Don't Go Back To School, Kio Stark - Book Summary

Don't go back to school will show you that not having a college degree won't be a disaster that leads you to a life of failure. In fact, it's quite the opposite: through real-life examples, this book presents a strong case for self-study as well as principles you can apply. now to make self-study a part of your life.

This book is for:

  • Anyone who wants to study outside of school;
  • Anyone who wants to improve their knowledge and skills without spending a fortune;
  • Anyone wondering whether to use the money to go to college or not.

About the author:

Kio Stark is a writer and professor of New York University's Interactive Telecommunications program. In addition to actively conducting research on learning and teaching, she has also published a novel titled “Follow Me Down”.

What does this book have for you? Find your own path without going to college.

Graduate from high school, get a college degree, get a good job and then be able to rest with your monthly pension. It is the path that many people aim for, and each step above is seen as a complete process to lead a successful life. In fact, the desire for a formal education became a limiting feature of the post-20th century generation.

Think about it: How many times have you heard someone say that you should have a degree “instead of flipping hamburgers every day for a living”?  

However, more and more people are discovering that there are many other ways they can equip themselves with the skills and connections needed to succeed in today's job market. In the following few pages, you'll learn how to forget about fighting for a prestigious degree and take on a debt by taking a different path: self-study.

In these few pages of summary you will discover:

  • How can an entrepreneur become a high school teacher without a pedagogical degree;
  • How to turn today's small setbacks into big future rewards;
  • How to solve problems at school just by inviting the professor to eat.

The value of a university education is questioned.

A lot of people these days pour a ton of money and go into debt to get into college, hoping that better career opportunities will help them get back the money they've invested. However, many people have not been able to find that opportunity.

College degrees are slowly losing their value, and “people with college degrees will earn more” is not always true. Since college degrees have proven their worth since World War II, that trend has changed.

Shortly after World War II, when the GI Bill was passed, returning veterans were given the opportunity to start a new life by attending school with government-funded tuition. As a result, the percentage of Americans with college degrees increased dramatically.

At that time, a college degree became the basis for a growing number of jobs, such as journalism or public relations.

In addition, many women start going to college to get better jobs. And in the labor market, women can find new job opportunities by describing their abilities with a degree.

During that time, college degrees guarantee a better income by reducing debt, easily finding jobs and increasing salaries every year. But that time is over.

Earning a degree is no longer a safe path. With more and more people of equal ability flooding the job market and rising costs of education, increased competition and lower wages mean paying off the college debt. no longer easy.

Furthermore, degrees are not the only type of certification and are even becoming increasingly unnecessary, as other certifications, such as records of personal achievement or referrals, are becoming increasingly common. important.

A personal track record is, as evidence, as helpful in persuading employers as any other type of qualification. And more and more, jobs are found through relationships and in the community. Just getting to know the person you're hiring for can land you a job as much as a degree can.

Self-study outside is far more satisfactory than traditional learning in school.

When you go to school, the teacher gives you the requirements and then gives you the scores, the tests, the "correction" of the exercises, and eventually you get a degree. This method can hardly be considered as an individual reward.

In fact, in many cases, the above rewards do not bring motivation to study, but on the contrary, take away the passion and desire to learn at school. Rigid structures and expectations, combined with contests for scarce physical rewards (scores), quench and bury our curiosities and passions.

The rewards offered at school are examples of extrinsic motivation. Your grades, your desire for correct answers, and a degree are all external rewards.

However, we are more motivated by our inner motivations, when the reward we get is the completion of the work. If you've ever felt so great by your desire to achieve what you want, then you've felt your true motivations.

While the traditional education system in schools rarely provides intrinsic motivation, self-study does the trick, and the benefits from this way of learning are amazing. In fact, learning what you want to learn leads to faster and better results than a longer process of conventional learning.

However, being self-taught doesn't mean you have to do everything alone. Instead, you should join groups and share learning experiences with others, but still have self-motivation and self-discipline.

Several modern learning models have attempted to use technology to extend education, such as the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) model . However, those models did not achieve the expected success, because they were like copying a school.

For example, professors vary widely in their skills and approach to lectures. In addition, the scoring system is built around tests and questions that do not have appropriate responses; That means it's unlikely you'll be able to keep those documents for long.

MOOCs emphasize teaching , not online learning , but in general it is very limited: it is not teaching that needs to be changed, it is learning.

While self-education is necessary, we should not eliminate schools.

Although external self-study has many potential benefits, too many people rely on traditional schooling to dismiss it. Furthermore, self-study depends on the materials provided and used by schools and universities.

Self-taught people learn how to obtain their own materials and information to gradually remove their reliance on standardized learning in schools. Borrowing books and materials from the library, for example, is a great way to get what you need to learn something new. Self-learners can find copies of federal documents such as government documents, which are often abundantly available in university libraries.

On the other hand, scientific articles are a bit harder to find. However, while they are found in more expensive magazines, the trend is expanding today. It gives the self-taught person the opportunity to access information that would normally be for a fee or in college. It is also a signal that universities are expanding to find ways to preserve important sources of information and documents.

Many scientists themselves are eager to share their ideas and results with a larger group. At the time this book was written, 13,000 researchers had gone on strike and prevented their work from reaching the journals, wanting instead, with discussion and critique of the work, their work, must be able to be used completely free of charge.

Not only that, they often don't even get a dime from the royalties, despite the exclusive fees from the magazines!

Some scholars even enthusiastically share their research and ideas on forums, such as public lectures, more extensive publications or even face-to-face tutorials.

If this trend continues and academics and institutions follow, the wealth of freely available knowledge will make it much easier for self-learners to learn. future.

Now, if you have understood the foundations and values ​​of self-study, the rest will give you specific instructions for reaping its rewards.

Don't study alone; independent but not alone.

A lot of people think that all self-learners are studying alone, flipping through books at home in complete isolation. However, self-education without a community is not the best way to learn! Successful self-learners are those who connect, interact, and share.

Quality of learning requires help not only from the study materials but also from other learners. By studying with others, you have an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with the group, and others will do the same with you. This exchange of information also allows you to share feedback on how you and others are doing.

In fact, Quinn Norton, a writer and photographer interviewed for this book, emphasizes that you can learn best by hearing what others know. On the contrary, you will provide some of your own knowledge that other learners are interested in. Whether this leads to a brief connection or a long-term relationship, you have actually used your knowledge to interact.

Contrast this interaction with learning in school, which is certainly very passive – you are merely “a sponge” to absorb knowledge.

Passive learning through things like listening to lectures is a great starting point for many things, because it gives them an opportunity to explore new material and learn exactly what they like in a particular area.

However, teaching is actually very important. In fact, introducing people to the knowledge you know is fundamental to academic success for two reasons: not only will it give you the opportunity to test and enrich your knowledge, but you'll feel I feel like I've achieved something.

Learn your way, and learn for a good reason.

When you were in school, did you ever learn about things that you liked, or things that other people decided were important to you? Almost all of the latter. But what would you learn if you had a choice?

As a self-learner, you are completely free to choose your own learning path. However, make sure you actually learn what you want to learn – your learning should be chosen out of curiosity and a thirst for certain knowledge.

As previous research, learning from your own motivations is much more beneficial and lasting than learning from external influences. Writer Dan Sinker describes internal motivations as pressuring himself, something he really wants to know, understand, and be able to do.

To tap into these dynamics, you first need to identify them, as well as the processes and methods that best help you learn. When it comes to losing tuition to failure, you'll eventually find the best learning strategy for yourself.

Talk about how you want to learn a new language. You'll want to learn it systematically, meticulously, chapter by chapter. Or you may prefer a more varied approach, learning from a variety of sources, interacting with people who speak the language, and in no particular order.

Whichever way you learn, follow your passion. But whichever method you use, make sure it includes real-world tests, which will dramatically enhance learning.

Real-world learning gives the impression that you can see results in practice, both positive and negative. You may find yourself failing, but that failure will give you greater motivation and personal rewards as well as retain the best you've learned.

For example, Indian stylist Jim Munroe, has always wanted to learn by doing, which can only be applied in real life. He believes that by introducing the product to the public he can deeply absorb criticism, as well as knowledge and skills.

To succeed in finding a job without a degree, you need ingenuity.  

Most people think that, without the right qualifications, some jobs are out of your reach. Without a degree, some people don't even try to get the job they want. But these assumptions are almost all wrong.

If you lack the right qualifications, you need to demonstrate your dexterity, or a determined, confident attitude with the aim of finding a job, and you will have to be prepared to learn that.

Even if you don't have the specific knowledge and skills that employers ask for, that's fine, as long as you believe you can master the necessary knowledge and skills.

In order to get past the recruiters you might get in finding a job, it's really necessary to overstate the truth a bit. Writer and journalist Quinn Norton shows us how "faking it to being real" can lead to better opportunities. For example, knowing she has the skills for the job, she could become a high school computer teacher without a teacher's degree.    

Where dexterity is needed, proof that you know what you're doing, such as nominations, can open doors.

An important source in finding a job is an abundance of generosity – usefulness is always a two-way street. This is very helpful, because in order to access jobs and job knowledge, you will need help. For example, you will need someone to refer you to anyone who is hiring or looking for your resume. You can also help others find a job, and hopefully they will connect you with other opportunities in the future.

Combots Cup organizer Simeone Davalos explained that she was only able to start her business in the robot business because of connections with people who do similar jobs who could help her get space. and contribute capital to her project. And now she's doing the same thing, opening the door to the same network that has helped her stay afloat in this new industry.

Build a solid professional network of your own.

MBA graduates love to tell you that the network you will build is worth the cost you paid for your studies. However, you can also build a professional network as an independent learner.

If you are engaged in self-study, then you should aim to connect with other people who are interested in the same topic or related topics, as well as connect with like-minded people. direction will help you to accelerate progress towards your goals.

Sharing your passions not only keeps you motivated, but it also connects with others about your work, meaning they have a platform for you to get nominated and networked with. theirs later.

As an example, consider entrepreneur Caterina Rindi. Aiming to learn more about business administration, she established an alternative business system based on reciprocal development. In the group, members share experiences and contribute ideas to support others and their businesses. Everything she knows about business and governance comes from her community and friends.

Even the experts included in your network are well-trained. Because most experts care deeply about their fields and enjoy discussing them, you can take advantage of their knowledge and information if you can approach them face-to-face. face them.

Getting access to professors and other professionals is not difficult at all, but it does require careful planning. Write them a simple email with questions they find interesting, not just answers you can find on the internet. Also, make sure you show them interest and passion in the subject matter.

Remember, too, professors and experts are very busy most of the time. Your emails should use a clear and coherent style, so that they can be easily reached in the best possible way.

Software engineer Zack Booth Simpson used this approach, and learned from inviting professors to lunch or reading a book. And the cost of lunches is obviously a lot cheaper than the tuition of college!

Work is a necessary and invaluable place to learn.  

A job isn't just a place to earn money to pay the bills – it's also a great place to study. Not only will you learn from assigned tasks and from the wisdom of others, but you may also gain valuable networks.

But this is only possible as long as you keep your goals in mind. In other words, don't act like you're an expert when you still have a lot to learn, and know where you need to improve. Having goals will help you give and receive feedback at work, meaning you and your colleagues have a lot to gain. In fact, you can see a lot of people looking for real feedback on their work, not fake politeness.

Plus, taking the example from writer and journalist Dan Sinker, even extremely time-consuming tasks can prove to be essential skills in another field. Little did he know that the hours spent editing videos would later become key skills in editing his online magazine.

Furthermore, you will learn how to find the best sources of information to develop skills in your field.

If you start a job in a field that you are not familiar with, you will have to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for your job. But often in a new job, your co-workers are also working hard to develop their skills, which means you can collaborate in finding new sources of valuable information.

In fact, the best jobs are the ones from which you can learn the most, often in the case of smaller companies, because you're not just a cog in a big machine, the companies are. Small companies will give you the opportunity to try new things, confirm the effects and see the results. Learning from the job is best achieved by adopting the attitude of an apprentice: be helpful, ask questions frequently, and take risks.


The main message of the book is:

Going to college no longer guarantees you a steady job as it did in the past. Fortunately, today's self-taught people can get better educations for less, open up more career opportunities and have more fun if they use the right methods. .