THE BLOG
10/02/2014 12:13 pm ET Updated Dec 02, 2014

They Lied to Us About College and Our Careers. What Next?

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Besides our parents, whose influence do we value the most? For most people it's God, their religious leader, a friend or another family member.

These answers sound good, but they're not true.

The person whose influence you truly value the most, even more than your parents, isn't even actually a person. It's an institution.

Our education institution has more influence on us than any other person or entity on the planet. Just think about it. Can any other person or entity convince millions of people to take out tens of thousands of dollars of debt without even the slightest guarantee that their so-called "investment" is going to be worth more than the paper it's printed on?

They're so convincing that we don't even think twice or even bother to do the math or ask any questions. Simply having the word "college" in the equation is good enough for us to sign our name to a half decade commitment and a 10-year long student loan burden.

Yep. This is going to be one of those anti-college articles. More than being anti-college, it's about being pro-knowledge. It's about using our brains to figure out what's best for our lives instead of having someone else's plan regurgitated into our mouth.

Somewhere along the way knowledge was attached to college. This is one of the biggest scams to ever plague modern civilization. This attachment has given the institution of higher learning irrevocable power to manipulate us into accepting and believing anything it tells us, because after all, who's going to argue that gaining knowledge is a bad thing?

When it comes to college and career, we're programmed our entire lives about how important it is to be smart for the sake of our career. In this day and age, an employer could care less about how smart you are. There's millions of clones with the same college degree and the same "smarts." Employers today are fed up with smart people who kiss the bosses' rear. They need people with verifiable skills that can get work done and make things happen.

Fate as it seems is not without a sense of irony, because the very same program (college) that was supposed to allow its participants to advance higher in the social order, actually became the norm.

In just two generations, a college degree went from being a rare gem to being an overly prescribed piece of paper. It made sense to those who were short-sighted. They figured that since a college degree helped advance their life then surely it would do the same for their children and their children's children, but since when has something that was good for a few ever been good for everyone?

They screwed up -- they being the government and our education system. They overly pushed and prescribed a four-year degree program, and we are now seeing the results of this catastrophic social experiment.

So now we have the most highly-educated generation in human history, and many of them can't even find suitable work. Imagine that.

There was a time when college wasn't the scam that it has become today. There was a time in America when college was actually affordable. This was the game changer. In just the last 30 years the cost of a college education has risen 1,120 percent. So it appears higher ed is screwing us in more ways than just one. Not only is a college education not properly training students for the jobs of the future, it's also charging an exorbitant amount of money for its services that don't even actually work. The best (worst) part is that college enrollment continues to soar year after year. Students could care less. Parents could care less and educators are turning a blind eye to the painstakingly obvious scam that is college.

More than being against college, I'm in favor of a total college overhaul. College can work, but not in its current form. Our government isn't doing anything to fix this problem and universities sure as heck aren't bending over backwards to make a change either. So the only way change will arise is if students, alumni and parents take a stand and demand reform.

If the cost of a college education was actually affordable, I would've never written this article, because even if college were to not adequately prepare students for the workforce, you could argue that the college experience is worthwhile for learning, growth in maturity and self-discovery. However, that's not the case, and that's a big problem.

Back in the day, the college system and the business community were in perfect alignment. Businesses knew what they needed from employees, and universities worked with the business community to ensure they were providing adequate degrees and programs to prepare students for their career, but then something happened.

First, universities got lazy. Since they hooked us in psychologically to the so-called value of a college education, they stopped putting in the work to ensure that their programs actually worked.

Then, technology boomed and businesses no longer knew what they needed from their employees. The world began evolving too fast and employers began to become reluctant to invest in a new workforce not knowing rather or not their skills would be sufficient just a few years later.

For those who blame the education system for allowing Millennials to pursue over-priced liberal arts degrees, they should know that our education system can't bare the full responsibility for this problem. However, what they can and should be held accountable for is not admitting that they did not have the answers, and for not striving for education overhaul.

Point blank they lied to us about college, its value and our careers.

The issues we're seeing today amongst Millennials are troubling to say the least. What's most often cited and discussed is the underemployment of Millennials, many of whom have bachelor's or master's degrees but are working as coffee shop baristas, barely making more than minimum wage. To make matters worse, we're seeing an issue arise that I believe is even more troubling but is also a sign of just how bad things truly are.

Millennials more than any other generation prior are remaining single longer and they're having kids much later in life, if at all. These two issues completely stem from the fact that most Millennials are unable to obtain a job that pays well enough to pay off their massive student loan debt, pay their living expenses and contribute to a savings account or investment account. This is precisely why Millennials are single and without children, because they can't afford it.

Since they can't bring much to the table, they're better off "doing bad all by their self," and children, not a chance. This is particularly distressing to me as it represents a complete collapse of The American Dream. If Millennials literally can't afford to (pro)create the next generation, then what hope is there left in America?

We're all just a bunch of work horses, just barely making enough to get by hoping that one day it gets better.

What does the future hold for a generation that was lied to so viciously? Life is supposed to get better from one generation to the next right? At least that's what I was told when I was younger. This may not be the case for Millennials. Only time will tell.

Although it may not have been intentional, the writings were on the wall and have been for over a decade. I know this because I saw everything going on today nine years ago. That's when I dropped out of college. It was the best decision I've ever made. I'm not Nostradamus, I'm not God and I'm no smarter than you. I simply paid attention to charts and graphs and made my decision accordingly.

In 2005 technology began to explode, and it was clear to me that our higher education system wasn't adequately preparing its students with the skills necessary to enter this brave new world. They continued pushing kids to obtain business administration and liberal arts degrees knowing that these were going to eventually become obsolete and totally worthless. I figured this out when I was 19, so surely our education system saw this coming.

Here's the problem summed up nice and neat, college does not equal education. We must all come to grips with this fact so that we can make better decisions with how we choose to pursue our education.

Thanks to technology, education has evolved to not just encompass the classroom, but the computer. That's where I obtained my education, by teaching myself online, and not through a distance learning program and not through an accredited institution. I educated myself by assessing my skill deficiencies and I searched for solutions.

When you really boil it all down, that's what life is really all about. It's about a search for answers, and the secrets to life's answers are not held in the minds of the select few who feel privileged to call themselves institutions of education.

It's time to rethink everything you've ever been told and everything you thought you knew about life, education and career.

For those who took the path most traveled which led them to a college degree that's offered them nothing more than debt and a smile from mom and dad, it's not too late for you. You can change things. You can put your life back on track. It's not over.

It all starts with understanding what's next. Our teachers, our professors and our guidance counselors thought they knew, but they had no idea.

Michael Price's book "What Next The Millennial's Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Real World" is now available. Visit: whatnextquest.com. Watch the trailer below: