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40 Alternatives to College [Kindle Edition]

James Altucher
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Kids at 18 have no idea what they want to do in life. The world is a very big place. It’s bigger than five classes a day on philosophy or chemical engineering. Most kids at 18 don’t relish philosophy but they relish the experience of freedom and being out of their parents’ home for the first time in their lives.

Young adults have a lot of energy and should use it. But the problem is that college costs have risen 1000% in the past 30 years while healthcare has risen 700% and inflation has risen “only” 300%. Colleges have made use of the myth that you can’t get a job unless you have a college education. But a rose needs space to bloom. Here are 40 alternatives to help that rose bloom. And to help keep innovation, creativity, and youthful energy alive and well.


Product Details

  • File Size: 146 KB
  • Print Length: 52 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Yes Life Publications (April 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007USP5P0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,375 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There seems to be little middle ground in the argument over college. Some people (including me) are in the "college is an expensive scam, and almost everything you learn there you could learn cheaper and more quickly elsewhere, and there are much more productive ways to spend four years of your time, and someone please build a time machine so I can get those years back and use them to instead start Google" camp, most everyone else is in the "what kind of crazy person questions the value of college?!" camp.

If you're in the first group, there's probably not much new for you here. Altucher's arguments against college are (for the most part) the same ones that I always badger people with at cocktail parties, at weddings, at college graduations, and so on. (They are presented nicely, though.) Some of his 40 alternatives are new to me (I would not have thought of encouraging my daughter to go on a "spiritual quest", for instance), but most of them are what I expected.

So this book is written more for the "what kind of crazy person?!" people (and the handful of "I'm not sure about the value of college, but who am I to flaunt the conventional wisdom?" people), and how I hope they'll read it! Altucher nicely lays out the case against college; he has good, brief answers to all the pro-college arguments; and if you're someone who believes that college is the one true path to success in life, then hopefully some of his 40 alternatives will resonate with you. It's a really short book, so it won't even take you long to read.

In the end, you're paying 99 cents to read the case against spending (or borrowing) tens of thousands of dollars. That's a pretty good return on investment!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had this 6 years ago April 18, 2012
By Tom
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wish I had read this book 6 years ago, before I wasted those years accumulating $130,000 in debt without acquiring any real skills. I feel cheated, I've lost some of the most crucial time in my life.
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69 of 89 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive Garbage April 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This "book" is a quick read, because it is short and so repetitive that you can get through it in an hour. After that hour you will be no more informed about why you shouldn't go to college or what you should do instead. First, the account of why you shouldn't go to college is based solely on the authors own experience. He got little out of college except a piece of paper, which is what he wanted at the time. If you are really interested in the faults with the university system read Academically Adrift. This book actually has real data about student performance, and why the system is broken.

The reality is you will get out of college what you put into it. If you don't want to go, DON'T. It'll be a waste. If you have no idea what you want to do in life, spending a hundred thousand dollars to do figure it out is not a good plan either. However, there of plenty of motivated people who get a degree to work in a profession that requires it.

The alternatives are so simplistic and ridiculous, they've already been thought-up by young adults decades ago. The other issue with the alternatives is that the author assumes young adults will embrace these things with an effort to get the best life experience out of them. The reality is if you're not a driven individual, the only difference between going to college and these alternatives is the possibility of having a piece of paper that says you accomplished something if you complete college.

A better book might be how to get the most out of college for the least amount of money. That would be more helpful in preventing the next generation from being saddled with overwhelming debt.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some great ideas inside January 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I appreciate the author's reasons and willingness to offer this book for .99. Young adults would be so much better off if they knew about alternatives to college. I cringe at the thought of how much debt these young adults are getting into by going to college. So many of them are going to be financially messed up by student loans and, for many, a worthless college degree.

We homeschool our children because schools are the worst places for children for real learning. Can you tell that I am influenced by John Holt and John Taylor Gatto?

Altucher's ideas are a great starting point for brainstorming what to do after "graduating" from high school. We need more people who have come alive with the passions in their heart. It would be a happier world, indeed.

Don't worry about money so much -- read The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen and Mark Boyle's The Moneyless Manifesto (read free online at: [...].

Good heavens, life is more than how much money you can make!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, shame about the execution April 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read James Altucher's blog for a while, and I've had a low opinion about the virtues of higher education for an even longer while. I have never agreed with a book this intensely.

More than reading why college is a bad choice (I already knew from my own experience, and I knew what arguments James makes about the subject), I wanted to see if he could really come up with forty unique alternatives. And even though a few of them are kind of close to each other, it's still a boatload of things you could - and should - do instead of sitting in a classroom reading about things other people have done.

I would give this package a full five stars if it weren't for the constant errors distracting from the content. There's basically a spelling or grammar error (or even a completely wrong word) on every page. It's as if it was dictated to a speech recognition software from the 90s. Ironically, even Altucher's blog (where he writes way too much way too often) has more grammatical integrity than this book.

He also repeated his AT&T story so often, that I eventually started betting with myself how many pages until he tells it all over again.

All in all, killer content that is marred only by, as one other reviewer said, the dire lack of an editor. Still, worth the price tag, and an excellent way to spend a layover at Heathrow.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars i wish...
Spot on. I couldn't stop thinking of ideas as I was reading! My main idea was what if. I've done some but not enough.
Published 18 days ago by Steve and Barbara Heppe
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a lame book! I was expecting REAL alternatives not bs ...
Such a lame book! I was expecting REAL alternatives not bs idea. An alternative to going to college shouldn't be taking a trip to f'n India! Save your money, people!
Published 1 month ago by tessa
5.0 out of 5 stars I gave this to my daughters to help them understand ...
I gave this to my daughters to help them understand what they faced in today's "university experience". Needless to say, it will save them a lot of grief.
Published 1 month ago by Galen R. Haugh
5.0 out of 5 stars READ FOR FREE ONLINE
you should DEFINITELY google this and find it for FREE ONLINE!!!
Published 2 months ago by Guadalupe Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Advice
College is not for everyone. Be brave and check how to get a life education without dragging yourself or your parents into debt.
Published 3 months ago by G. T. Goodman
5.0 out of 5 stars Wished I read it earlier.
Great book. Wish I would have read it before I went to college. Definitely putting it in the hands of my oldest when he becomes a junior in high school as well as my other... Read more
Published 4 months ago by M. Goodson
5.0 out of 5 stars reanactment
Should have done this when I was 18. Totally a mind blowing book. I recommend young people to read more books like this.
Published 4 months ago by Henry Chaiyadi
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it ever too late??????
When I was entering twelfth grade, I began to dreaming all of my desires of "what to be". I had a huge list. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
Altucher provides solid advice for those wondering if the college path is right - or necessary. Great book.
Published 5 months ago by Dominique De Vito
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book And "It is free to read"
It hardly take me 30 min to read this book.
So James Altucher,
Thank You to Provide it free.
I recommend people to read this book and it worth at least 30 min.
Published 6 months ago by DHEERAJ PANDEY
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More About the Author

James Altucher is a successful entrepreneur, chess master, investor and writer. He has started and run more than 20 companies, and sold several of those businesses for large exits.

He has also run venture capital funds, hedge funds, angel funds, and currently sits on the boards of several companies.

His writing has appeared in most major national media outlets (Wall Street Journal, ABC, Financial Times, Tech Crunch, Forbes, CNBC, etc). His blog has attracted more than 10 million readers since its launch in 2010.

James is a Top Quora Writer and a LinkedIn Influencer.

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