I can’t say I would do my education differently, because college is where I met my wife, who now teaches at the college level herself, and had a number of great experiences. However, Mike Rowe couldn’t be more right about this. An education is for everyone, but that doesn’t mean college is for everyone.
My illustration degree is and has been irrelevant to the career I have now. None of the skills I use were actually taught in a single illustration class I took. The portfolio I used to land my first graphic design job was comprised of almost entirely extracurricular projects or from an editorial design class I took in the journalism department. Except for a rudimentary overview of Quark Express in one class, all of my software knowledge was (and still is) self taught. A college degree alone got me the phone call for the interview, they’re becoming increasingly less worth it, and it seems irrational to rule out a candidate who can clearly demonstrate they can do the job for lack of one.
We have a culture that has been myopically focused on college degrees that become irrelevant after (and before as well, frankly) a few years of work experience, that’s crazy. Universities are moving toward a day of reckoning, because people at some point are going to figure out that a high-five or six-figure (fill in the blank) studies degree doesn’t get a better job (or more knowledge as the students at Yale who signed a petition to repeal the First Amendment recently proved) than someone who spends half or less on a vocational education that actually focuses on a skill.
Many of the most successful people ever, including presidents, don’t/didn’t have degrees. It’s has been by no means a litmus test for success, and we should stop treating it that way for everyone because it’s not about obtaining a paper that certifies you took a bunch of classes alone, its about what you know and what you can actually do it that knowledge that ads value to an employer and, most importantly, yourself.