My education has been quite extensive; built on these three pillars:
- University degrees (3 of them from two different universities)
- Countless courses at technical centers
- Lots of reading on my own
By far the most valuable of the three was the reading I did on my own time and based on my interests and ambitions. It’s what enabled me to build my own business and learn the skills needed to succeed. The rest of the aptitudes I got from my upbringing and people I met along the way.
I largely agree with Bryan Caplan’s view that formal education is mostly signalling. This is the view that school doesn’t so much teach you valuable skills, but helps filter society by which people are smart, conscientious and conformist enough to put up with it. This filtering can explain why schools seem to teach so much useless stuff, yet are nonetheless a requirement for almost any good job.
This way of thinking does not apply to all professions, however. There are several professions such as law and medicine where it would be foolish to think that you can study on your own and attain anywhere close to the knowledge that actually going to university would give you. What I disagree with is society’s relentless push for all young students to go to University as if not going would be a failure in itself. There are only a limited number of courses available at university and an infinite amount of human aptitudes and talents, so if young students feel that no course suits them they should seriously consider skipping University.