Do you really need a degree to make something of yourself?
If you have a degree, are you working in your field or something else to make ends meet?
No you do not need a degree to make something of yourself. You need drive, tenacity, financial intelligence, and follow through. I have a 4 year Bachelor of Science degree and I can tell you it is the most expensive piece of paper I have ever bought in my life. Am I using that knowledge to work in my desired field? Technically no, but truly yes, as my field was business management and right now I am managing the business of running a family. Am I glad I did it? Yes. Would I do it again? Probably, yes. Do I think it's necessary to be a success in life, nah. It's just one of many stepping stones on the path of who you are and who you will become.
I think it depends on what your goals are but a degree isn't always necessary. I have a degree and I'm still stuck in retail while I try to get a job in my field of interest. Still, I don't regret going to school and getting it at all. Others I graduated with, however, have much more high end jobs but hate it so I don't really know if that counts as making something of yourself.
I have a couple of degrees in my field and am certainly using them. However, just having one position does not make ends meet. I am an adjunct professor, so I do not have one position that is full-time. So I tutor as well. The crazy thing is I work a ton as an adjunct and it adds up to not enough. For example, I can instruct 6 courses in one semester but not make even half what a full timer would teaching only 4 courses a semester.
But like others have answered, you don't really need a degree to make something of yourself. If you are looking into a professional field, then you need a degree for "credibility," certification to even be in the field, etc. But other than that, when someone is passionate about something that tend to be naturally good at it and the education comes naturally too. Then experience becomes the best education.
I had planned on getting a degree in computer science, but things happened and life got in the way. The truth is that I could not be happier with the way things turned out. I have no degree, but I do have a great family of my own and a great job.
I still ended up in the computer field as I had originally planned, but have used my experience opposed to a degree to get to where I am today. I started off as a low paid computer builder in the late 90's, moved my way through sales and then started in education as a desktop support technician in a community college.
After about five years, I moved on to a larger university doing the same work except for a great deal more money. More recently, I was promoted to a management position and plan to move into the Operations Director position within the next five years. I was just awarded a Jane Ryland Fellowship grant for Educause to further enrich my management skills in Information Technology a few weeks ago.
While it may have taken me longer to get where I am than if I had a degree, I feel that I gained alot of life knowledge along my journey.
The short answer is "no". There are many people who have become very successful without having a college or university degree.
Making something of yourself is more to do with your drive or passion about something.
I am not currently working in the same field as my degree, however would say that I use some of what I learned in what I do. I also know many people who no longer work in the field that they got their degree in.
Bill Gates (dropped out of Harvard - no degree)
Mark Zuckerberg (also, interestingly, dropped out of Harvard)
Certainly not typical college dropouts, but they are proof that you don't need the degree to be successful!
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