Is College Overrated? The Top 21 Highest Paying Jobs with NO College Degree

“You have to go to school to get a good job.”

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That was a phrase that my father continually beat into my head harder than Lars Ulrich could pound on his bass drum. (In case there is a generation gap, Lars is the drummer from the rock band Metallica).

While I’m thankful that I followed my father’s advice and obtained my finance degree, an interesting article by Wallet caught my curiosity. The article had taken a look at some of the highest paying jobs that one could get with no college degree.

top paying jobs no college degree required

College is freaking expensive! According to College the average cost for one year of tuition is $7000. The cost of a full four year degree is increasing every year, making the idea of getting that beloved college a degree a pipe dream. So what are your other options?


Break in the program. This is a good plug for joining the military. 4 years of college all paid for and then some. It worked for me :) Plug is over. Back to the post….


There are many careers that you can obtain without an actual degree, but most require either a trade school certification, or just time on the job and working your way up through the ranks.

A trade school certificate can be obtained in as soon as six months, or as long as four years. Best part is that these jobs pay well – some very well!

If you have decided to not attend a four year college out of high school, or are looking for a fresh start at a new career, here are some of the highest paying careers with no degree.

Disclaimer: While there are definitely some good paying jobs on this list, I still think having a college degree is still worth it. Yes, tuition is high and will continue to rise, but the experience, connections, and mindset that college offers is invaluable. Now on to the jobs….

Highest Paying Jobs Without College Degree

1Margin Department Supervisor: ($83,000)

A margin department supervisor oversees a company’s credit department which manages customer credit accounts and approves or denies credit to customers. This job will most likely require lots of on the job training/shadowing. You will not be required to have a finance or accounting degree to obtain the job, but you will have to know the process well because the scope of the job requires mathematical calculation as well as debt analysis and recognition of accounting principles.

2Air Traffic Controller: ($74,922)

An air traffic controller is required to pass vigorous testing by the FAA, which includes health checks, as well as mental stability tests. Being an air traffic controller has been voted most stressful job in the United States many years because of what the job entails.

highest paying jobs without degree

photo credit: Sprengben [why not get a friend] via photopin cc

This job does not require a college degree but is a very highly competitive industry; it does help to know someone already in the business.

3Automobile Service Station Manager: ($72,000)

Essentially the role of the service station manager is to run the day to day operations of a gas station. The scope of the work includes setting the gas prices for the day, scheduling the rest of the employees that work at the station, ordering new merchandise to keep the shelves stocked as well as being the direct manager to the other employees. Some skills that would be helpful to obtain this job would be good personal skills as well as some managerial experience. Once again, you could probably obtain this type of a position by working your way up the ladder through on the job experience.

4Real Estate Broker: ($71,000)

To become a real estate broker you will still need to take a couple of classes to become certified, but still much less of an expense to you relatively to a college degree. You will be trying to sell houses as well as filing the paper work for the transaction and helping with the loan agreements.

12 Highest Paying Jobs with NO College Degree
Creative Commons License photo credit: RACINGMIX

Anyone who has passed through high school can acquire the license required for real estate transactions, but if you are considering this career you should be very friendly and have flexible hours because you will most likely be working on your customers schedules.

Want to earn over $100k becoming a real estate agent?  Check out 101 ways to make 6 figures as a real estate agent.

5Landscape Architect: ($66,000)

With this career you will have the option of whether you would like to be certified or not. However if you are certified you will have access to larger contracts and a wider scope of work. If you do not mind getting a little dirty and working hard for a living than this might be a good career for you. This career may require you to take some classes at a community college on horticulture as well as landscape design, but these types of classes are not required. Make sure you have a good eye for design and a strong work ethic to consider this career.

Here’s a how to guide for starting your own lawn company and making some serious money.

6Lead Carpenter: ( $63,000)

This job will require you to have lots of experience in the field. This type of experience can be acquired through either going to a trade school to teach you the techniques, or by being an apprentice to a lead carpenter. By going to trade school you will actually have some type of certification which might make you more marketable in the field, but being an apprentice would most likely land you in a job replacing your teacher. Either way you can be very successful in this type of career, just make sure you enjoy working with your hands.

7Director of Security: ($62,000)

This job will most likely be acquired by starting off in an entry level security position, then working your way through the ranks to become the director of security.

Depending on the company you will work for, you might be required to pass a background check as well as some minor health inspections. You might also be required to pass a security guard training program but this will most likely all be paid for by the employer so the actual educational cost to you would be zero. Some good skills to have for this type of job would be some above average physical characteristics as well as integrity to do what is right.

You can also try going the Police Officer route. Make sure you study with the Police Exam Guide.

8Elevator Mechanic ($61,000)

Just like the lead carpenter job, this job will most likely be acquired through a trade school degree or lots of years experience. Being an elevator mechanic does have a couple more stipulations. Lots of major corporations will require you to have a license and work for an insured company, which in this case would force you to go through the trade school route so that you could work on these large corporate jobs. Most of this industry is unionized so make sure you are willing to join a union before entering this line of work.

9Cable Supervisor: ($60,000)

This career would be a managerial type setting. You would be responsible for overseeing the maintenance as well as installation workers that set up cable boxes and internet connections. You would be responsible for the scheduling aspect as well holding the workers accountable to be where they need to be. A good way to acquire this type of a position is to either apply for the job with some type of managing/scheduling background, or to apply for the entry level position and work your way up by knowing the business.

10Flight Service Manager: ($54,000)

highest paying jobs without a degree
Creative Commons License photo credit: caribb

This career would most likely be obtained through lots of on the job experience. You would be responsible for helping schedule flight crews as well as taking care of customer complaints and filing the necessary paper work for them. This job would require great personal skills as well as lots of patients with angry customers. The airlines can be a stressful area to work in, so if you are considering this line of work make sure you can keep your cool in the toughest of situations.

11Freelance Photographer: ($47,000)

Being a freelance photographer takes dedication to ones tasks as well as a great eye for artistic detail. This type of a career may also require you to travel distances to be able to acquire the right “shot” for the right story. In a sense being a freelance photographer can take many molds such as taking pictures of nature for magazines, or taking picture of stories for newspapers, or even being a paparazzi type photographer and searching for the next big celebrity scandal. Whichever you choose to be, this career could pay well with no educational experience required.

Want to turn your photography skills into a legitimate home based business?   Here’s a guide that shows you how this stay at home mom makes a good living.   Check it out here.

12Personal Trainer ($37,500)

This career will most likely require you to have a certification so that you are qualified to teach proper physical fitness techniques. This certificate is not very difficult to obtain however and is relatively cheap compared to any other type of trade school mentioned above. To be successful in this line of work you will most likely want to be a very physically active person yourself, as well as have a passion for this line of work. If you love the newest trends in fitness, and spend lots of time in the gym already, this could be the perfect career option for you.

So if you are looking to head back to school for some quick training, or have decided that college is not the right option for you, there are still plenty of careers out there for you to choose from. Whatever you do, don’t get distressed. Remember the following names: Henry Ford, Michael Dell, Walt Disney, Rachel Ray, and Simon Cowell. Guess what all these entrepreneurs had in common? Yup, you guessed it. No college degree.

Getting started as a personal trainer is simple, but here are some guides to get you started: Bootcamp Basics will show you how to start your own bootcamp. You can also try getting your Yoga certification.

Other Notable Careers, No Degree Required

13Funeral Director ($80,000)

You do need some training to be a funeral director, but once you have it, you can make as much as $80,000 a year. It is important that you be able to handle the macabre, and you do need to have a degree of tact and warmth, since you are dealing with people in difficult situations. However, if you can take the job, it is something worth considering.

14Commercial Pilot ($50,000)

You can make more than $50,000 if you get on as a commercial pilot at the right airline. Training is required, but you will not need to get a college degree. It can be a fun job if you like flying, and you can get discount fares when you aren’t on the job. You do have to be away from home, though.

Often the first step to becoming commercial pilot is to get your private pilot’s license. You’ll get your flight hours up and more comfortable in the cockpit. Here’s a study guide to help you pass the PPL Exam.

15Truck Driving ($45,000)

After six to eight weeks of training, and after you obtain your commercial driver’s license, you can make $45,000 or more as a truck driver. Work your way up to becoming a trainer, and you can clear more than $70,000 a year. Team drivers, those with hazmat certifications and others can make different salaries as well. You do need to be able to deal with the monotony of driving, and deal with being away from home.

To become a truck driver you need your Commercial Drivers License or CDL. I recommend using both a CDL Practice Test and CDL Test Answers to help you study up so you can pass.

16Salesperson (Unlimited)

For those with the right skills, sales can be a financially rewarding job without the need for a college degree. A salesperson might work on a commission structure, or base + commission. In either case, how much you end up making depends on how well you sell, whether you are selling cars, furniture, real estate, pharmaceuticals, credit card processors or high-end clothes. Depending on what you do, you may need to complete a certification or become licensed. A people person with the right talents can make six figures a year. But it usually requires a large amount of hustle.

17Fire Fighting ($30,000)

The starting salary is often just a little more than $30,000, but you can make more than $50,000 a year, depending on where you work, and whether you reach a supervisory position.

You don’t need a college degree, but you will need to go through a training program. You will need to show strength and stamina if you want to be a firefighter. You can also pick up additional pay if you work fighting wild fires.

To help you get physically ready for firefighting duty, I recommend you check out Pass the Beep Test. It’s a guide to help you prepare your body for firefighting.

18EMT ($45,000)

If you are about to take your EMT classes to become an EMT, you will be happy to learn that the job outlooks in this field are very promising. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a growth of position by 9% from 2008 to 2018. However, chances of having a good job in the EMS are given to those who have more EMT certifications (like paramedics). The hourly wages can vary from $9.08 (10% of the work force earns less than this) to $23.77 (10% earn more than this bracket). The median hourly wages of EMTs is at $14.10 (as at May 2008).

Getting your EMT Certifications is easy if you study. Get the Paramedic Study Guide so you’ll pass the exam on your first try.

19 Railroad Jobs ($75,000)

Do you like trains?  If so, a railroad job might be just for you.  There’s a variety of positions from engineers, conductors and management positions available.  Railroad jobs give you a chance to see new parts of the country while getting paid very well in the process.

If you’re looking at getting a railroad job, here’s a comprehensive guide that shares how to get a job in the railroad industry.

20Medical Coder ($46,800)

The healthcare industry is currently booming and you can expect it to continue to with the Baby Boomer generation getting older. There aren’t enough doctors and nurses available. Behind all of the doctors is a team of medical coders that type up what procedures you had done and bill you or your insurance company the amount owed. This is a growing industry that doesn’t require a degree. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) released a salary study last year that showed on average a medical coder earned $46,800.

To be a medical coder you will need a CPC certification. Pass the CPC exam and start your medical coding career with this useful CPC Exam Prep and Study Guide.

21IT Technician

There are a number of career paths within information technology that do not require a degree. Starting out you’ll probably do support calls on a helpdesk and only make $11-13 per hour. But as your skills progress and you get more experience you can easily make $50,000 to $70,000 per year as you get into systems administration and network engineering.

Get started on your IT career path by getting some online computer training and certification.

Bottom Line

Every job has its pros and cons. And, no matter your job, it is likely that you will need some sort of training. While a college degree may not be necessary, some sort of education or skills training is required to do most jobs.

“Formal education will make you a living. Self education will make you a fortune.”
- Jim Rohn



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Comments | 93 Responses

  1. Dcaid malaba says

    most of the jobs listed involve more schooling or training. Maybe not a university, but you are required to continue schooling and many of the trainings for those listed jobs are very expensive as well. I think the extra education is always better, but the premise seems to be telling kids they dont need more education.

  2. TucsonJim says

    “Self education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn

    Is it really suprising that a seller of personal development materials would make such a baseless statement? First, this statement assumes there is no special expertise to teaching and that any fool can do it. Second, it assumes (contrary to modern neuroscience) that unquided self-reflection can do more than the placebo effect. Both assumptions are blantently false.

    Within a single generation of the Pilgrams landing at Plymouth Rock, they passed the General Education Laws which fined any community that did not prepare EVERY child to attend Harvard. This raises the question why did those dirt poor famers four centuries ago value a college education more than the more technologically advanced nation in the world even AFTER the information age?!? Is it because we’re aiming to become LESS than dirt poor farmers (unemployed)? Might this be why the most outsourced jobs in America are Engineering (less than 4% of MIT engineering graduates can find work in their field) and Programming (Forbes identified software development as the #1 career in America with no future about 6 years ago)?

    The most successful university of our time (UoP) is based on the reality that lifelong attandance to college is required to stay competitive in the work place with the AVERAGE age of a college student even at a for-profit college is 27 (having on average one child).

    College graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn about $22,000 more per year than non-graduates (source: College Board/Trends, 2011). That’s nearly $1 million more income over a 45-year career. This is why a college degree is often called “The Million Dollar Gift.” Readers of this article should be warry of its message and consider the potential gains to its publishers. The potential financial advantage for Jim Rohn is obvious.

    • Chucke says

      The reason why poor farmers (and any poor, working class folks from yesterday and beyond) tend to think that college is important is simply because they never went to college and barely even finished HS, if they finished at all. Therefore, since they never got a college education and they are a poor laborer, they think that the lack of college education is the reason for their status.

      While a college education is a good thing, it is only good for a small percentage. College today is not really valuable. It is very expensive and almost everyone attends, making the value of most degrees almost nothing. College is, for most people, merely a 4-year extension of HS, except you are no longer a minor and are free to be free and not go to class and drink and do drugs instead…all the while going to school on a loan and grants.

      Most people benefit very little, if at all from their college degrees. All they really needed was some career training and a job. Most IT degrees, for instance are not needed as most IT skills can be learned by career training courses and certification test. It’s really all you need. That alone accounts for many jobs in the workforce today.

      I’m not saying that college is useless. But college has merely become big business for the schools and the government. It’s the biggest scam going today.

      The only people that actually gain anything from a college degree are those that actually have a career path in mind that requires a degree. These people then actually do well in school and actually pursue their career path. People who go to school for something like a business management degree are wasting money. You never learn what you really need to know in college for something like that. This knowledge only comes from starting at the bottom and working your way up to management. This is just one example, there are countless others.

      All others should go to trade school. You will come out much less in debt and you will learn entry-level skills that will put you to work immediately and you can learn and get promoted as you get experience. In fact, most HS kids should be going to VoTech while in HS. Preparing most kids for college is a joke since most people are not fit for college. They only go to get the “college experience”…which is drinking, drugs, and having orgies.

      • Chucke says

        BTW, I should add something here. While I believe that most HS kids need to go to Votech, that is assuming that votechs start offering training for things other than just truck driving, electrician, HVAC, etc. These things are all OK if you want to pursue them. But, for instance, we need to get a lot of the people going to college for things like dumb business degrees (marketing, mgmt, etc) and low-level IT course, and get them into career training to get them out in the field with practical knowledge they can grow on while making a living doing so.

        We need to rethink in this country which jobs really need a degree and which don’t and then we need to start getting our vocational schools to focus on training folks for these non-college-requiring skills/jobs. Not everyone want to be a truck driver or a cosmetologist. Votech schools really need to start broadening their course/training offerings.

        • TucsonJim says

          Chucke says “College today is not really valuable.”

          I guess you need for me to repeat this … the reality is college graduates with bachelor’s degrees earn on average about $22,000 more per year than non-graduates. I gave my sources, where are yours? Oh yea, you’ve got some New Age “you said to yourself.”

          Chucke says “It is very expensive”

          Well, Harvard for one is basically free (my niece went for free). Most students receive financial aid despite the school providing NO academic or athletic scholarships. Worst case, they’re not likely to charge more than 10% of a parent’s income.

          Chucke says “Most IT degrees, for instance are not needed as most IT skills can be learned by career training courses and certification test.”

          Only for the $40k disappearing admin jobs (in which I would guess you have some personal experience). With that kind of mentality, it’s no wonder STEM jobs are the most often outsourced. People say home life is important for a child’s academic performance, but that’s only true when there are NO good teachers. Movies like Stand and Deliver, Marva Collins, Ron Clark Story, and the Knights of the Bronx were about 100% success rates in the poorest and most violent neighborhoods in America. So, we know we can succeed anytime we want to.

          Which came first, people believing that a college degree didn’t matter or the fastest growing job in American being cashier? You shouldn’t need a college degree to figure it out. But then, I went to what was the #1 engineering school. Alas, this year’s freshman class has an average Math SAT score 120 points below my class. So perhaps, today’s college degrees simply don’t provide enough education for one to understand that roughly $22,000 more every year is a good thing.

          “We need to rethink in this country which jobs really need a degree and which don’t and then…” we need to get all our kids a college degree (before robots take all the cashier and truck driver jobs – for the Army, this begins in 2014) and outsource the rest.

          • Ed says

            Tuscon Jim:

            Calm down. You seem to be irrationally fired up about this whole issue. (Did you pay too much for college? Is your degree not paying off? You definitely sound bitter.)

            Truth is, a college degree is becoming more and more obsolete. You can fight against this and argue until you’re blue in the face, but it doesn’t change the reality. Plenty of people, myself included, have gone into business for themselves without a college degree and have done very, very well. (Not being 80, 90, or 100k in debt out of the gate didn’t hurt matters.)

            If you want to be a corporate slave who climbs the ladder, or have a career in law or medicine, then yes, a college degree is necessary. But if your goal is to make your own way in life and be independent of enriching others and playing by their rules, you should definitely think long and hard about whether the conventional ‘I must get a college degree to be successful’ wisdom is for you.

            PS – Your ’22k more a year’ BS is worthless, because it doesn’t take into account the self-employed or small business owners. It’s only a comparative measure of workers within the same fields – financial corporations, healthcare, et al.

          • TucsonJim says

            Dear Ed:

            I would like to build a K-12 school where EVERY student skips 4 to 5 grades in test scores the first year they attend. And, I don’t just mean “gifted” students, but every student, even those who have been tested and labeled by experts as “Learning Disable Unable to Every Read or Write.” How realistic does this dream seem to you? Most people tell me since not everyone is built the same, that such a dream is completely unrealistic. Only problem is that this school was built by Marva Collins in South Chicago (you can rent the Marva Collins movie if you don’t believe me). 60 Minutes did a show about little Fifth Grader Erica in 1980 who was reading and testing at the Tenth Grade Level despite having an IQ of 75 and being unable to read the year before. 60 Minutes did a follow up piece when Erica graduated from the Univ. of Virginia Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA. This did not surprise me. Even the fact that there was another dozen like students in her class who had similar success didn’t surprise me. In 2008, the South Chicago School District published a formal statement that the reason most children who did graduation from their school district had been recently identified as “Functional Illiterates” was that $11,300 a year was simply not enough to educate a child when Marva was still spending only $5,500 a year per child. Still no surprise. What finally surprised me was that in 2008, Marva (who had to open a private school because the public school teachers so abused and lied about her beating and cheating for her students) was forced to close her school as no one in America any longer wanted to attend. What do you say, is a K-12 education overrated (with so many careers not requiring a real one)?!? I bet you didn’t need one.

            For example, let’s talk about the fasting growing profession in America, for which our educational system seems most geared to prepare our children for, which is cashier. Now, that’s a job for which one doesn’t need a college or a K-12 education. And, what is the highest paying and most available career? Luckily, it’s also one not requiring any real education (in which people work 25% less than average): K-12 teacher. Every American generation for the past 400 years was more literate than the previous, but since the Baby Boomers (the real problem), every generation is now instead less literate. Your cheap shots (calling me irrational) and your baseless complaints (calling my well supported facts BS simply because you don’t like them) are only but a sad reflection of the education common to Americans today. The sad conclusion to the Collins School shouldn’t be a surprise after remembering shortly after the movie Stand and Deliver came out in 1989 (based on the book America’s Greatest Teacher) that Dr. Jaime Escalante was forced out of education (needing to move to Bolivia to find a job) after receiving numerous death threats from other public teachers. Even though 26% of all Mexican-Americans passing Advanced Placement (AP) exams had been his students, not one “emotional” parent complained.

            Well, you got what you deserved: a job market that no longer expects an education. The average Math SAT scores at top engineering schools are now 120 point below my class and getting an A is twice as easy at Harvard. But, what kind of sick parent would be happy with that for their children? Right, you.

            Is my degree not paying off? In fact, I have had employment based solely on my resume listing an Ivy School. Of course, you’ve would never know what that is like – being unable to read and all (or else you would have caught Harvard being free and so not putting anyone into a 100k debt). I would guess that may be why you HAD to go into business for yourself. As they say, you can fool all the people some of the time and make a good profit while doing it – but, I wouldn’t brag about being such a psychopath (defined as someone who is always in control of their emotions, as you suggest). But, that’s me.

  3. Ed says


    You are clearly an angry, bitter little man. You meet all the requirements to a T.

    Good for you and your college degree. It doesn’t impress me at all (some of the dumbest people I know have Ivy League degrees — I wouldn’t hire these people to tie my shoes). But if it’s working out for you, great! Congratulations! Unfortunately, it’s clear that all of your so-called education hasn’t taught you that there is more than one way to skin a cat in life. Your narrow-mindedness is quite sad.

    I find it interesting that I mentioned college puts many young adults into severe debt right out of the gate, and your only argument is: “But Harvard is free!”

    Surely you’re not serious, Jim. You do realize that 99% of students do not attend Ivy League schools, right? (And thank god for that.) Not everybody is eligible for financial aid, grants, scholarships — and even when they are, it doesn’t always cover everything. You seem highly detached from reality. (FOX News fan?)

    No, I didn’t ‘have’ to go in to business for myself. It was a choice I made early on, and let me tell you, it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I don’t regret it for a second. The very fact that you equate self-employment or small business ownership and being your own boss as ‘psychopathic’ speaks volumes about you and your sad little reality. (And yes, Jim, a responsible person should always be in control of their emotions. Didn’t they teach you that in kindergarten?)

    You can clench your fists, grit your teeth, and repeat “But you have to get a college degree to be successful! And Harvard is free!” until you’re blue in the face — but it doesn’t change the reality that more and more people are catching on to what bullshit all of that really is.

    But hey, look, whatever helps you sleep at night and feel better about yourself, bud.

    I’m going to close our little dialogue now because your last paragraph exposed what I’m dealing with. Go ahead with the last word. I refuse to waste any more time on a hateful, close-minded ‘I’m always right’ buffoon such as yourself.

    • TucsonJim says

      From the Daily Show Interview October 22, 2013:

      Malcolm Gladwell: “When I interviewed very successful people, business leaders of the last 25 years, Charles Schwab, Clinton, and Obama, they explained their success starting with childhood hardships, the very worst things that can happen to a person.”

      Jon Stewart: “Is there an inherent personality type that can translate these types of devastating blows into a positive outcome?”

      Malcolm Gladwell: “I don’t know.”

      Jon Stewart: “What do you mean you don’t know, you wrote the book?!?”

      Malcolm Gladwell: “I didn’t consider it. My books are designed to raise more questions than they answer.”

      When Glen Beck basically asked the same question, Malcolm Gladwell said: “That’s the great unanswerable question. I can’t provide the answer. I think books [can] only raise questions; people must answer them for themselves.”

      Dear Ed: Here are some BOOKS to read (now, I know you likely don’t believe in books as they are too likely to contain opinions different from yours) if you want to learn about the personality type of which Jon Stewart asks : 1) The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry in which author Jon Ronson uses Dr. Hare’s 20 question survey (the industry standard) to show what a high percentage of successful people are psychopaths, 2) Dr. Martha Stout’s The Sociopath Next Door in which Stout states American values and beliefs create the perfect breeding ground for psychopaths, whom she says have a kind of glow that makes them more charming, interesting, spontaneous, intense, and sexier, although they dislike sex and only use it to manipulate people, making them hard to identify and very seductive, or 3) just do an Amazon search for mobbing for a list of books on how psychopaths rule our world (Dr. Brodsky in 1976 and Dr. Leymann in 1984 both independently showed ALL of our stress is the consequence of deliberate groupthink “mobbings” directed by STJ psychopaths that overwhelm their target victims into powerless positions).

      What type of person can get us to gleefully surrender our money, relationships, and happiness while basically worshipping them as heroes? Dr. Ted Bililies and Dr. William Bridges say they’re STJs on the Myers-Briggs personality test. Half of our presidents have been STJs. (Please Understand Me I and II by Drs. Keirsey and Bates). Why shouldn’t we put practical, tough-minded, commanding people in charge? “Striving for efficiency, [STJs] may produce a work force full of hostility, stress, and absenteeism.” (Dr. Otto Krueger, Type Talk at Work, 1991) “Creativity gets killed much more often than supported.” (Dr. Amabile, 1999) In fact, Dr. Gough showed (1981) there’s no one with less creativity.

      In general, we don’t want to believe it because it would make our library of self-help books look pretty silly. But the one defining characteristic, dear Ed, is that a true psychopath would never consider themselves one and they get VERY angry (as you are here, using insults like “little man,” “dumbest,” and “narrow-mindedness” while suggesting a “responsible person” would never lose control and stoop so low) at any threat. This is due to the underlying, as Maslow called it, Mediocrity Personality Disorder. You yet again quoted no facts or references (something often done by someone with a degree). All you can do is your use of foul language, belittling comments, and holding your breath until you turn blue (or if more, no real loss).

      Dr. W. Edwards Deming went to American businesses and tried to teach them about quality (in manufacturing, in management, and in thinking), but no one would listen (remind you of anyone). And so, he went to Japan and raised a great competitor to our businesses. One of his most famous quotes is

      “Experience by itself teaches nothing… without theory, experience has no meaning. Without theory, one has no questions to ask. Hence, without theory, there is no learning.”

      It has been a long time since I have seen a better example of what Dr. Deming was talking about than in your comments. Without the ability to learn, your educational choices were surely the best for you – but, that doesn’t mean they’re the best for everyone. I think you know how foolish you sound and that’s why you must always be on the attack, suggesting anyone who disagrees with you must be a “corporate slave” and “worthless.” Not every High School has a 100% graduation rate (or a 100% college graduation rate), but every HS could. A snotty reporter (who talked a lot like you do) once asked Dr. Escalante if he was going to get more kids into college than Hollywood High School (LA’s wealthiest HS). Jaime mumbled a bit and then admitted that he though money made a difference. But, he was wrong and he got more kids (from East LA where two thirds were living below the poverty level in one of America’s most violent neighborhoods) into Ivy colleges than Hollywood HS. Just because something is true (like you being stupid), doesn’t mean it has to be… but, whatever it takes to sleep – I hear that’s how you live your life, right?

      • TucsonJim says

        I forgot to mention that one teacher’s (Escalante) 400 students each year (yes, 400) ALL went to college with scholarships 100% of the time (since there was no money in his neighborhood)… yes, 100%. Just because you say something Ed doesn’t mean it’s true (just the opposite in fact). When the IT bubble burst (when 100% of green cards were going to engineers and programmers), 60,000 green cards suddenly went unused as those jobs flew overseas (and those unused green cards were forever pulled by the U.S. government). Steve Jobs answered President Obama’s questioning about it with, “Those jobs are NEVER returning.” Instead of telling our children to give up on their futures and accept a job market that no longer needs college degrees, we should change the marketplace starting with improving (back to 1960′s levels) our K-12 educational system. A few years back, Bill Gates spoke at a Governor’s Conference and said, until American schools are redesigned, “we will keep limiting, even ruining, the lives of millions of Americans every year.” I know, dear Ed, as a self-proclaimed “responsible” person that sad statement does not affect you emotionally in any way. But, I can only hope that’s not true for everyone else who reads this. The number of students from China, India, and South Korea seeking American college degrees decline by a whopping 16% in just one year (2008). Yes, services, which are now more than half of our economy, usually do little process design, organization, management, or research and so have less of a requirement for a college degree… but, only a sick person would see that as a good thing either for their country or for their children.

        • TucsonJim says

          P.S.S. And, the number of new entrants to the labor market that have completed higher education is increasing rapidly in EVERY foreign country (Canada is now #1 for college degrees at nearly 70% of their population; even South Korea has a greater number of college graduates than us) – except for the U.S. That DOES NOT make us the best.

          • TucsonJim says

            P.S.S.S. What is the result? Fortune recently wrote that America recently lost about 2 million industrial jobs, mostly to China. More to the point, 80% of the world’s middle class growth is currently in Asian as the West’s middle class steadily declines. By 2025, more than 60% of the world’s middle class (as well as the college degrees) is projected to be in Asia. Good thing? No! Many of the New Economy’s jobs didn’t exist even 10 years ago (Many jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago (Sustainability Expert, App Developer, Chief Listening Officer, etc.). The exodus of jobs abroad is not to utilize cheap labor but a far more highly educated workforce. Foreign companies create more patents, China passed U.S. in direct foreign investment, tiny Japan has more engineers, and four countries (S. Korea, Sweden, Finland, and Israel), spend more of their GDP on R&D.

            Today, 30% of college freshmen are put into remedial courses for material they should have learned in high school. Sadly, American children can look to the two kids next to them in class and know one will likely not graduate from High School while Japan in comparison has a 96% H.S. graduation rate and they leave H.S. with an education Americans only get after two years of college. As I said before, I expect the only response here will be an article on how a High School Diploma is no longer needed in our marketplace.

            Sources: United Nations, World Bank, Surjit S. Bhalla, Second Among Equals: The Middle Class Kingdoms of India and China, May 2007,, OECD Education at a Glance 2007, and Achieve, The Expectations Gap: A 50-State Review of High School Graduation Requirements, 2004.

  4. Danielle says

    Your #2 is incorrect. Both my brother and father are air traffic controllers and they’ve been requiring a 4-year diploma since the early 80s at the very least. My dad was required to only have the 4-year degree. My brother had to have the 4-year degree, 2 year certification from one of the few schools in the U.S. that trains ATCs, and he’ll be going through another 18mos. of on the job training if/when he’s finally accepted by the FAA.

  5. Alan says

    Well I went to college for a year and a half straight and quit with a 3.9 gpa. I have no degree and make over 230k a year doing contract security work. So yes join the military, go to college for free, then make bank and retire before your 35.

    • TucsonJim says

      It’s well documented that half of rising stocks do so only because of dumb luck by their corporate management, which is why everyone knows the line that past experience is no guarantee of future performance. Your limited college experience, dear Alan, likely means you’ve never passed a freshman statistics class in order to understand the significance for the “degrees of freedom” of a data set (maximum calculated by the simple equation of N-1). In other words, the statistically significant things one can say about a data set of one (eg: one’s personal experience) is… nothing. Clearly, you’ve shown you’ve managed the dumb aspect of dumb luck. A REAL education always carries real value. In fact, numerous suveys have shown education to be the most respected gift by employees and the best motivator. Or, employees are actually more motivated by education than money (the exception that “proves” the rule may of course be for a mercenary who kills for profit).

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