to hear a lecture? The school could monitor a student’s activities at home.
What if there were more time at school to be with friends, and have fun? Do you think that might increase attendance, and lower the dropout rate? What if schools were more like labs?
Education at all levels has to not just get better. It has to get cheaper. Friedman, in his March 2013 column, talking about the college level, said that the bottom line is that the residential college experience has huge value. But blending in more technology into education will enhance that experience, improve education and lower the cost of college.
At lower education levels, more students can learn from the best teachers through online classes. They can have more fun at school applying what they’ve learned. School systems can have greater flexibility in the number of buildings it needs, the number of teachers it needs etc. In short, they could do much better for less money.
If you are in the education field, know that your world is changing. How fast it will change is anyone’s guess. If you don’t like what you see coming, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. That will give you a possible Plan B, should your situation change for the worse. For students, however, better education is on its way. For taxpayers, that better education could come at a lower cost.


Many look back fondly to their high school days.
Perhaps their college days were even better.
But Stan Beiner, head of the Epstein School in Sandy Springs, Ga., just outside Atlanta, believes we are turning our middle school students over to high schools who will prepare them for colleges that don’t exist.
They’ll get lots and lots of homework. They’ll take lots of Advanced Placement and honors classes. They will have multiple extracurricular activities.
In other words, to paraphrase Beiner, we are preparing our kids for the “rigors” and “challenges” of a tough four years of college.
If you have gone to college, how did it compare with high school? Were you faced with tough task-master professors beating you up, and bogging you down with the drudgery of academia?
Beiner does not de-emphasize school work. Contrarily, school work should be an integral part of both high school and college. But neither high school nor college should be a mere endurance test. Both should teach students the balance of school work, a part-time job, extracurricular activities and, yes, fun!
“The high school years should be about friends, sports, clubs, youth groups, summers off and, of course, school work,” Beiner says. He uses the story of how he and his wife were informed by his child’s private school that 10th-graders could be invited to college orientations. The parents politely declined. The only expectations they had for their 15-year-old was that she focus on her classes, play sports if she wanted, engage and debate youth group politics, hang out with her friends and worry about boys, he said.
Before anyone expresses outrage at what may seem to him as a lackadaisical attitude of parenting, think about this: when you left high school for college, you were on your own. You had a looser schedule. In some cases, you could set your own schedule. You could, say, arrange your classes to have every Friday or Monday off. In most cases, as long as you did the work, the teachers didn’t care how you did it, as long as you didn’t cheat.
In an old school of thought, piling homework on high school kids was a way to keep them “out of trouble.” There was little worse, in some minds, than a teenager with too much time on his hands.
The fallacy of that argument is that no amount of homework would put the kids most at risk of getting in trouble on the straight and narrow. They simply would blow it off. Meanwhile, bogging down good kids with homework, particularly the kind that is deliberately designed to be tedious and time-consuming, keeps them from getting into activities that would enhance their education and experience – sports, arts or a part-time job, for instance.
They may also miss out on the fun that is an integral part of growing up. They may soon grow resentful of the “prison” they are in. They may “act out” in response.
Beiner’s ideas may be over the top for some. But his point is that college is NOTHING like high school. Anyone who has gone to college knows this. Also, just as important as school work, a student needs to have freedom to learn to manage and use time wisely. This will also help students manage money better – watching what they spend and how they spend it – on their own. The good students will mature more quickly. Those at risk for trouble may find it sooner.
Speaking of managing time, is anyone out there working full time at a job, and looking to build a fortune that could retire them early? If so, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. A few hours a week, without affecting what you are already doing, may change your life.
Beiner says it’s no wonder that cheating, eating disorders and depression are too common among students. He advises parents to make sure kids have time to do what they want, and find out who they are. With today’s gadgets, you need to encourage them to get up from the computer and go out and “play.” Do what they need to do, but also do what they LOVE to do.
In Beiner’s mind, they’ll be much more prepared for college.


Sometimes it’s not how good you are at something. Many times people succeed just because they persevere.
Maureen Downey, the education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, spoke to journalist Paul Tough, author of “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character.” He says that that characteristics of persistence, self-control, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence may contribute more to a child’s success – no matter the background – than just learning words and numbers.
Downey goes on to describe research done on kids who graduated from the KIPP program in The Bronx, N.Y. Many of the kids in that program graduated middle school, high school and went off to college. They’d earned the highest test scores of any Bronx students and the fifth-highest scores in New York City in 2003. Downey quotes Tough, who cites KIPP co-founder David Levin.
Yet, only 21 percent of those young achievers earned a college degree. What happened? It appears, Downey quotes Tough, that the students who succeeded showed the greatest optimism, were able to recover from setbacks, didn’t let a bad grade destroy them and would seek extra help from professors. They would turn down going to a movie to spend the time studying.
Many educators have said that it’s the parents’ job to instill character in a student. Educators in the past have focused heavily on making students feel good about themselves (self-esteem), and some students have learned that just showing up deserves reward. As an aside, showing up on time is a big part of a success routine, but it should be expected.
Some parents have been overly concerned about protecting students from harm, and bailing them out when they get in trouble. We’ve seen that attitude follow them into adulthood. Do you know a 30-year-old who still leans on his parents to survive? Is that behavior natural, or was it carefully taught?
Tough seems to want to get kids away from the feel-good attitudes. He believes they should experience adversity, and learn to find ways out of it. They should learn gratitude, generosity and social agility. Do you know someone who won’t go to something that could benefit them, because they have a negative opinion of the people who might be there?
Do you know someone who will never turn down a chance to have a good time, even though their time could be better spent at more constructive activities? Do you know someone who won’t look at something that could really benefit them, because they are not the least bit curious?
Sometimes resiliency is more valuable to a student than self-esteem. Most resilient students already feel good about themselves, and know that success is up to them. Combine that with generosity, gratitude and the desire to help others succeed and you’ll have someone who WILL succeed as an adult.
So, it may not be just math and reading that students need to learn. They must combine what they learn with character attributes that will maximize what they’ve learned. To paraphrase Wendy Kinney, director of Power Core, a close-contact business networking organization, each business person can identify a person in his field to whose skills they aspire, but has a less successful business. At the same time, each business person can identify a person in his field who should never get referrals, but has a bigger business. How one markets himself makes the difference.
Related to that, most people can identify a person who started what should have been a great business, but didn’t have the grit to stay with it long enough to make it succeed. Perhaps, had they been taught the virtues of character in school, the result may have been different.
Do you have grit? Can you take a punch, get up and keep fighting? Are you looking for the best way to apply that grit to be the most successful? Do you want to help others succeed with you? If so, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. It’s one vehicle that can help the gritty person become successful, no matter the education.
The more resilient, gritty, optimistic and generous people we have in this world, the better our world will be. Do you want to be part of the gritty solution, or be the grit that clogs the works? If you don’t see yourself as gritty, but wish you were, you can learn to change.


It’s early, but Kyle Wingfield, columnist with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, thinks it’s time to address graduates.
His October 2012 column suggests that graduates – mainly high school graduates – think about their options before going to college.
Wingfield suggests that they not end up like Katie Brotherton, a young Cincinnati woman who is $190,000 in debt from college and graduate school. She’s living in her parents’ basement.
Brotherton is “looking for answers.” As Wingfield points out, it started with her decision to go to college with borrowed money.
You can envision a pattern: a person goes to college, thinking she would get a good job when she got out. She doesn’t. So, she decides to go to graduate school, thinking it might broaden her qualifications and buy her time for the job market to improve. Meanwhile, she’s incurring more debt.
She gets out of graduate school with no good job and lots of debt. She moves back home. She doesn’t want to be living at home, but she has no choice. Her debt and lack of employment leave her unable to afford to live on her own. Her parents sympathize with her plight, but they, too, would rather see her out on her own.
A few decades ago, we were told to go to the best college we could possibly get into. The best schools would open more doors, we were told. The best schools, often, were usually the most expensive. But if those schools opened more doors, you’d be able to pay back your education fairly quickly with a good job.
Many of the “good” jobs that students thought would be there are not. In fact, they may have disappeared permanently.
As Wingfield points out, education inflation is rampant. There could even be an education “bubble” getting bigger by the day. We all know what happened with the housing “bubble.” It’s not that students should not get an education, it’s that some education does not provide a great return on investment, in terms of career opportunities.
Certainly, there is nothing wrong with getting a degree in history, literature or some of the other liberal arts. No education is really wasted. But students have to evaluate whether that education is worth the debt incurred, or, worth the sacrifices your family might make to provide it.
If you love history, the arts or psychology, you can still pursue them. But you can do so at less expensive schools close to home. You may be able to parlay those degrees into a good career, but you have to understand that most people with such backgrounds cannot convert them to real dollars.
All is not lost, however. You can get one of those degrees without using it as an income producer. There are many excellent ways to produce income outside your educational background. To check out one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
Even if you have a degree in engineering, the sciences, technology, mathematics or other fields in great demand, you might want to have a Plan B if your career plans don’t turn out the way you want them to. There are excellent income streams that can get you out of your parents’ home as an adult.
So, as Wingfield addresses the class of 2013, he suggests that they not lower ambitions, just understand the reality. Not all college degrees are the same. Most college degrees can be obtained from schools that are not cripplingly expensive. Remember that as you get older and proceed in your career, or life, where you went to school becomes less important in terms of whether you get hired. A degree is a degree. You will succeed largely on your experience.
Success comes in many forms. Being a great historian may not produce lots of income, but it may produce great successes. Just realize that you may have to find another way to make a living, or create wealth for yourself.
Educational institutions need to be aware of the “bubble.” It could burst, and they could find themselves with great, expensive programs, and no students that can afford them. Students need to be aware that there are ways to make an income regardless of education. You just have to be willing to check them out.