We have been conditioned to believe that having a degree automatically equals a high-paying job and that if we don’t go to college we are limited in our opportunities. But is this really true or is it simply an education misconception? If you’re wondering if you should go to college or get a degree, this episode is for you.
There are people with degrees who have successful careers and six-figure jobs, but there are also people with degrees who can’t get a job at all. They are left feeling deflated and like they aren’t smart, which is crazy. But having a degree alone is not enough to get you success, there are other skill sets necessary to landing a high-paying job.
Join me this week as I discuss education and college degrees and why having one doesn’t automatically guarantee you a high-paying job. I’m exploring what we think as a society about degrees, some of the most common education misconceptions I hear, and I’m sharing my suggestions for anybody considering a college degree.
If you would like some help up-leveling your beliefs or securing your next 6-figure offer, then my 6-Figure Career Curriculum Mastermind was designed for you. It gives you everything you need to secure a 6-figure offer or multiple offers, succeed in the role, and set yourself up for your long-term career plan. Click here now and get signed up – I’ll see you over there!
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- The biggest problem I see when it comes to degrees.
- Why a college degree was not necessary for me in my career.
- The fundamental skills required to land a high-paying job.
- What happens when we believe we only need a degree to be successful.
- The difference between college graduates who have successful jobs and those who don’t.
Listen to the Full Episode:
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Welcome back. This is the Get a 6-Figure Job You Love Podcast, and this is episode 68, Education Misconceptions. This episode might trigger a few people. It’s a little bit controversial, I almost didn’t record it, but it’s what I see to be the truth, and I hope you get value out of it, so stay tuned. Hey, there.
Welcome to the Get a 6-Figure Job You Love Podcast. I’m your host, Natalie Fisher. I’m a certified Career Mindset Coach who also happens to want to skip all the BS and get to what it really takes to create real results for you and your career. On this podcast, you will create real mindset shifts that will lead to big results and big changes in your career and your income. No fluff here.
If you want to get a six-figure job you love and create real concrete results in your industry and make a real impact, you’re in the right place. Are you ready? Let’s go. Hello. Today, I have been procrastinating this episode for a long time.
There’s so many things I wanted to add into it and so many discussions around it, and I decided that today was finally the day to record it. Today, I’m going to be talking about education, college degrees. I was asked about it on a podcast that I interviewed for recently, and it got me thinking about how I’d posted on LinkedIn about my experience, getting a college degree and my lack of a college degree, I don’t have one, and opinions about that and kind of a society, what we think about a degree and what it means, what it gets us, the value of it. Today, I want to explore the thoughts on it, and if you have a degree, that’s amazing, okay? You have it, you already completed it, you get to decide that that was the best thing you ever did.
There’s no point in anything else, right? For those of you listening who have degrees and have education, you now get to use that experience and that degree to create something amazing for yourself, and it was always a great thing for you to have. For those of you who don’t have a degree or are thinking about getting one or have kids who you might want to get one, that’s more who I’m talking to in this episode, so if you already have a degree, amazing. You’ve accomplished more in the educational realm than I have, and props to you and that will serve you. It’s just a decision you get to make and for you, there’s no other way to look at it other than that was the best decision you ever made, but for those of you who don’t …
The problem that I see, and I used to work a lot more with new grads, now I work more with mid-level professionals, but I’ve worked with everybody who’s trying to get into the corporate world into a better job and trying to get higher paid. Those are the problems that I solve, and so a lot of different people reach out to me and I worked with a lot of different people. The biggest problem, I think that I’ve seen is that we have this belief that we just think that a degree equals a high-paying job. That’s it. We all have opinions about what kind of degree.
Sometimes it really does, right? A doctor or a lawyer, maybe an accountant need to get a degree to be able to make it in their profession. That’s just what you need, right? Those are requirements. Those are facts, right?
I’m not disputing that at all, and there’s a lot of people in situations where perhaps they need to have a degree in order to immigrate to a different country or something like that, so I’m not talking about that. You have a good reason for getting your degree and you have a plan, that’s great. What I’m saying is that a lot of people with degrees miss the fact that they still need to have the skill of selling themselves. They still need to be able to interview and they still need to be able to own their own value and do all the work that I do with my clients. That still needs to be a part of the puzzle.
You can’t just have a degree, and then assume that because you have the degree, that’s what’s going to get you the success, because if that were true, then everybody with a degree would just be successful, right? They’d all have high-paying, six-figure jobs, and we know that there’s people who do, and then there’s people who still work at the coffee shop or the cafe or are serving or are out of work,
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unemployed, and they might have two or three degrees, right? Some of my clients, they have a PhD and they have massive self-doubt and they can’t believe in themselves. They just don’t know how to believe in themselves, and as cliche as that sounds, they just don’t believe they’re smart enough, even though they have a PhD, right? That is just, it’s two separate things, and so my experience has been that I didn’t need the degree to get where I wanted to go.
That’s just my personal experience, and I’m not saying that anybody’s experience is right or wrong. The problem with it is that we just kind of think that a degree equals a high-paying job. This is kind of like the brainwashing that I’ve kind of seen. The reason why we think this is because we’ve just been conditioned to have this belief, right? It’s been a belief for generations and generations.
We just assume like, “Oh, if your kid doesn’t go to college, then he’s a failure, or she’s a failure. She needs to go to college. Oh, she doesn’t go to college, then what’s life going to be like for her? Oh my God, she’s going to be so limited.” I’ve just heard these things, and those are just optional thoughts and they’re not true, and I didn’t finish college.
I didn’t need to. That’s just my personal experience, so that’s why it exists. We just have this belief because it’s been around for a long time and we haven’t really questioned it. That’s what I’m seeing, is we’re not really questioning it. We’re just assuming that our kids have to go to college, assuming that we have to save up the money to put them through college, and assuming that that’s the best way for them to be successful, and that sometimes we think that’s the only way.
We think that’s what they need to do. That’s what needs to happen. This is just what needs to happen to have a high-paying job, be successful. Then, we have the evidence of all the people who do it and are not successful, and it’s because they’re still missing these fundamental things that I end up teaching in my program, and if I didn’t help people with those things, they might still not be able to succeed and make the money that they want to make because it’s a different skill set, right? Getting a degree is a completely different skill set than selling yourself, and so what I often see happening is people will blame the university.
I’ve even seen cases of graduates suing the university because they couldn’t get a job after they graduated college. Now, this is an extreme situation, but I saw a new story on that. It was a law student actually, and she sued the university because she couldn’t get a job, and the university, they don’t guarantee you that you’ll get a job, right? They just tell you that you need this degree. I mean, if you want to be a lawyer, you need to pass the bar.
That’s true, right, but that was just an example I saw, that somebody was actually suing the university for that. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about how they can’t get the job and they get really upset, and they start blaming the university for the fact that they paid all this money for the degree and they still can’t get a job. We know that those people exist and we know that that struggle is real, and we also know that there are a lot of people with degrees that do have successful careers, and so the difference between these two people is that the people who are successful learned the skills of the self-confidence skills, the intentional self-confidence, they learned how to communicate their personality and their value, they learned the resilience, they learned how to create opportunity, they learned how to interview effectively, and they learned how to have a conversation about their value. Like they either have that already, they knew how to do that, or they had to learn that. They failed their way to that, and it wasn’t the degree itself that made that happen for them, and we can see the evidence because there’s people who have done, either been really successful and people who haven’t.
What happens when we just believe that we need this degree to be successful? We end up blaming and end up in a frustrated cycle of, “But I got the degree. I did everything right, and I still can’t get the job.” Then, what ends up being created is the mentality of, “It’s something outside of me,” “It’s not my fault,”
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“I did everything right,” “I got the degree, I did all the things I was supposed to do, and I’m not getting the result.” Right?
When you blame outside of you, when you say, “It’s the university’s fault or it’s whoever it is,” “I’m not able to do it,” “Society’s fault for giving me the wrong messages,” “I did everything right,” when we do that, then we end up in this same place. We can blame and we can be upset about it, but then we still end up in the same place, so blaming outside might feel good, might feel justified, feel righteous, but then it doesn’t actually help you. You end up in the same place, just not happy about it, right? What I want to propose is that degree or not, you’re always going to need this other skill set that they don’t teach you in school. They don’t teach you this curriculum to have all the skills that you actually need to create a six-figure job opportunity, land it, negotiate it, and then have more of an impact after that to move forward and have more conversations about advocating for yourself where you ask for a raise and promotion based on the value that you provide, right?
We always need that skill no matter if we have a degree or we don’t, and I didn’t, and so my story is a bit different. I had to go to school because my parents had said … Well, I didn’t have to. I chose, because once I was of age, I was a bit of a difficult teenager. I didn’t get along with my mom very well, and my dad said to me, “You need to either pay rent now that you’re graduated high school.”
“You need to either pay rent or you need to go to college,” and he said, “You can do whichever. You can go get a job and pay rent, or you can go to college.” I, at the time … This was several years ago now, so I was quite immature, but at the time, I said to myself, “I don’t want to pay rent to sleep in my own room, so I’ll go to college,” and my dad was willing to pay for that for me, so I was like, “Okay. I’ll go to college.”
“I don’t want to, but I don’t want to pay rent, so I’ll do it,” and so I ended up going to college and starting to take a business administration diploma program. In that program, I ended up meeting somebody who I helped with his homework, and he ended up helping me to get an interview where he worked, which was a company who is now a subsidiary of Amazon, so I ended up working at Amazon for a little bit, because the company was bought out, that I worked for originally, but anyway, he got me this interview because I helped him with his homework a couple of times. It wasn’t a job I thought I could do or I had even thought of doing, but I ended up getting that because of the referral, because of the way that I spoke in the interview, because of my energy, because of my … I guess I was so certain that I could do it because I hadn’t had any reason to believe that I couldn’t. I was like, “Yeah, I’ll just figure it out.”
“I’m a really good employee, I’m a really good worker, I’ll figure out how to do this,” and I asked some really good questions in the interview, and I was able to make that happen, so then I got this high-paying job for me at the time and I thought, “Well, I don’t need to keep going to college because I’ve got this job, and then I could move out and pay rent somewhere else where I wanted to live.” That’s kind of what happened with me. It was kind of backwards. It was like I wasn’t going to college to get the job, I was just going to college because I had to.” In that time frame, I ended up connecting with somebody who got me into a place where I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten, and then I decided, “I don’t need college because I don’t really want to be here, because now, I’ve got the job so I don’t need it anymore,” and so that path kind of led me to discover that the college degree was not necessary for me at all, and there are a lot of professions where you don’t need a college degree.
You might want to get a certification or you might want to get something, and I think that those things are great if you have a plan for how you’re going to use it, why you want it, and specifically what it’s going to do for you in your career, and specifically what investment you’re going to make back on it. What I suggest for anybody considering a college degree or wanting, like maybe you think you need to send your kids to college, I would question that and see what they want to do, and is it really necessary? Like are there lots of people who have done what you want to do without a college degree? If the answer is yes, then you want to question whether you really need to invest that much money in a
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college degree and if you really want that, right? If you want to, you still want to, great, but I’m just saying question it because we don’t always need it.
That’s just the thing that I have the problem with, is this blind mental construct that we all seem to think that we need a degree, and that is not always the case. Why I believe this was because of my story, because of how I experienced things, and also because I’ve seen it so many to times, so so many of my clients are doing fantastically well with their degrees or without their degrees, but they still had to come back to this fundamental skill set of learning how to be confident in themselves, learning how to see and understand their own value, learning how to communicate it through words and to the people who they need to help, who they want to hire, or who wants to hire them, right? We still need to learn all these things, and these are not things that are taught at the career center. I’d hear a lot of complaints about students who went to college, and then they came to me for help, and they’d be like, “Well, they told me that I should write my resume like this and that it should be this font size, and these margins should be like this,” and I’m thinking, “That’s what they’re teaching you at the career center? No wonder you haven’t gotten the job that you want,” because those things are not what actually gets you the job.
It’s not going to be the margins on your resume or the font that you use, right? The career centers are great and they’re very helpful, and I have a lot of people who are on my list who work in the career centers who are always expanding their knowledge and they are trying to get the best information because they want to help the students, but sometimes they just don’t always have that information at hand, and I think that they are progressively getting better, but sometimes we just need to understand that this core skill set that we’re not taught is something that we need to get in addition. That’s why I put together my program. It’s the 6-Figure Career Code, which teaches you these fundamental things that you need to know in order to get a six-figure job and make the impact that you want to make in your career, because with a degree or not, those things are still necessary. We don’t get taught how to deal with failure, how to deal with a rejection.
We don’t get taught how to communicate our value in a way that shows succinctly that there’s no question about whether or not you can do it or not. We don’t get taught how to tell a good story, or a story in a way that’s relevant to the employer. We don’t get taught how to ask really deep, meaningful questions that create a connection in the interview. We don’t get taught how to do those things. We don’t get taught how to process our emotion when we do get a rejection, right?
We just get taught to give up and that failure is bad, and so that’s why so many people are frustrated, and that’s why it’s a problem. That’s why I’ve created this program because it’s so fundamental and we all need it, and it’s, kind of blows my mind that it’s not taught in school, kind of like they didn’t teach me how to do my taxes in school. They didn’t teach me how to make decisions in school. They didn’t teach me all these life skills that I have now learned on my own, have created success for myself and now my clients, and so that’s why I feel so passionately about sharing this and having this program for anybody who wants to get a six-figure job they love with a degree or not, right? Like I said, if you have a degree, amazing.
The necessary skills that are needed are the simple skill of intentional self-confidence, and our brain doesn’t go there, right? Our brain doesn’t want to go there. It just wants to go to why we’re not good enough, why we haven’t done enough, why we’re not smart enough. I had a client who had a PhD and she legitimately believed she was not smart, and that really shows up when she’s talking about herself, so that’s a huge skill. Such an underrated skill. I can tell you that somebody with these skills, like the skill of intentional self-confidence, the skill of being able to create that confidence for yourself on purpose, the skill of being able to communicate your value, which comes from having intentional self-confidence, the skill of communicating your value on purpose and through words and communicating your personality through words, and the skill of being able to create opportunity, and the skill of being able to
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interview authentically and bring your best to that interview conversation, those skills are, in some cases, more valuable than the degree, because if you need both and you have to choose one, again, depending on what profession you’re going into, depending on your specific situation, you want to question whether or not you really require that degree, because the degree is a lot more expensive, and then the return on the investment could take years or you might not get it.
There’s no definitive timeline for that, and that’s why so many people end up in so much debt from student loans and not making the money that they want to be making, because they don’t know how to have that value and impact conversation about how to get someone to understand the value and because they don’t understand what they’re fully capable of themselves, and they don’t know how to actually communicate that. They don’t see the impact of their value to start with, so of course, they can’t say it to somebody else very easily and they get nervous, and we’re all stuck in self-doubt and second-guessing, and failure is bad. The fundamental skills that I teach are necessary with a degree or not. The results that you end up creating when you learn these skills, you start to see evidence of lots of other people’s paths that were not conventional, so you start to see other people that didn’t have a degree that are able to make six figures now and move forward in their career and have a huge impact by learning through the job or however it is they did it. They didn’t need the degree to get it.
You’ll start to see evidence of those people’s paths when you’re not so inclined to just believe blindly that everybody needs a degree, right? You start to get super creative in order to find ways that don’t require that specific experience or that specific certification or degree because you know that it’s possible that other people have done it, and you still need to have that learning whether you have the certificate or not, or that you have the degree or not, or you have the experience or not. You still have to sell yourself in those conversations regardless. There’s no way around that. You start to feel inspired and take action towards what you want like the messaging, signing up for a group, joining something. You start to follow your guidance in order to actually do these things because you start to see that they’re possible without the degree.
You start attracting people to you that want to talk to you about how you can get where you want to go so you can open up conversations with people who will talk to you about their experiences like mine that did not involve a degree. You start to become the person who isn’t stopped by something that someone says to you, so if someone says to you, “Oh, yeah, you really need a degree,” then you might be like, “Hmm, I don’t know. I don’t think that’s true because all these people don’t have one and they were still able to do it,” so you start to kind of question for yourself and think for yourself, “Is this what works for me? Is this right for me?,” and then you start to guide other people in the same way like, say your kids, for example, because I think a lot of people just believe that their kids need to go to college and that if they don’t, then they’re not going to be successful, and that that’s a fact, but that’s not. That’s just one really big thing I want to challenge here.
If your kids still want to go to college because there’s a good reason and you’ve planned it out, you’re like, “Okay, they want to become a lawyer or they want to become a doctor, or they want to get an accounting degree, and that’s what they really want and that serves them best, and they have a plan to make their return back on investment,” great. They still need to learn the skill of selling themselves. They still need to be confident in themselves. They still need all that too, and you also start to create the life for yourself not based on what others said, so you just start to challenge these beliefs. Then, you can even start to inspire other people with the way that you think, right?
You become the person that says, “Wow, how did you get there? I’ve been told I needed this and this and this degree, or I needed this and this, but I want to know how you did it. What were you thinking? How did you actually achieve this through your mental process because that’s really amazing?,” and you start to just see that evidence happening. Then, you start to live a bigger life because you’re not in the
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confines of what society has said you need first, and that can be a long, arduous process of getting this degree, and if you spent that same time, creating intentional self-confidence and speaking to the right people and connecting, and having value and impact in different ways, like actually creating value and impact for real companies, then you end up being able to create your path to success in a different way than the conventional you need a degree. To sum this up, I am not saying that degrees are bad.
I’m just saying question whether they’re necessary in a case by case situation. With that, my friends, I will leave you with some words from some of my clients as we’ve been doing some of the Client Success series, and they’re going to speak to a little bit about what coaching is like, how you experience it, and stay tuned because I have a lot more coming up for you on the podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy the rest of your day, and I will be right here again next week. Have a good one. Bye.
Working with Natalie for about three months, we really honed in on some gaps that I had. Networking was one of them. That was so reluctant to do. I think I was looking at it as it was a big … Begging anyone for job, I think that’s how I looked at networking in the past, and that’s not what it is.
When I actually got down and spoke with them, it always was supposed to be like a half an hour or 20 minutes, and ended up being so long because this is not a burden. This actually end up being so much fun, and I actually had three job offers all in the same time frame within a week. I ultimately decided to stay with my organization and I’m really happy to be in the role that I am.
Hey there. If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, I want to invite you to something very special. As you know, you know I’ve been coaching one-on-one for years and you’ve heard me talk about all my clients and you’ve heard them come on the podcast. From these experiences and from all these hours that I’ve done coaching, I’ve created the ultimate program where I take you through the steps that I walked everyone through to achieve the unreasonable results that they’ve achieved, and I don’t just mean getting a job, just getting any job or making things a little better here or there, I mean life-changing results, doubling salaries, switching industries while doubling salary, getting six-figure positions with no official paid experience, and just creating a life that they didn’t imagine was possible. This isn’t for special people or unicorns, this is for everybody as long as they’re willing to be open and apply the work.
We work in a high-touch container where you’re supported with lifetime access. You get the proven process, the highest quality support in the industry, and there’s literally no failing unless you quit, which I won’t let you do, so there’s literally no risk in joining me inside the 6-Figure Career Curriculum Mastermind. If you want to get started, all you have to do is go to www.nataliefisher.ca/getstarted and sign up for that workshop, and I will see you in there.
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